Javier Chapa

Valencia, Spain

Abstraction and geometry—I’m not sure how they entered my work. Perhaps I was unconsciously reacting to my very stale academic fine arts education of the late 70s. So I chose the path of abstraction. In New York I saw the work of artists with whom I was already familiar from books, and I discovered others like Robert Motherwell and, in particular, Richard Diebenkorn, who had a powerful influence on my early steps as a painter. Since that time, I have covered a great many canvases, boards and papers with paint. Despite my growth as an artist, I continue to find it quite a challenge to discuss what I do.

From the outset, geometry—created with lines made of masking tape—brought order to my expressionist color fields. Smooth colored surfaces, achieved through wet sanding of acrylic paint, contrast with my more free and textured brushstrokes. Fundamental to an appreciation of my work—though very difficult to simulate on a monitor screen—is the experience of the materials that I use, both their poetry and their manner of use. The geometric elements and the way in which they are integrated into my paintings have always been quite simple. At times I have been tempted to impute to them a philosophical transcendence that they do not have or need.

The meeting of the rational and the emotional has always been a constant in my work. Making each painting is like an adventure in which these two opposite tendencies need one another; together, they play a primary role in an unending quest that must begin again and again with each painting.

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