Critics’ Picks

Martín Soto Climent, Revoloteo nocturno. El silencio de la luz, 2022, acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas, black Fresno frame, 60 1/2 x 56 1/2 x 2 1/8".

Martín Soto Climent, Revoloteo nocturno. El silencio de la luz, 2022, acrylic, charcoal and graphite on canvas, black Fresno frame, 60 1/2 x 56 1/2 x 2 1/8".

Mexico City

Martín Soto Climent

Proyectos Monclova
Lamartine 415
September 3–October 22, 2022

For the solo show “Hay una palabra para nombrar la hora de la noche en silencio” (There is a word to name the silent hour of night), Martín Soto Climent continues his alchemical transformation of three-dimensional objects into topological drawings, moving from his earlier surreal and humorous pieces into a more abstract, contemplative mode. For the first time, the artist presents paintings and drawings made with charcoal sourced from his own garden, which he layers and polishes over and over until the black is caressed to shine. Depending on the angle from which they are observed, the graphite drawings El Reflejo del silencio (The Reflection of Silence, all works 2022) and Revoloteo nocturno. El silencio de la luz (Night Flutter. The Silence of Light) either absorb the light or reflect it back: a visual paradox.

Within the exhibition, there’s an interesting tension between the works that seem to pull the viewer inside and those that push against the limits of their own frame. Breaking the predominant black-and-white color scheme are the ballerina-pink Gossip: Caricia-apertura de la noche (Gossip: Caress-Opening Night) and the periwinkle-blue Gossip: Arrullo (Gossip: Coo). To create these compositions, the artist hand-dyed pantyhose, which he then stretched in overlapping layers to insinuate muscle tissue, mycelia, or matter coming into being.

Soto Climent’s titles contain whispered references to night and the interplay between black and white, light and dark. In El instante de Leda (Leda’s Moment), a swan’s head peeks out from a flurry of swerving lines conveying the beating of wings. Of course, movement and dance have been an integral part of the artist’s work from the very beginning. As if executing a pirouette, Soto Climent has managed to return to the roots of his practice while taking a new turn into the pictorial.