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Urban D-Construction


In these new works the images are the result of a new order created by
re-assembling my everyday visual reality - markings and urban landscapes that surround me.
I went to the streets of Wynwood neighbourhood and pulled images directly from there, and later returned to the studio to tear and reassemble them in search of a new essence, and perhaps a new understanding.
Deconstructing these images has lead me to a new visual order, a place to explore, and a new home to dwell.
Colourwise I continue to explore a sort of rev-up, yet very controlled pallet, minimal in colour and very rich in tonalities.
Here the narrative reveals itself as a series of strips of data, a film made up of all of the thousands of bits of information and images and objects that surround us and we are forced to process and discard daily, a statement about our times and the places we live in, as well as an invitation to look at our surroundings in a entirely new way.

 

Jore Enrique
Miami, July 2009

 

 

 

Numbers

 

 “In these new works, I begin to explore the importance of numbers in our society as symbols which define our perception of time and history.
With a change in our counting system, time would remain the same but human perception of time and, as a result, human action would change.
For example, if you were to line a pile of stones up on a table, count them, and assign a number to each and you were later to change the counting system, this new rule would have no effect on the amount or physical nature of the stones.
The creation of a new counting system merely gives most stones different names.
While the stones are unchanged, no matter what we call them, the human perception changes as their numerical names change.
In this relationship between reality and perceived reality that interests me, these works are a visual exploration of this intellectual space. “

 

Jorge Enrique, Miami, 2007

 

 

 

Barcode

 

“Barcode” is a part in the ongoing series called "Urban D-construction" (2009-2012). With his mixed media works the artist offers a specific perspective on the dizzying shifts between man and machine that he describes as “revved up minimalism” – minimal palette of colors that never mix; and use of simple elements multiplied in a very intense repetitive manner.
Jorge Enrique has, for some time now, moved beyond the standard painting format, blurring the line between painting and sculpture. He plays with the thickness of the frames, and cuts holes through the canvases to expose open spaces.  His desire to blur the lines between these two mediums has resulted in objects of art that are neither painting nor sculpture, but three- dimensional evocations of both formats. These objects occupy a central place in Enrique’s artistic process. It is as if his approach to painting needed to change, in order for these objects to reflect the irregular surfaces and shapes of his everyday urban environment.

 

Excerpt from the interview by John Hood for NBC:
Jorge Enrique Art Walks Barcode into Waltman Ortega

What exactly is behind “Barcode”?
"Barcode" is a chapter on the Urban D-Construction Series, where I’ve taken iconic symbols of our everyday urban reality and by manipulating and multiplying those images through photography, screen prints, etc, I arrive to a "plastic revved-up minimalism", relying on a very controlled palette of color. The medium is usually acrylics, and inks on paper finished in plastic. Yeah I love plastic finishes, like George Carlin used to say “God created man so we could create plastic” -- sometimes I think he was right! ;-)

If you had but one single sentence to sum up the exhibit, what would it be?
"Barcode" is an extremely fresh, and manically / beautifully executed exhibit.

How ‘bout a single sentence to sum up the Urban D construction series altogether?
Things are not what they seem to be.

Would you kill us if we asked you to also give us a sentence that best represents what Jorge Enrique is all about? 
An artist far more concerned with the process of making art, than where it will take him.

Miami, FL

2012

 

 

 

 

Hybrid

 

For some time now I have been looking for ways to move beyond the standard painting format by playing with the thickness of the frames, cutting holes through canvases to expose open spaces, and creating frames that are generally aimed at blurring the line between painting and sculpture.

These objects have evolved to occupy a central place in the development of my artistic processes, as I moved forward with these works I realized that my approach to painting needed to change to deal with the shape, cut outs of the image and the new irregular surfaces.

These new works are the result of my desire to blur the lines between painting and sculpture, arriving at objects of art that are neither painting nor sculpture, but rather three dimensional evocations of both disciplines.

 

Jorge Enrique
Miami, 2013

 

 

 

 

Low Ride

 

As I began to move into this new works, I knew I could not rest on any of the traditional approaches I have become familiar with. I wanted to go some place new without totally abandoning the basic concepts and ideas I have been working with, looking for ways to integrate new elements below the surface, as well as allowing for a certain level of “letting go” by inviting others to partake in the development process.

