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Unstable Stillness

Exhibition details

Opening / Event Date:
1 November, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Closing / End Date:
1 December, 2018
Event Category:
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Perrotin Hong Kong is pleased to present an exhibition featuring José León Cerrillo, Jose Dávila, Gabriel Rico and Martín Soto Climent, marking the first time that the artists are showing in a Hong Kong gallery. This presentation stems from ¿Cómo te voy a olvidar? (How could I forget you?), a 2016 group exhibition at Perrotin Paris that brought together the work of 16 contemporary artists across Mexico. For the four artists from that show now exhibited here, their engagement with architecture, interest in non-art materials, and investigations into the legacies of modernism, illustrate how similar concerns can be channeled towards different ends.

José León Cerrillo’s site-specific installations address architecture directly. At Perrotin Hong Kong, he will present his Subtraction Screens and Unstable Examples, a series of sculptural frames that reorganize, reorient, and delimit the space. The viewer’s behaviour and course through the gallery is modified accordingly. With allusions to Russian constructivism and the Bauhaus school, and a formal debt to Fred Sandback’s drawings in space, Cerrillo’s stark geometry belies a greater interest in movement, perception and the failures of minimal abstraction.

Jose Dávila’s sculptures of stone and glass are fraught with tension: the juxtaposition of surfaces and finishes—polished and rough, fabricated and organic—and the literal tautness that holds the glass panels in suspension, always anchored by an earthly force, some element of earth transferred to the white cube of the gallery. Dávila, and the other artists presented here, intervene minimally with their materials. It is through composition—or the relation between elements—and context, that the work finds stability and coherence. In Dávila’s sculptures, fragility and resistance, geometry and chaos are elegantly hinged to achieve a harmonious whole.

Gabriel Rico’s work also mines non-traditional sources for its materials; found objects, neon lighting, and taxidermied animals are some of the common elements he arranges to make a phrase, an equation, or formulation. His work is characterized by the inter-relation of disparate, seemingly unrelated objects. For this exhibition, Rico, sharing a room with Dávila and in direct conversation with him, has created sculptures that are keen on achieving a precise geometry despite the organic, roughly hewn character of their materials. This tension is achieved with humor, irony, and beauty.

Martín Soto Climent’s materials, however, are of a wholly inorganic provenance, opting instead for store-bought items of the everyday. At Perrotin Hong Kong, ladies’ stockings are stretched into parabolic forms to make an elastic web in which art materials—canvases and plinths—are trapped in its threads. These sinuous forms emerge from his canvases and attach themselves to the walls, ceiling, and floor in a suite of works that interact and make contact with every plane of the room. A poetic meditation of the physical limits of painting, these pieces reach beyond convention and constraints.

In collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico in Hong Kong and with support from The University of Hong Kong, a conversation with the artists will be held on the occasion of the exhibition, moderated by Aric Chen, Curator-at-Large, M+ museum, on November 2 from 6 – 7:15pm in Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus at The University of Hong Kong.


José León Cerrillo (b. 1976) lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. His work has been featured in the 2016 Gwangju Biennale in Gwangju, South Korea; the 2015 New Museum Triennial in New York, USA; MoMA PS1, New York, USA; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, USA; MAK Center for Art and Architecture, California, USA; Tensta konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico; among others. Cerrillo’s work is held in public collections including Fundación Jumex, Mexico City, México; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Ishikawa Foundation, Okayama, Japan.

Jose Dávila (b. 1974) lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has held museum exhibitions with Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China; Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf, Germany; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, USA; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, Netherlands; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, USA; and Musée d’art moderne et contemporain Saint-Etienne, France; among others. His work is in institutional collections including Inhotim Collection, Brumadinho, Brazil; Pérez Art Museum Miami, USA; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France; Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain; Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna, Austria; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA.

Gabriel Rico (b. 1980) lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico. He has exhibited at The Power Station in Dallas, Texas, and Gyeonggi Creation Center in Ansan-do, South Korea, among others. His work is in public collections including the Korean Ceramic Foundation in Seoul, South Korea, Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente in Spain and Museo Nacional Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain. In 2019, Rico will present major solo exhibitions at the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, USA, and the San Francisco Art Institute, and his work will be featured in a group exhibition at The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

Martín Soto Climent (b. 1977) lives and works in Mexico City, Mexico. He has presented work or projects at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland; Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria; The Banff Center, Alberta, Canada; Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria; Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA; Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, Zurich, Switzerland; MoMA PS1, New York, USA; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA; and Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia.



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