By Angeria Rigamonti di Cutò
In his second solo exhibition at Victoria Miro, Secundino Hernández (b1975, Madrid) exploits two distinct gallery spaces to present continuities and novelties in his investigation of the possibilities of painting. The kinetic thrust of the exhibition’s title, Paso (step), suggests Hernández’s movement between abstraction and figuration, testing and perhaps refuting them as distinct categories. His exploration of that distinction, assuming that it even exists, emerges with particular allure in his quasi-portraits, intimations of faces fashioned in some cases with a bare minimum of paint. Not easily discernible in reproduction is Hernández’s adroit exploitation of the canvas itself, a compositional element he puts to work as much as his expansive colour and graphic verve. The prominent presence of the canvas emerges not only in his imaginary, fresco-like portraits, but also in the restrained, monochromatic studies displayed at the Wharf Road gallery in north London. In potent contrast with these spare, black-and-white works, looms his most monumental, assertively carnal palette work yet.
Image: Installation shot of Gallery I (Upstairs). Photography Thierry Bal.