May 6 – June 20, 2014
532 Thomas Jaeckel Gallery Nueva York
Through the centuries, changes that take place with the seasons have served as an inspiration for painters, sculptors, writers and poets. The last solo exhibition by Armando Mariño (Santiago de Cuba, 1968), New Paintings after the Long Winter, is a good example of how they have been illustrated in painting. (…) Mariño lives today in New York, a place where seasons are well marked (…), the consequence of their passage may be harder in someone like him, coming from a tropical island where the climate is practically unchanging (…).For him, winter may be almost eternal.
Looking back at his career, we see Mariño has traveled a long road since his first solo show in Havana in 1993. (…) His former pieces commented on thorny social problems in Cuba such as racism which, although not officially acknowledged, is deeply rooted in the Cuban psyche. (…) This approach had to do with a generalized attitude in the visual arts of the period, in which criticism at the social situation of the country was reflected in a subtle but very effective way, as an answer to official censorship and a form to evade it.
(…) His most recent work, however, shows a total change when gravitating towards more philosophical topics, channeling his art from a more universal view. (…) Formally, Mariño has begun to part from the hyperrealist technique to adopt a more expressionist line, in which a clear influence of the oeuvre by Scotch painter Peter Doig, an artist he admires, can be identified. (…)
Since his rkearliest wos, color has been an element of great importance. In Paintings after the Long Winter, it becomes the main feature. There is an explosion of very contrasting colors imparting the paintings an inborn expressive strength. He continues to favor large formats, which, up to a certain point, contribute to create a theatrical effect. (…) They become a sort of two-dimensional portals that might function as the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.