Max Gómez Canle: Fuera de Lugar

5 February - 19 March 2022
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Overview

Max Gómez Canle: Fuera de Lugar

curated by Natalia Malamute and Violeta Mollo

 

Fuera de Lugar

by Natalaia Malamute

 

The contradiction of landscape and geometry: small squares, walls, windows, pink- and earthy-orange-toned buildings reminiscent of 1960s work by the Mexican architect Luis Barragán occur in uninhabited landscapes. With the distance of the passerby, we come upon structures that displace, and not fully understanding what the place is, one notices a feeling of tropical humidity. The contrast happens anew with each painting, maintaining a sort of uniformity, a system, like a slightly reformable archetype, but with the same impact every time: we do not fully understand what place this is.

After that first contradiction, a new unforeseen circumstance further compounds the state of paranoia, perhaps contaminated by the energy of the times we navigate. The buildings that emerge along the way seem not to cast shadows. As though light had been cast upon them by a motionless, artificial Sun, a Sun that had permanently shone upon them squarely. Max Gómez Canle’s paintings create an experience akin to noticing a glitch in a video game: a well-functioning system will start firing out little indicators, unpredicted flashes that throw you off. But besides functioning as minor flaws discernible by an attentive viewer, they also include another contradiction. They can quickly convert into tricks, new windows that allow us to traverse different paths. And so I wonder whether time passes in these landscapes, strange as they are on account of their borderline quality,

or whether this is a property of buildings with the particular ability to hold time still, as if they belonged in a sci-fi movie that makes the unlikely possible.

At any rate, this is not the first time that natural landscapes seem like a trap to me. I find this to be partly an intrinsic quality: the sweet aroma of a flower that devours the fly that lands on it, brightly colored insects that turn out to be the most intriguing and poisonous ones, or endless white-sand beaches where one wrong step is all it takes for you to sink. Nature seemed able to understand its power of seduction and our feebleness, which will quickly lure us into those places.

It’s not just the landscape, the painting itself becomes mirrorism. Max Gómez Canle will sand down his paintings as if trying to figure out what they are built from. He will erase the lines, strip away matter and print, fictionalizing the passing of time. Once again, we do not completely understand what temporality corresponds to what we are witnessing. The small paintings, like relics from a fake archaeological find, become ubiquitous, omnipresent, at once giving off a sense of belonging to different periods and no period at all. By getting rid of their topography, the paintings reveal themselves purely as planar images. Perhaps it’s the desire of the gaze accustomed to the hyper-digital consumption of our times, but what was formerly clearly seen as a tree, a trail, a mountain, a geometric figure, starts to turn abstract and reemerge in the form of primary color blocks: reds, blues and greens that evolve into minute little squares. The painting pixelates, managing to reveal its minimal expression and at the same time converting into something new.

The moment of the glitch affords us solace in the belief of these places, and the fantasy gives us relief. Max Gómez Canle possesses the ability to build intriguing spaces of curiosity we would like to stroll through. Born of the dream of a wishful imagination, his landscapes transport us into places where there are bricks that build skies.