Almine Rech Gallery, one of Paris’s foremost galleries, opened its first New York location more than a year ago on the Upper East Side, bringing with it a unique program that mixes a strong artist roster with a consistently adventurous curatorial project. For its most recent venture, the gallery has brought together key figures from the canon of 20th century Western art for Words Without Thoughts Never to Heaven Go. Adapting its title from a line in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the exhibition investigates ways artists use text as an allegorical element. Serving as a chronological and thematic starting point to the exhibition is Être ou ne pas être, Picasso’s 1912 painting considered as one of the foremost examples of appropriation of text in modern painting. Declaring “to be or not be” in French with gouache on paper, Picasso not only pays homage to one of the most emblematic texts ever written, but he also questions the mimetic essence of a painting. Can a painting of words serve to depict an image?
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New York, NY
Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York
Hunter College MFA, New York
Pratt Institute BFA, Brooklyn
Perez, the son of an art critic, was heavily exposed to art throughout his childhood in San Juan. Arriving in New York in 1986, he emulated Warhol’s silkscreen painting technique, layering paint to capture an array of subjects from feminine portraits to modern architecture, typically basing his paintings on previously existing photographs.
Recent works demonstrate his range and versatility. His 2006 series titled “New York” captures many of the city’s tallest and most famous buildings in oil paint and is chilling in the wake of September 11th. Other works, like “Ron Superior,” a watercolor painting of a bottle of rum and accompanying glass, resemble Impressionist art.
His work is also part of the permanent collection of Puerto Rico’s Museum of Modern Art.