New York

Chema Cobo

Charles Cowles Gallery

Although Chema Cobo has changed strategies several times since he was discussed as a Spanish representative of the Trans-avantgarde, he is still an eclectic painter, and he continues to investigate familiar (European) neo-Expressionist issues such as the collective loss of historical consciousness and national identity. This inquiry is as pertinent now as it was a decade ago, if not more so, considering the imminent unification of Europe, and the fragmentation of the Communist bloc. Yet Cobo has abandoned his previous neo-Expressionist style for an increasingly distanced, conceptual manner that trades in his rich, gestural brushwork for flatter surfaces and introduces poetic language as well. In these 25 paintings, image and text jostle each other to produce allegorical meanings that are never easy to decipher.

One group of paintings evokes sheet music; in each, a white field contains evenly

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