I decided that if my works were to speak of contemporary issues such as mass production based on industrialization, and the transformation of the individual as he interacts with this mass produced world; I needed to make a series of objects of art using the same process and ideology I wanted to comment on, and in this process risk losing myself into something that made me uncomfortable and I did not completely trust. I sensed grow. I followed.

My curiosity on the process of the individual losing himself in the sameness of the masses, as a way to find comfort in an increasingly complex world, was challenge by some exceptions, and the low riding vehicles slowly moving through the streets in my neighborhood became a symbol of redefined style and independence from the marketing ideas of Madison Avenue.  I started to see these vehicles as iconic symbols of a culture developing its identity within other culture.

I became interested in the “low-rider” culture quite a few years back..  As a result of my interest on the paint work I was seeing appear in these classic vehicles, I started to look below the surface  and it soon became clear to me that - below the narrative of the images,  in the paint itself - was where my interest rested.

Most of the artists working in these “low-rider” cars developed their own color mixes, and manufactures of automotive paint were creating “bases” of color particles, allowing the paint to unfold into gradients and colors that shifted as they moved in front of you, and depending on your angle of sight the artist could decide the colors you will see.

Using these color particles I started to develop my own palette as I prepared to shift perspectives.  I decided to reduce it all to a few lines and a forever shifting layer of color, the sphere became the synthesis of those cars.

The exploration of the mystery of creation continues to fuel the journey, while quieter spaces become the overriding concern.

These are at the core concepts of my internal dialog as I enter into this new space, I see this works as a stand, a reaction to the mass produced environment our lives unfold in, but also a celebration of the individual.

These works are reminders of the ever shifting quality of our life.
An object of beauty, inviting you to discover, contemplate and, finally, meditate.

 

Jorge Enrique
Miami, 2011

 

 

 

 

Objects

 

For some time now I have been looking for ways to move beyond the standard painting format by playing with the thickness of the frames, cutting holes through canvases to expose open spaces, and creating frames that are generally aimed at blurring the line between painting and sculpture.

These objects have evolved to occupy a central place in the development of my artistic process, as I move forward with these works I realized that my approach to painting needed to change to deal with the shape, cut outs of the image and the new irregular surfaces.

These new works are the result of my desire to blur the lines between painting and sculpture, arriving at objects of art that are neither painting nor sculpture, but rather three dimensional evocations of both disciplines.

 

Jorge Enrique
Miami,

 

 

 

 

Permutations

 

Anti-organic architectural considerations. Describing a body of work (four years in the making) from Miami-based artist Jorge Enrique is both a paradoxical and technically accurate exercise. Architecture is geared towards a slew of metaphoric tasks: a basic shelter, a functional work or play space, a haven for hermetic ritual, a temple for learning, or maybe a mere freestanding aesthetic experiment. The variances of architecture are, by their nature, reflections of the same kind of spontaneous, organic innovations often experienced by painters, dancers, musicians, and stage actors. In other words, architecture is seldom a cold, methodical series of calculations, measurements, numbers, permits, and ownership claims. But Enrique's work is neither an adherence to strict principles of sound logic, nor an embrace of a recent class of architectural bodies meant to mimic "natural" or "organic" elements.

Enrique's exposure to innovative architecture suggests he isn't a blood-drenched cynic or a battered victim of traditional structural values. He was educated at the Alfred C. Glassell Jr. School of Studio Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The museum, built in 1978 by S.I. Morris Associates (whose firm was responsible for such projects as The Houston Astrodome, One Shell Plaza, and the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston), is a reflective being all on its own. Its shimmering, mirrored exterior tiles bend light and curve space to see everything that surrounds it. The building, effectively, is a responsive thing. Enrique's exposure to these occurrences, these reflections, appears to have had a long-lasting impact on his practice as a visual artist. He absorbed the diverse external and internal spaces of Houston and later, Miami, translating the experience of urban construction and deconstructions into his early work. Paintings directly incorporating photographs of manhole covers, asphalt patterns, wire fences, and metal gratings were slathered in lacquer; sometimes, these paintings would enter three-dimensional space as rectangular pillars or blocks. With these more recent works, Enrique engages in angular gestures with more muted surface qualities. The lacquer coatings are gone, dark umber and soot black tones dominate the compositional planes versus yellows and primary blues, and the lack of such layered materials as found in his works from 2000 to 2012 are, ironically, more tangible.

