Past Exhibition: March 6, 2020 — March 28, 2020
Fernando Andrade – Transition: Line and Color
Fernando Andrade (b. 1987) was born in the border town of Acuña, MX, and relocated to San Antonio, TX, at the age of seven. As an artist, Andrade works in two distinct bodies of work: representational drawings and abstract paintings. In his drawings, simple narratives are created by using figures and objects to explore current sociopolitical events or personal family stories, as portrayed in the series La Patria.
In contrast, his abstract paintings are improvised and organic colorful compositions. He views the process as therapeutic, allowing himself to imagine space, arrangement, and rhythmic affinities, which to him celebrate life itself.
Transitions: Line and Color was inspired by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, and the theory that “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” In this exhibition, Andrade shares his process with the viewer, giving a glimpse of the conversations that take place in his daily studio practice. As Andrade explains,
I believe that doubt is always in the back of our minds; one can argue more so in the creative process. Sometimes it is just a matter of putting the pieces together and working through a set of problems. I’m interested in letting the subconscious lead to concepts that will fully evolve in time.
Being open to working with colorful abstract paintings, graphite on spam mail envelopes, or even stitching on paper help Andrade discover and explore new concepts but, most importantly, stay actively connected to what he values most, the freedom to create.
Andrade was a recent recipient of the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures individual artist grant in 2018. He has exhibited his work in numerous group and solo shows locally and nationally including exhibitions at (Solo) Peter’s Project Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; (Solo) Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio, TX; (Group) Meadows Museum of Art, Shreveport, LA; (Group) Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX. Andrade has attended residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, and Eleverte Community Studio in Chicago, IL.
Joe Peña – The Last Stop: Nightscape Series
Joe Peña (b. 1971) was born in Laredo and raised in Corpus Christi, TX, where he received his MFA from Texas A&M University (TAMUCC) in 2005. In 2011, Peña returned to TAMUCC as the Associate Professor of Art with a concentration in Painting. Peña’s work explores elements of ethnic identity, including aspects of cultural, familial, and social notions relating to his Mexican heritage. The subject matter, portrayed through various aspects of still life, portraiture, and urban nightscapes, is a further reference and exploration into personal narratives and traditional and contemporary Mexican customs.
The Last Stop: Nightscape Series could be viewed as an extension of Peña’s string of raw meat paintings that included lengua, tripas, and mollejas that he associates with his Mexican culture and upbringing. This latest series of paintings began with a late-night visit to a local food truck that he often frequents. It’s these comforts of home that bring out the best in Peña, the humble meat cuts, South Texas home cooking, and the unassuming food trucks and restaurants that light the way home.
The streetlight that generally illuminated the area was out of order, and the only light visible was the glow coming from inside the truck. While not necessarily unusual in itself, from a distance, this view gave the truck the appearance of it almost hovering in the rich black emptiness of space. It was a mysterious and surreal scene and began an exploration of the use of urban nightscapes as a metaphor for the idea of home as a sense of place, not just a physical location.
Peña’s work has been featured in numerous print and online publications including Chicanitas: Small Paintings from the Cheech Marin Collection, Los Tejanos: Chicano Art from the Collection of Cheech Marin, Guitar Aficionado, Texas Monthly, The Austin American Statesman, and ArtScope New England, and Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Selected collections include the Cheech Marin Collection of Art, Los Angeles, CA, James Hutson, Los Angeles, CA, and La Universidad de Oaxaca, Oaxaca City, Mexico.