Galerie Lelong & Co, New York, is pleased to present our first solo exhibition with Juan Uslé, entitled HORIZONTAL LIGHT. Over a four-decade career, Uslé has established a distinctive pictorial grammar; gestural brushstrokes systematically applied in tandem with his heartbeat to convey a poetic-fluid landscape. Dividing his time between Spain and New York City since the 1980s, Uslé’s practice has engaged with the various movements and traditions of painting in European and American postwar abstraction.
HORIZONTAL LIGHT will present new works as a continuation of his best-known series that began in 1997, Soñe que revelabas [I DreamtThat You Revealed], also known as SQR. To date, Uslé’s SQR painting shave emerged as the largest unified set within his oeuvre, a sequence of mesmerising chords interweaving explosions of light and color heightened by their towering size. Measuring at least 108 x 80 inches (275 x 203 cm), the work’s verticality is reiterated in its modular strokes. Overshadowing the viewer, Uslé’s landscapes envelop us in their presence—a life-size electrocardiogram charting the momentum of the artist’s brushstrokes and a record of time’s passage.
These monumental pieces will be accompanied by the works on paper Notes on SQR, and a selection of vibrant intimate-scale paintings. HORIZONTAL LIGHT coincides with Uslé’s museum retrospective,Eye and Landscape, at the Bombas Gens Centre d’Art, Valencia, Spain, on view through September 12,2021.
“The SQR paintings slow down our looking. Their size demands that we stand at a distance if we expect to take them in, and then, as we move closer, scrutinizing the surface, we physically experience the continuity of their slight changes as well as their sudden shifts of mood and direction... Uslé gives us light, color, and a sense of time passing. He shows us a pulverized, porous world—a state of suspended disintegration... Uslé’s paintings invite us to return to a silence interrupted only by our beating hearts,”writes poet and critic, John Yau, for the museum’s exhibition catalogue.
Juan Uslé is widely recognized for vivid paintings and works on paper that engage the viewer with entrancing rhythmic patterns. These patterns are composed of systematic brushstrokes that exist in a dual state: embracing repetition while practicing singularity. Sourcing inspiration from memories both lived and dreamt, these patterns can be evocative of the vibrations in bustling New York City; echo the fluidity of bodies of water; or serve as a transcript of real time through a filmstrip-like recording of the artist’s own heartbeat. In over forty years, Uslé has approached his medium, which includes painting and photography, through representational and abstract lenses. In more recent years, the use of light to generate emotion rather than volume has been a central focus for the artist.
In March 2020, Uslé was announced the 13th winner of The Daniel and Florence Guerlain DrawingPrize. In 2002, he won Spain's National Award for Plastic Arts. Uslé has also participated in the VeniceBiennale (2005); Documenta IX (1992); the Istanbul Biennial (1992); and the Bienal de São Paulo(1985).
Solo museum exhibitions of the artist’s work have recently been presented at Bombas Gens Centred’Art, Valencia, Spain; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Fundacion Marcelino Botin, Santander, Spain; SMAK, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuale Kunst, Gante, Belgium; IMMA, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain. Uslé’s work is included in public collections around the world including that of the Albright Knox Museum, Buffalo, New York; Museum of Fine Arts,Boston; Colección Arte Contemporáneo Fundación «la Caixa», Barcelona, Spain; IMMA, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani, Barcelona, Spain; Musée National d’ArtModerne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg; Museo Guggenheim,Bilbao, Spain; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Museu Serralves, Porto, Portugal; SMAK, Stedelïjk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gante, Belgium; Tate Modern, London, UK.mThe artist was born in Santander, Spain, in 1954. He currently lives and works between New York City and Saro, Spain.