Jacob Lewis Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Javier Romero, on view January 13–February 18, 2017, with an opening reception Thursday, January 12, 6-8pm at 521 West 26th Street, 4th Floor.
Working largely on paper, Romero’s work explores the formal possibilities of abstraction and the hybrid territory between drawing and collage. In his most recent body of work, Sticks and Stones, the artist uses graphite on cut and collaged paper to yield warm, seductive geometric abstractions with subtle traces of process. The works serve as an investigation of density and lightness, positive and negative, void and volume, control and chaos.
Dense swaths of graphite carve negative space to reveal bold, iconic forms. The remaining shape serves as a backdrop for more delicate and atmospheric drawing gestures, both accidental and controlled, in a process that is equally about erasure as it is about mark making. Light becomes an important aspect in these works, as the metallic graphite continually shifts between reflective silver, luminous matte gray and flat black.
In spite of the numerous layers of graphite covering the dark cut outs, Romero doesn’t conceal his process. His hand is evident even in densest areas of the work. The contrast between dark shapes and lighter drawn and erased areas call to mind a sculptural bas relief or a rendering of an architectural detail. In the end, narrative is set aside in favor of a focus on labor and balance between forms.