José Hidalgo-Anastacio

Ponce+Robles, Madrid

By Álvaro de Benito Fernández | April 03, 2014

For someone interested in Latin American contemporary art it is always pleasant to fill in some of those gaps that the mental geography seems to have. Let’s be realistic: for some years ̶ too many ̶ and to date, it has been difficult to find that piece of the puzzle which, positioned on Bolivia and Ecuador, would complete the map.

José Hidalgo-Anastacio

For this reason, the first solo show featured outside his country by José Hidalgo-Anastacio (Guayaquil, Ecuador, 1986) is more than good news, because it helps to understand the reality of the artistic panorama in Ecuador more broadly and, in passing, it offers the world an interesting proposal whose point of departure lies in the relationship between painting and the different languages.

In Feel at Home/Sentirse en casa, the artist appeals to the translation between non figurative elements as part of the change in the reading of abstract expressionism, and to the gallery as a white, immaculate cube: the area where this transcription is executed. Working with both concepts gives rise to works which change their natural dimension: the painting is capable of jumping off the walls and turning into a three-dimensional leading actor, as is the case of Green gradient with green orange. This is part of the rendering of the translation, the same that his work exercises after the study of the units of measure that helped him, if not to understand, at least to express the longitude of a yard and to employ the equivalences as object of analysis to state that mentally abstract transposition in a figurative act in his Estudios de transmutación (Transmutation Studies). Or the language, a code equally convertible through phonetics, which with the help of on-line translators, is the essence of Lectura 1 Hablar una lengua ajena (Reading/Speaking a Foreign Language). This latter work closes a conceptual exhibition of huge maturity, both on account of the development and execution of the works it comprises and of the meticulous study it represents.