Cologne

Julio Rondo

Galerie Tanja Grunert

In his first large solo exhibition, Julio Rondo, a Spaniard living in West Germany, exhibited nine new works, all from 1988. These six single-canvas paintings and three triptychs are, in a sense, “double” paintings. Their composition, influenced by the strategies of graphic design, is conceptual, yet reveals a kind of self-conceived innocence. With restraint and simplicity, these works ask about the value and validity of painting, while reflecting a comfort with the transitional moment in art from which such questions emerge.

Each work actually consists of two paintings: one in oil pastel on canvas, and the other in gold paint applied to a pane of glass held in place in front of the canvas by thick frames of dark wood. The canvas paintings are generally faux-naive graphic renderings of simple forms expressed as warm-colored planes sharply outlined in black—for example, buildings, plant

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