Heather Guertin & Leonel Salguero at Siembra | kurimanzutto
The practice of Heather Guertin (Worcester, Massachusetts, 1981) is grounded in painting but has included performance, writing and humor, all of which engage in the relationship between observation and imaginative expression. Her current paintings, developed from these ways of working, express the openness of painting as a formal practice. Through her approach she achieves an autonomous physicality rendering the paintings into psychological and imaginative works. Her paintings contain a diverse variety of mark- making and reference a wide-ranging personal collection of visual subject matter. She uses abstraction as a passageway to better understand form. Each translation from image to paint is a subjective decision that ties different fragments of imagery together and transforms it into a new whole. Through this process, the painting finds its own logic, making it impossible to locate the original source. This combination of observation and invention results in a tension between illusionistic space and the flatness of pure color.
On the other hand, the work of Leonel Salguero (Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, 1989) is concerned with the tension and erosion between the ordinary and the unexpected, as well as the life of everyday objects. The simplicity of his execution and composition, along with his humorous and minimal approach to painting, drawing and sculpture, often results in a depiction of improbable and uncanny landscapes, characters and objects that are common and familiar, yet unique and highly emotional but subtle, often attributing anthropomorphic characteristics to things such as animals, tools, household items, vegetables, fruits and toys. This particular body of work focuses on the state of things when there is no purpose, only meaning; those moments in which there is nothing to do but be, completely disarticulating the functionality of objects in a play between time, work and leisure. Humanoid moments and tableaus that evoke phantasmagoric presences and that in terms of composition are closer to portraits than landscapes, in which the subjects/objects occupy a central stage. Among these are several tools found in Salguero’s studio situated in imaginary spaces and different stages of rest, relaxation or vacation. The hardness of metal and wood softens at the presence of sunlight and the absence of effort and work. An easter bunny offers an egg instead of hiding it; the eggplant faces an uncertain future and at the center, the sculptures simultaneously become space and subject; a towel, a clam, shrimp and lemons, a cuasi triumphal moment of enjoyment, joy and reward.