Terencio Gonzalez @ Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, Paris

Chroniques d’un été

«Are you happy?»

During the summer of 1960, Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch make the film Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of a Summer), in which they ask this question to passers-by, family members… An unprecedented statement of France in the 60’s but also a work in progress about happiness, the frivolity of holidays in Saint- Tropez, images of Paris in August, and the idea of French New Wave’s certain freedom. Terencio González is a visual artist – driven by the spirits of Rauschenberg, Basquiat, Baselitz and most of all the American Richard Diebenkorn and his series Ocean Park -. He is also a reader, a viewer; he knows that literature, cinema, and painting all share a common ability to seize the world. He likes to forge links. By using Chronicles of a Summer as the generic title for his exhibition, he pays tribute to both filmmakers who often worked sideways. This is an important clue to his work, in the gap built by the specific poetry found in his painting, and an original set up.

Because Terencio is an investigator. He knows how to enjoy every situation he is in: he makes the most of Jean- Michel Alberola’s studio, where he studies at the National School of Beaux-Arts in Paris. There, he learns a lot, how to react to the world, to pay attention to detail and to meet with popular subjects. Simultaneously, he decides to awaken his Argentinian origins, his father’s land, where he often stays. There he collects backgrounds of posters made of cheap paper with a specific format, used in Buenos Aires to advertise political messages, concerts or parties.

As soon as 2013, Terencio applies on canvas a rich semiotic display from these posters thence increases the implication of forms and colors. His quest is a neat, extremely legible writing, which he uses to define a horizon or to animate the background. This series seems very simple, abnegating contrasts to the set of plans and becoming an abstract blueprint, restricted to only lines of force. But colors make the difference. Numerous, manifest, powerful and vibrating colors like an iridescent arch. With such a composition and conception, the works are rigorous and spare, but explicit with a tension that sometimes reveals some prints of lead letters vocabulary.

However, nothing is fixed. Responding to the colored grid, a white neutral space on the lower part of the canvas, some horizontal sprayed ribs with the same primary colors. Terencio González lets the color define the final outline of the work. Far from all imitation (even built), of a pre-existing form, the canvas plays with acting; it shows an immediate and dormant presence to the material.

In Terencio González’s work, what is disowned or rather integrated is clearly mentioned: the Quattrocento’s perspective code order, the evocation of a Cezanne-style perspective and its breach. However, the painting’s silence is not a place of no-freedom. On the contrary, the artist brightens our eye and sharpens it. Since the beginning, he devotes himself to the pointless activity of trying to render what nature can do so perfectly, while avoiding all pattern or formal arrangement. If he puts aside all representation, he remains truthful to the frame and pushes the viewer to perceive reality as illusory.

In Chroniques d’un été, Terencio González plays on the same formal and polychrome register. He uses again, with even more mastery, the posters backgrounds, whose very fine and nearly transparent paper allows vertical combinations and superposition. He endeavours to the idea of movement in his paintings: every element is in a constant mutation. It never is a finished structure, which holds the eye and let it rest, but almost a series of imbalance and ruptures, which overcome our perception. All depth is brought back to the surface while the margins and edges give the painting a frame, often in an unstable condition or almost about to be erased, to constrain it better. Observing the empty zone around the material, uniting in tension the distance and the closeness, Terencio González does not fear to rebuild time with a hallucinatory aspect added by the work done on the material. He then writes a partition between the real and the imaginary, an unusual odyssey of sensations. With color as an independent source of forms, he offers an abstract image of a specific world that he builds up rather than he endures.

In spite of his young experience, Terencio González has acquired great maturity and his works show a deep and strong unity. A stunning mark of abstract experience comes out of his paintings, a radiance where movement seem to restrain itself in immobility. We could talk about reification if there was not in his works a sense of empathy, which obviously concerns humanity. By constantly and proudly asserting his taste for painting, light and sublime, he is for me one of the most imaginative artists of his generation.

Françoise Docquiert

Terencio González lives and works in Paris. After some short studies in Economics, painting quickly catches up with him and he enters the National School of Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2013 in Jean-Michel Alberola’s studio. He holds his degree in 2015. Terencio González is represented in Paris by the gallery Jérôme Pauchant.

© Terencio Gonzalez. Courtesy Galerie Jérôme Pauchant, Paris
Photos : Romain Darnaud.


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