Luis Gordillo

Luis Gordillo has created a hybrid language in which some Pop elements converge with certain aspects of art informel. He builds his work on serial repetition with an ironic twist. This exhibition presented a diachronic view of his work, focusing on his works of the ’80s, encouraging the viewer to read Gordillo’s painting in terms of the “stylistic associations” established among the pieces, and serving as a means of questioning the chronological orientation of the majority of retrospectives.

I use “stylistic associations” in order to echo Gordillo himself, who sums up his work as a group of stylistic changes, modifications subjected to different tendencies (art informel, Pop art, and geometric abstraction) which have left their mark on him. The formal character of the painting—particularly in relation to the construction of interior spaces—could be called the “painting within the painting.”

There is perhaps an excessive number of those pieces in which he uses a collagelike technique of superimposing some panels or painted rectangles—fragments that should not be understood as autonomous—over the surface of the work. They increase its showiness without adding complexity to the meaning of the work itself.

Above all, Gordillo’s contribution rests on having known how to move through ambiguous, nonneutral terrain where forms and structures (geometric containers, concentric circles, a jungle of cables, for example) are combined with organic bodies (esophagi and larynxes, greenish brains and genitals, little toy characters). In the face of the severity and austerity of Antoni Tàpies, Manuel Millares, and Antonio Saura, Gordillo makes off with a demythologizing, spicy baggage, without getting carried away with witty ostentation. A strictly formalist interpretation would not be sufficient to understand the structure of repetition—its vital flux and its raison d’être.

Juan Vicente Aliaga

Translated from the Spanish by Vincent T. Martin.