April 1st – May 6th, 2012
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 1st 5 – 7pm
299 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
Marc Straus is pleased to present an exhibition of new large-scale paintings by Antonio Santin on the occasion of his first solo exhibition in New York.
Santin constructs eerie, arresting compositions that simultaneously attract and unsettle in their evocative depictions of sublimated desire. He orchestrates elaborate still-lifes, manipulating both objects and the human form to construct a space he describes as “more real than reality itself.” Each painting originates from a theatrically composed photograph by Santin, which itself is the result of a deliberate process. Visiting his subjects in their homes, he chooses their outfits and accessories from their personal belongings to assemble each vignette. He then transforms this photographic record into a painterly construct in oil on canvas that vacillates between a mimetic three-dimensional space and a heightened reality augmented by surprising shifts in texture and gesture. He creates a visceral tension between surface and space with a range of techniques that incorporate both the technical foundations of classical painting and unexpected alterations to the qualities of oil paint to re-assemble the sensory experiences of everyday life. Deeply rooted in the tradition of Spanish Tenebrism as well as his own training as a sculptor, Santin juxtaposes flattened planes with tangible forms carved by light and shadow to create a continuous perceptual dialogue in each work.
This exhibition brings together three related series of works from late 2011-2012 that incorporate the human form as a fetishized object to be hidden or revealed in images that often conjure a cinematic aesthetic. In works such as Der Damm des Riesen (2012), Santin furthers his interest in latent sexuality intertwined with morbid overtones. The rug series evolved from his ongoing interest in the opacity of fabric as a device to obscure the body with abstract patterns and textures. Each of these works brings the background into the foreground while a discernible figure hovers beneath the surface. In the monumental We Rot (2012) the wavering, raised carpet patterns contrast with the translucent, tonally complex base. At more than twelve feet wide, the intimate details invite close viewing while the outlines of a figure emerge from a distance. In Fiebre Amarilla (2011), the lumps and bulges underneath this carpet inject a corporeal uncertainty into this geometric canvas. His newest series of crocheted landscapes of the female form are at once a technical accomplishment of texture and a formal repositioning of the body as a distinct yet abstract mass.
Antonio Santín was born in Madrid, Spain in 1978. He received his Degree in Fine Arts from Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 2005. He was an artist in residence at Kunstlerhaus Glogauer in Berlin (2006) and Centre dárt Contemporani Piramidon in Barcelona (2007). He has exhibited internationally and is represented in the collections of Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris and Museu Europeu d’Art Modern, Barcelona as well as among numerous private collections worldwide. Public installations include a permanent sculpture commissioned by the city of Madrid in 2003. Antonio Santín lives and works in Berlin.
299 Grand Street
New York, NY 10002
Wednesday – Sunday: 11:00-6:00
Monday and Tuesday by appointment