For immediate release
March 14 – April 11
On March 14, Luhring Augustine will open a solo exhibition of Argentinean painter Julian Trigo. The show will include approximately ten large recent canvases.
Since his last solo show at Luhring Augustine in 1995, the 33 year old artist has continued his exploration of human psychology and identity rooted in childhood. Trigo depicts children at play with their own bodies and their surroundings. Previously, he located charcoal traced figures in a minimal monochromatic ground. The new work produced over the past year that will make up this show marks a technical departure in its use of oil and pastel on canvas. Trigo uses these materials to elaborate more complex settings for single children isolated in outdoor or nursery backgrounds. The structural and thematic apparatus supplied by mysterious toys in his earlier work has given way to organic surroundings that envelop the children in a rich accumulation of material and atmosphere. Perhaps as a result of their new environment, his previously somnolent figures have opened their eyes. The inhabitants of these recent paintings have awakened into a strange new state of awareness that draws us even more palpably into their bizarre yet somehow familiar domain.
Julian Trigo's painting has a unique power to thrust us back into childhood, summoning physical memories of self-discovery. His distortion of children's bodies, swiveling the lower half of a torso from back to front, inflating a foot, bending limbs like rubber tubing, has a profoundly phenomenological effect. Picasso-like, Trigo paints the human body from the inside out. We experience the unlikely postures and gestures of his subjects from within our own physical imagination. His manipulation of anatomy is highly knowing, and yet the effects are carried out with harmony and playfulness. The subject of his characters' activities is enigmatic, recalling the secret games, private rituals, and dreamy reveries of backyards and nurseries. The scenes developed in his canvases are acted out according to the logic of playing doctor, in naive self-examination, sometimes approaching auto-molestation. Julian Trigo's painterly investigation of the secret and solitary cults of childplay provides a stirring model for the activity of the painter at the end of the 20th century. He has deprived his child-figures of their toys, isolating them with their own bodies and psychology, and forcing their eyes open.