Galleria Continua presents José Antonio Suárez Londoño’s first solo exhibition in Italy in its exhibition spaces in San Gimignano. The project provides a comprehensive view of the Colombian artist’s work: an itinerary that includes drawings, notebooks, and etchings, starting from the works of the early 80’s up to those created over the past year.
Since the very beginning, Suárez Londoño has used traditional media such as watercolour, pencil and ink for his drawings, and etching; in the Eighties, he produced his first rubber stamps that he still uses in his prints, thus enriching them with an alphabet of very personal images. For the artist, drawing is a daily activity regulated by discipline, and requiring rigour, concentration, solitude and silence. He describes it as “Hacer siempre lo mismo y siempre hacerlo distinto” (always doing the same thing, always doing it differently). Drawing is a practice that allows him to know the world, to represent it and to establish a relationship with it.
José Antonio Suárez Londoño favours the intimate format of notebooks. In any case, his works never exceed the size of an A4 sheet. In 1997, he completed his first notebook and dedicated it to a book by Brian Eno, A Year with Swollen Appendices. Every day for an entire year, Suárez Londoño made a drawing and translated into images the diary of the British musician and composer. Year after year, this was followed by other notebooks dedicated to the most diverse personages: from Paul Klee, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Van Rijin to Rainer Maria Rilke and Rimbaud, from Patty Smith to actor and playwright Sam Shepard, from Catalan philosopher Raimundo Pániker to W.G. Selbald and many writers of the Beat Generation. Invited in 2013 by Massimiliano Gioni to take part in the 55th Venice Biennale, the artist introduced himself for the first time to the Italian public with a series of drawings dedicated to Franz Kafka’s diaries.
José Antonio Suárez Londoño’s rich artistic production can only be classified based on the comprehensiveness, persistence and intimacy of his drawings. Books, objects, daily situations, songs, news, popular phrases, art history and press images provide the inspiration that underpins his works, which can also be read as personal diaries where the language fluctuates between image and text.