Kohn Gallery is pleased to announce Gonzalo Lebrija’s first solo exhibition with the gallery opening January 19th and on view through March 2019. The exhibition spans all three exhibition spaces in the gallery and comprises nine new paintings, a new sculptural work and a film installation being shown in the United States for the first time, concurrently on view at Museo Tamayo in Mexico City.
Gonzalo Lebrija is one of the most celebrated artists working in Mexico today who has exhibited extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. Lebrija’s multi-media approach toward art making has become highly regarded in his ability to simultaneously employ painting, photography, film and sculpture, combined often into one exhibition or series of work. At Kohn Gallery, the artist will present a group of nine new paintings on linen, entitled Veladruas (Veils), while in Gallery 2, Lebrija will present a single, dramatic sculpture of a Bic lighter with an unceasing, eternal flame. Gallery 3 houses an installation of Lebrija’s film, Via Láctea, exploring the fluid shapes and forms of tobacco smoke while exposing underlying social and political relationships related to smoking.
Sharing the language of Mexico’s contemporary art scene, Lebrija brings a strong conceptual and poetic character to his oeuvre. In his Veladuras (Veils), paintings depict triangular overlays of thinly applied oil paint, becoming darker and more complex as each layer interacts with the other. What appears to be a simple, elegant geometric abstraction is actually a complex composition based upon the folds of a paper airplane, alluding to the lightness, ingenuity and ephemerality of this invention. By extension, the viewer can sense an existential philosophy in Lebrija’s subtle and immensely beautiful abstract paintings.
In sculpture, Lebrija is equally sensitive in the depth of his metaphors and subject matter. The new three dimensional work he has created for this show is a poignant play on the eternal flame. Part of a recurring theme with Lebrija’s work, his subject matter spans two different dimensions– first, of a poetic nature and its connection to the contemporaneous, and secondly, the philosophical meaning in relation to the greater human experience.
Gonzalo Lebrija was first featured at Kohn Gallery in the group exhibition Chingaderas Sofisticadas in 2017 as part of the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative, focusing on linkages in the art communities between Los Angeles and Latin America.
Born in Mexico City, Mexico, 1972
Lives and works in Guadalajara, Mexico
Gonzalo Lebrija has been working for some time on the aesthetic experience of frozen instant. His work is in the poetical field of conceptual perpective, always as a witness of the passage of time as the moment that elapses between life and death.
Gonzalo Lebrija was co-founder and co-director of OPA, Oficina de Proyecto de Arte in Guadalajara, Mexico.