Vito Schnabel Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with noted Spanish artist Jorge Galindo. Debuting a jubilant new suite of monumental flower paintings, Jorge Galindo: Verbena continues the artist’s ongoing exploration of flora and its representation in art across centuries and genres. Titled after the small, wild vervain plant characteristic of the artist’s hometown of Madrid, Galindo’s flowers simultaneously nod to the popular Spanish street celebrations of summer– the verbenas of Spain’s capital city reinvigorate centuries-old traditions through contemporary reinterpretation. These beloved festivities, often associated with a patron saint, draw a bazaar of food and drink and occasion open-air dancing, with music coursing through neighborhoods and infusing the evening’s urban bustle with a gleeful, carnival spirit. Employing a vivacious palette, Galindo’s ebullient new painted bouquets burst through their frames, exploding with color beyond the antique wallpaper borders that surround them.
Opening September 10, Jorge Galindo: Verbena will be on view through October 22, 2022 at the gallery’s 455 West 19th Street location. Galindo’s many collaborations with Vito Schnabel date back to Incubator, the gallery’s inaugural group exhibition in 2003, and more recently included the two-person exhibition Jorge Galindo and Julian Schnabel: Flower Paintings in 2021.
Jorge Galindo is one of the leading Spanish painters of his generation. His immense canvases, brimming with gesture and bold splashes of saturated color, emphasize the expressionistic qualities of his highly physical painterly process. Often adding support elements to his canvas in the form of magazines, vinyl, wallpaper, and postcards superimposed via cuttings, Galindo uses pictorial space as a field for intervention, a site for creating oddity, juxtaposition, or abstraction, and activating the image through the addition of matter in the form of paint. In his early career, Galindo established a practice based in collage and photomontage, techniques he subsequently synthesized into the distinctive visual language of his oeuvre. In the exhibition Verbena, Galindo’s presents new works created between 2021 and 2022, using both printed materials and paint. Incorporating strips of stylized floral patterns and ornamental motifs from sourced and scavenged wallpaper designs, the artist has embellished his canvases with decorative borders of printed floral imagery before marking the surface with his brush.
Since the early 1990s, Galindo has collected salvaged print materials — a habit inspired by visits to Madrid’s flea markets during his childhood — that range from old books, magazines, and records to vintage postcards, which he has employed as cut-outs in his collages, superimposed on his canvas, or used as preparatory studies for his paintings. He has long been attracted to the tactile material quality of paper and the possibilities it offers in dialogue with paint and gesture: either to impart figuration in an abstract canvas or abstract the figurative body in an image. His earliest works were inspired by the Dadaists, notably Kurt Schwitters and Francis Picabia, as well as Picasso’s compositions in papiers collés. Throughout the three decades of his practice, Galindo’s penchant for collecting elements from his everyday environment have manifested as part of the intrinsic framework of his adroit pictorial style.
The new suite of large-scale canvases in Verbena boast a pictorial immediacy and artistic maturation in Galindo’s exploration of the floral motif. Employing rolls of wallpaper that the artist sourced from secondhand shops, markets, and antique stores, these works fuse the ornamental character of antique floral designs with the artist’s signature heady, explosive, saturated blooms. Teeming with vitality and riotous color, Olor de Noviembre (Smell of November), 2021, depicts an entanglement of foliage and stems, as if each bursting blossom was freshly-picked and gathered from a wild and vibrant abundance. The arrangement is lush and profuse, so much so that the petals Galindo renders in paint push beyond the decorative border that surrounds them.
Creating a framing device that simultaneously accentuates his eruptive blooms and draws attention to itself, Galindo layers cut strips of wallpaper pasted along the edge of his canvas. The highly ornamental, decorative style of the wallpaper stands in stark contrast to the loose, unrestrained gestural brushwork of the artist’s hand.
Galindo’s latest compositions on view in Verbena hint at his first flowers, which that emerged from street posters and billboards he layered on canvas in 2009. In recent years, Galindo returned to the subject in a collaboration with renowned Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar; Galindo combined elements of painting, photography, and collage when he enlarged a series of Almodóvar’s still life photographs as the ground for new paintings that the duo realized together. In another series of ‘Postcard Paintings’, Galindo silk- screened vintage florals on his canvas before overpainting the compositions in layers of undulating swaths of color. Continuing to explore and manipulate the illusionary artifice of ‘old floral imagery’, Galindo joyfully animates the still life motif and genre of flower painting to the realm of gestural abstraction.
About the artist
Jorge Galindo was born in 1965 in Madrid, Spain. Trained in the workshops of the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, his artistic oeuvre spans more than three decades.
Galindo’s work has been exhibited internationally including at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; the Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, and The Hall Art Foundation Schloss Derneberg, Germany.
Galindo lives and works in Porto, Portugal, and Borox, Toledo, Spain.