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at RE Gallery + studio opens january 4 // 6-9pm
by Todd Camplin
The Cedars neighborhood has a history of visual art outposts that have cropped up and made
south of I30 an interesting place to visit. RE gallery + studio has converted an old shotgun style
house into a rustic and intimate space that is inviting, and tonight they open with new works of
the prolific, colorful artist Ricardo Paniagua.
|I say these are experiments, because any number of Paniagua’s 34, 7 inch by 10 inch pieces
could be a new direction for the next few years. If you are familiar with his past work, he is
known for splashy large paintings that use hard edge monumental and minimal images
that accompany a kind of action painting background. His cube sculptures have been
popping up in different group shows too. These works are also hard edge and are musings
on cube forms and geometric relationships. A little HJ Bott, a little MADI and plenty of
Paniagua, these works were really quite formal. But those ideas seem to have only crept
into some of these small works at RE gallery. The surface has become Paniagua’s muse,
and geometry is incidental. Hills and valleys of texture are created through his process,
and his painting is a reaction to the process. He is attempting to create an object/painting
that looks like it is wrapped in an animal skin or a topographical map surface. One piece
reminds me of the tin foil wrapper over a frozen food dinner. I think his method of mounting
the resin to another material makes these works more related to paintings. Maybe a more
seamless transition from mount to resin would strengthen his objective to expand the
conversation on the object/painting subject.
|Ricardo Paniagua has taken all kinds of risks in these works. Some, I imagine, will not lead very
far in his future work, but many will become his transitional pieces that will inform all new
bodies of work. RE gallery will be the place to be Friday night and I believe Paniague will
continue to surprise us with these new artistic developments. Ricardo Paniagua’s show
“Champ” opens tonight and goes through February 1st.
|When I came to the gallery Thursday, Paniagua was installing the show. Each work was still
packed up and lying on the floor. As he unpacked each piece, I felt like I was having a
second Christmas. Though this was a series of work, each was like a little experiment. The
premise to each piece was that he used resin that was pressed with various types of tin
foil to create patterns and textures. Most of the art work was mounted on thick particle
wood material. Some were painted, others were just pure color resin, and I recall one
wasn’t even mounted. The treatment of the surface ranged from pieces with caked
on paint to art works using smooth transition of colors. When Paniagua hung the pieces
on the wall, a few of them glowed around the edges from the flamboyant paint he used.