Alfonso de la Torre

José Guerrero – A Question of Limits

(Fragment – Pilar Citoler Prize, Catalog 2014)

 

The world is fleeting and life is brief.  Death reminds us of this frequently.  Lacking not in courage, José Guerrero (Granada, 1979), a highly modern artist capable of considering said modernity from his tranquil world, fearless in his representation of the landscape as a stage, frequenter of a vacant air, ineffable, eulogizer of immensity, of the limits of the visible, of the frequented limitless energy canonized by Rosenblum[1]. Let it then be declared, affirming Plossu, that what Guerrero does has a strong poetic component. Serving as examples of this beauty are some profoundly lyrical series, such as “Heaven” (2011), where cities twinkle as if seen from a low flying plane at night. Other series with a poetic aura are also worth noting such as “Thames” (2008) and “The Bay” (2011), as well as some ineffable images from his North American series (and among my favorites “Hwy 80, Near Wendover, Utah 2011”), works with grand resonance and a memorable, nearly epic air. Guerrero, however, is not only a photographer of the ineffable. The ineffable gaze that he applies over the landscape from an elevated consciousness is never absent from the concept of his work, capable of the difficult task of obtaining a style with something so complex as the exhibition of a landscape, such that his creative personality is recognized from such a complex place: the light, color and atmosphere are sufficient. Ineffable landscapes, but not exactly innocent, because Guerrero practices something even more difficult such as the sobriety of mediums and colors, in order to immediately advance major questions such as the representation of memory and forgetting as well as the different perception of the landscape.

(…)

With an aspect of serial music, not excluding either a minimalist air that impregnates the exhibition of the landscape with bareness, under such a personal glance, the work obtains a troubling dispossession. His vision is thus openly transversal and polyhedral, which does not hamper his search for universal chance, an allusion to the landscape, as occurs in his lyrical fragments of spaces, of the earth, of La Mancha, an air of Torner’s2 two parts, a symbolic horizon, earth and sky barely separated by one thin line. A question of limits.

 

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[1] It is well known that this term is attributed to Robert Rosenblum (1927-2006) in “Lo sublime abstracto (“ARTnews59”, nº 10, Nueva York, II/1961, pp. 38-41) Rosenblum was the critic that established the well-known thesis that related the birth of pictorial abstraction with the spirit of the landscape, especially the nineteenth century landscape and the Northern European and American Romantic tradition. A voyage, proposed by Rosenblum, that would depart from the ices of Fridrich and would conclude with the lunar painting of Gottlieb or the imposing fields of Rothkonian color. For Rosenblum, just as imprecise and irrational as the feelings that he tried to name, the sublime could be applied just as much to art as to nature: in fact, one of his major expressions would be painting –representation- of sublime landscapes. Vid.: Alfonso de la Torre, “La ilimitada energía del paisaje”, Gobierno de Aragón, 2008

 

2  Gustavo Torner (Cuenca, 1925).  Paintings in two parts.