Espacio Distrito Cu4tro opens its new gallery at Conde de Xiquena, 9 with work by Antonio Mesones (Torrelavega 1965). The artist, who at present lives and works in Berlin, was trained in Fine Art in the University of the Basque Country and later in Lisbon (Erasmus), the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, (a Marcelino Botin scholarship) and Berlin ( a grant from the Cantabrian government). Recently he has had one man shows in Invaliden 1 Galerie, Berlin (2006), Santander’s Palacete del Embarcadero (2004) and group shows like Art Forum, and again Invaliden 1 in Berlin (2006) as well as in the art foundation of Marcelino Botin (2005). He has taken part in ARCO on various occasions.
Antonio Mesones’ painting is quiet, tranquil and poetic. To describe his work one has to start by saying what it is not: there are elements characteristic of the pictorial tradition, such as narration, representation or meaning, which have been taken out in order to make way for others, like form, colour, composition, which does not mean a concession to formalism, however. In spite of very slight use of the media of expression, the work is more than what you see. On the surface of each canvas there emerges a figure, static and floating, the centre of the composition. From this centre the figure comes towards you, the spectator, while seeming to project back, towards its own past. The process is clarified by the brushstrokes showing a movement in stasis, repetitive and meticulous, the daily work of imposing one layer of paint upon another, covering each new one again and again. The human eye is bound to pick up visual references while contemplating the paintings in their dreamlike existence. So on each canvas there appears to have developed a type of living creature whose current existence is the only one we can really perceive. The waving shapes resemble unicellular beings or organic textures magnified several times through a lens. The shapes in the foreground conceal, wholly or partially, other forms behind. In some cases the edges of the succeeding layers form a coloured outline for the final figure. In others this figure is composed of a great stain which almost conceals all the work behind it. At times the final figure appears to vibrate or protrude from the flat surface because of a deliberate optical effect.
Those familiar with the work of Mesones will see in these latest pieces how coherent his development has been. Whereas those who see his work here for the first time will enjoy relaxing in the immediate emotions conjured up by these diverse compositions with their wide colour palette.