Maisterravalbuena presents Jerónimo Elespe’s first exhibition in our gallery in Madrid.
With autobiographic and literary references as starting points, specially the French Decacentism from the last years of the 19th century, Elespe’s works show subtle objects which he uses to experiment with the limits of painting.
Due to Elespe’s constant heed towards all that is artificial, linked to his long-time interest in Joris-Karl Huysmans novel À Rebours, his works come up from subtly delimited spaces. Interior rooms, homes, the artist’s studio, the idea of a garden as a place representing a cycle of failure and success, etc…, act as metaphors of the creating process and the contradictions attached to the current act of painting.
The French Decadentism is interesting not only for its value as a literary movement, but also for its sometimes hidden contemporary transcendence. As a precursor mirror, like in the 19th century, it shows the paradox of the coincidence in time of a general feeling of decadence and alienation together with an advanced technological development. The choice of painting as both a shelter and a problem, and Elespe’s interest in sophisticatedly anachronistic pictorial techniques and languages- used as subversive tools- is reflected in the Decadentists’ attitude and their 20th-century-to-nowadays underground heirs in art, literature and music.
From a slow years-long accumulative process of addition and reduction, Jerónimo Elespe’s works play a role of both ambiguous and very personal abstract diaries. They become repositories of narratives created by the filter of memory that analyze the capacity of painting as a recorder of reality and fiction.