Three years after his last solo exhibition in Tokyo, Roberto Mollá (Valencia, 1966) will show a new serie of drawings and paintings, with the title RED GRID, at the Kobo Chika Gallery in Shibuya.
The exhibition will be the continuation of the series of artworks that he exhibited, throughout 2006, in galleries such as Roberts & Tilton (Los Angeles), the Geoffrey Young Gallery at Great Barrington (Massachusetts) or the Kanazawa’s Art Center.
The title of the exhibition wants to emphasize the importance in these works of a drawing material, the graph paper, with which Roberto Mollá has been working for ten years, since he initiated, granted by the Marunuma Artists-Residence in Asaka, the Digital Heroes serie.
The references to nurbs and metaballs in previous drawings and paintings, are blended now with a flatter treatment, an increasing formal complexity and certain ornamental baroque style of Eastern inspiration, in which the allusions to the pop art, the constructivism and the geometric abstraction of Spanish painters such as Palazuelo or Barbadillo are constant.
Kobo Chika Gallery, 2-21-3, Ebisu. Shibuya - ku. Tokio 150 - 0013
Exhibition opening. Rintaro, Anu and the 6 povestei legkikh kontsakh serie. Barbadillo Teddy Toy. Oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm. 2007
NEW YORK – April 22, 2011 – CHRISTINA RAY is pleased to present Ricochet, the gallery’s second solo exhibition for Valencia, Spain-based artist Roberto Mollá. A new series of paintings, marking the first major presentation in the US of the artist's works on canvas, will be exhibited alongside large-scale drawings on graph paper. The exhibition opens on May 12th and runs through June 12th. A reception will be held on Thursday, May 12th, 7–9pm at CHRISTINA RAY, located at 30 Grand Street, New York.
Mollá's vibrant and lyrical lines express his constant search for the perfect balance between organic and geometric forms. In a new body of work, Mollá pushes his dynamic structures to the extreme in abstract, geometric compositions with a tightly limited color palette of grey and black. Of major influence for the artist in this series is early 20th century American graphic designer Edward McKnight Kauffer, best known for his posters for the London Underground. Mollá's clusters of intersecting triangles, inspired by Kauffer, operate as abstract explosions or, as the artist describes them, "vorticist blasts."
Roberto Mollá. Dear Kauffer (1 & 2). 2011
Mollá deftly remixes historical iconography in his work to create a style uniquely his own. Sharp, futuristic lines cut straight through playfully narrative shapes and forms reminiscent of classic cartoon characters, taking on curves as they warp the picture plane. In an article for Whitewall Magazine, writer Lily Alexander illuminated this concept of warping in the artist's work: “Time is flexible in Mollá’s work, and different time periods and styles exist simultaneously. We enter the graph as a multi-dimensional world – which allows our minds to grasp what time might look like if it is layered rather than linear, or how space might appear if dimensions existed one upon the other.”
Mollá's stylistic endeavor creates a polarizing effect - an almost magnetic push-pull sensibility. As artist Shepard Fairey, a collector of Mollá's work, has written, “the tension between all these elements is fascinating. At a glance they are graphically powerful, but then they also have this meticulous subtlety which is just beautiful.”
For the artist, "Paradoxically the drawing process has been more playful because I worked on most of the drawings without a previous sketch, drawing lines automatically, lines that collide and ricochet off the paper's edge. The collection also includes six small acrylic paintings - this is also a change of medium from my usual oils and I see the work becoming more flat and matte. So the work as a whole is a kind of ricochet, or change of direction."â€¨
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 12, 7–9pm
Exhibition Dates: May 12–June 12, 2011
Location: 30 Grand Street, Ground Floor . Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6pm
Directions: A/C/E to Canal Street or 1 to Canal Street; gallery is located between Thompson Street and 6th Avenue.
Roberto Mollá. Katsura. 2011