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José Lerma's lush and fanciful portraits are striking in their three dimensionality, whereby the artist employed multiple techniques including lithography, and woodblock printing. The three pieces here are printed on Rives BFK and handmade dyed and embossed papers.
Following an immersive study of the paint strokes of the great Abstract Expressionists, Lerma disputes the wide assumption that abstraction is inherently aggressive because of a supposed frenzied activity. His wager and interest is that abstracting actually derives from extremely quiet and slow painting. In this vein, although the end result is thoroughly excited, Lerma's strokes are very controlled, almost a simulation, somewhere between a pseudo gesture and the real thing. Not created from a theater of violence, aggression lies only in Lerma's choices of what to negate.

In late 2002 Lerma abandoned installation, video and photography to concentrate solely on painting. To shield what was considered unpopular at his residency at the time, he erected a partition to seclude the paintings. These first explorations in paint were charged with a supple tension between the heroic and pathetic and the main protagonist was taken from self portraits made as an adolescent. Located somewhere between the therapeutic and a desire to shun cleverness, a positive letting-go emerged. Past events were accessed and conveyed in a way that seemed not anchored in language but conveyed the visceral. Traumatic and awkward this visual equivalent of stuttering or stumbling felt eloquent.

Lerma's work has been internationally recognized at solo gallery exhibitions most recently at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York, Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, and Galleria Il Capricorno in Venice.



Charles II link Diocletian link Jac Fugger link Admiral Vernon link Hanging George link Mirror linkMaximiliano black link Maximiliano gray link Untitled 2 link Untitled 3 link
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