A_Mesones by Antonio MesonesExhibition March 23rd - April 22nd 2006
Critics often start to describe the work of Antonio Mesones by enumerating what it is not, as if it would be better acknowledged in a negative sense. Certainly, there are significant elements of the pictorial tradition that have been eliminated (narrative, representation, meaning) in order to emphasize others (shape, colour, composition). However, contrary to what could be inferred at this point, his proposals are not purely formalistic. Despite the minimization of expressive means, there is more to his oevre than meets the eye. A static, floating figure emerges on the surface of each canvas as the centre of a frontal composition. But from this centre it projects itself forward, towards the viewer, in the form of emotions; while simultaneously pointing backwards, to its own past.
All this arises as the outcome of a quest, a generative process that is both planned and hazardous, and from which the artist leaves a visible trace. It is a form of painting that speaks about the very act of painting, of creating a picture, of capturing a feeling on a surface, with a material, and through time. Instead of being hidden in pursuit of other aims, this process is made evident by the slow, repetitive and meticulous brushstrokes that show the motion of the hand; the daily work of superposing one layer of paint over another, and covering it again with a new one. The most recently painted shapes conceal - either totally or partially - previous ones, illustrating a series of decisions and coincidences that are the history of the piece that we finally get to see.