Dispersion on Canvas

The title of this post is actually borrowed from these Juan Uslé paintings that are currently exhibiting at Cheim & Read.  As each of the paintings are made with vinyl, dispersion and dry pigment on canvas.  It may seems a bit like cheating to borrow for a title, but in many ways the dispersions of paint on these canvases make up these vibrantly expressive narratives that I find very beautiful.  In this piece, the position of the vinyl blue and white tape visually interrupts the overall horizontal composition but in such way that it sets a more vivid tone while supplementing the visual dynamic.  It looks almost as if floating in motion while the background supports the movement by fading in and out of different layers and shades of blue and yellow.  Coincidentally, a strip of red runs in from the opposite direction with opaque black paint to further emphasize a sense of displacement. 

The idea of displacement is actually the center theme of these works.  As Juan Uslé lives and works between Cantabria, Spain and New York city says (and I am extracting this information from the gallery press release): "I've always felt something strange, 'displaced', in the various places I've lived.  When we would go to my grandparents' town, I would watch the other children of my age and wonder "why do we - my family and me - not live there too?"  Perhaps it is also this similar and familiar feeling of displacement and "foreignness" that I personally identify with from having lived in different countries across the ocean and moving between different cities that I find these works so inviting. 
Now we shift from horizontal compositions to this the not-so-perfect circle with the blue and white tape interjecting while also seems to be trying to straighten out the curvaceous form visually.  What I enjoy about this piece is that when I am looking at this, it gives me a warm and happy feeling.  This could be because of the color palette of this piece is much more toned down and the dispersion of the pigment seems to be mixed in thinner consistency than the other ones I have seen, it presents the quality of a certain playfulness with suggestions of subtly uplifting moods.  By the way, the title of this piece is called I'M HOME and I have always felt that everything is 'gonna' be alright and sweet as far as I find home in one of these days. 

Lastly, I need your help interpreting this painting.  From the look of it, it has the most minimal painterly gesture than all the others I have just shown.  With just a strip of a gray vinyl tape painted over roughly using white paint and while juxtaposed only partially by the green-painted tape and bright red orange accenting its prominence, this piece looks the most sculptural to me out of all the other ones.  While I enjoy the intensity of the colors and the visual dominance of the painted vinyl, I can't help but wonder what has this all got to do with Albert Pinkham Ryder, the 19th century American painter (as this piece is titled TO A.P.R. (ALBERT PINKHAM RYDER))? From what I know, Ryder's paintings usually depict haunting scenes and turbulent images from biblical stories and other dramatic scenes.  But what I see here is that the gesture and mood is rather calm and not nearly as stormy and morbid as a ship struggling against a raging sea or a lifeless bird sleeping in the midst of a forgotten forest.  Juan Uslé: Desplazado (Displaced) is currently showing at Cheim & Read until May 7. 


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