Enrique's sculpture embodies the greatest level of advancement in the newer group of works. There is no doubt that drawing remains an important variable to the equation, but the presence of the structures resembling bent lines, zigzagging through the air, is the most direct challenge to conventional architectures. They are anti-organic, in that they pointedly do not try to be buildings looking like flowers, leaves, or even human genitals (countless skyscrapers and monuments have some sort of subconscious phallic reference, while Zaha Hadid's plan for the Qatari football stadium seems to resemble generous labial flaps). They are anti-architectural, in a strict sense that they do not satisfy any of the criteria as a shelter, dwelling, or congregational space. What these works are, though, are investigations into radicalized geometry; angles and permutations of linear space become less concrete constructions in non-linear space. His more recent paintings accompanying these sculptures act as a physical counterbalance: heavy-handed strokes and repetitive, circular patterns communicate a restlessness, an impatience with conventional compositional avenues. What might appear as obsessive rotations across a collection of flat surfaces are more closely related to the deliberate, corporeal arrangements Enrique builds out of wood, steel, and the other industrial materials he had only referenced in works past.

Cy Twombly, in one of his final interviews with Sir Nicholas Serota, noted that, "architecture is also landscape...I would have liked to have been an architect but I'm not good at mathematics." Enrique cites Twombly's 1994 triptych Untitled (Say Goodbye to Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor) as his artistic watershed moment. The painting, itself, is a reference to Orpheus, the musical genius who traveled to and back from the reaches of the Underworld. On the physical surfaces of Twombly's epic works, linear space is acknowledged but flatly rejected as a vessel for expressive gesture. Enrique follows a similar path, most visible in his new sculpture. They are anti-organic architectural considerations, ideas formulated with an understanding of common spatial formalities. He objects to these as a conscious, intelligent, and engaging creative act.

Jorge Enrique was born in Havana in 1960. He emigrated to the United States in 1991, completing his BFA in Studio Art at the Alfred C. Glassell Jr. School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at venues in Paris, Houston, and Miami. Enrique's works have been shown at the Villa Datris Foundation in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (France), L'Institut Culturel Bernard Magrez in Bordeaux, Locust Projects (Miami), the Lawndale Art Annex (Houston), and the Coca-Cola Corporation Headquarters in Atlanta. This exhibition marks Enrique's fifth solo showing with Waltman Ortega Fine Art in Miami. Enrique lives and works in Miami.

 

Shana Beth Mason
Brooklyn, NY 2014

 

Sources:

Blaylock, Cameron. "Unraveling Cy Twombly's scribbles: It's a Houston mystery". Culturemap Houston, 12 July 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2014. houston.culturemap.com/news/arts/07-12-11-unraveling-cy-twomblys-scribbles-its-a-houston-mystery/

Blumenthal, Ralph. "A Celebratory Splash for an Enigmatic Figure". The New York Times. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 28 September 2014. www.nytimes.com/2005/06/04/arts/design/04twom.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Serota, Nicholas. "Interview / Cy Twombly / History behind the thought." cytwombly.info. Rome, 2007. Retrieved 28 September 2014. www.cytwombly.info/twombly_writings5.html

 

 

Shana Beth Mason is an art critic based in Brooklyn. Contributions include Art in America, ArtVoices Los Angeles, FlashArt International, Fodor's.com, Kunstforum.as (Oslo), The Brooklyn Rail, The Miami Rail, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, thisistomorrow.info (London), and Whitehot Magazine (New York). She has appeared as a featured critic on Monocle 24's radio programme Live From Midori House and will broadcast live with Monocle from Frieze 2014 in London. She has delivered lectures for Florida International University's 2013 MFA candidates, the University of Arizona's College of Fine Art (Professionalism & Art Lecture Series), and will lecture as an alumnus at Christie's Education London in October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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