New York, 28 August 2013—Lehmann Maupin is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Angel Otero on view at 540 West 26th Street from 12 September – 2 November 2013. Otero’s second solo show at the gallery features a new group of sculptures made from steel and porcelain, two materials the artist began experimenting with in 2012. A selection of new abstract paintings will also be exhibited in tandem with the sculptures. The artist will be present for an opening reception on Thursday, 12 September from 6 to 8 PM.
Otero’s process-based approach to painting and sculpture is rooted in a dedication to experimentation and discovery within both his chosen materials and the artist’s own psyche. In his new body of sculptures, the artist combines two traditional and ubiquitous materials—steel and porcelain—and pushes their integration to unexpected, and often paradoxical, results. The final gate-like structures conjure feelings of security and protection while also evoking a delicate and precious nature. Beginning with familiar domestic materials, Otero exposes them to intense heat and incites a simultaneous action of destruction and creation as the materials meld together. Through this process, both the steel and porcelain take on new characteristics and together challenge the preconceptions and ideas classically associated with each material.
Otero’s experimental and spontaneous paintings are deeply informed by the history of art and recall the gestural work of Abstract Expressionists painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Through his investigational approach, Otero combines the traditional act of painting with his innovative creation of “oil skins,” produced by layering oil paint on glass and then peeling it off in “sheets” before transferring it to canvas. In all of his work, including the four new paintings on view, Otero pushes the medium by treating paint as a three-dimensional material with its own physical properties and textures. In addition to his physical relationship to the medium, Otero often calls upon personal narrative or memories as a starting point for his paintings. These initial references are then reworked, explored, and eventually hidden within layers of paint and obscured through the artist’s intensive process. The resulting paintings hint at an original reference, but like a memory, the image is no longer completely recognizable or tangible. The title of the exhibition, Gates of Horn and Ivory, references Greek literature and alludes to the divergence between the artist’s personal memories and how they are revealed through his work.
Angel Otero (b. 1981, Santurce, Puerto Rico) received both his MFA (2009) and BFA (2007) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois. Otero has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, including Angel Otero at the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina (2012-13), and Material Discovery at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, which subsequently traveled to the museum’s venue in Hong Kong. He has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, among them the 2013 Prague Biennial; Queens International 2012: Three Points Make a Triangle, Queens Museum, New York (2012); El Museo del Barrio’s 6th Bienal, The [S] Files, New York (2011); and Constellations, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2009). Otero is the recipient of the 2009 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Visual Arts and recently participated in the prestigious residency program at Anderson Ranch in Aspen, Colorado.
The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.