Maisterravalbuena presents Jerónimo Elespe’s first exhibition at our gallery in Madrid.
With autobiographic and literary references as starting points, 19th century French Decadentism in particular, Elespe’s works function as subtle objects of experimentation on the physical limits of painting.
Through Elespe’s constant heed towards the 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, all act as metaphors of the creative process and the contradictions attached to the current act of painting.
Elespe’s interest on French Decadentism lays not only on its value as a literary movement, but also on its hidden contemporary transcendence. As in the late 19th century, Decadentism shows today’s paradox of the coincidence in time of a general feeling of decadence and alienation existing along 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 underground heirs in art, literature and music.
From a slow years-long accumulative process of addition and substraction, Jerónimo Elespe’s works play a role of both ambiguous and very personal abstract diaries. Becoming repositories of narratives created by the filter of memory, they analyze the capacity of painting as a recorder of reality and fiction.