Peres Projects is pleased to present Misterios inscritos en tela, Paolo Salvador’s (b. 1990 in Lima, PE) fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, and his first at our Seoul gallery. In his analysis of Francis Bacon’s Figures, Gilles Deleuze pondered one of the perennial questions in postmodern painting: how does one make invisible forces visible? In the case of Lima-born and Berlin-based artist Paolo Salvador, the answer lies in the depiction of sensuous and esoteric realms that are imbued with affective resonance. Using a reduced visual lexicon and harmonious composition, the limitless forces of Nature, culture, and memory become manifest. The works represent not only a continuous exploration of the past, both personal and historical, but also innermost reflections on the human condition-vividly demonstrating that to paint is to simultaneously engage with the world at large, with the canon of Western art, and with one’s own history.
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In this new series of works, Salvador introduces the triptych as a novel configuration in his practice. The three paintings lack a linear progression or narrative framework-instead, they are connected through an identical color scheme tied to a circular organisation. Each one embodies a rhythm that is in turn closely tied to the Amazonian understanding of time as both cyclical and holistic. Through this format, the force of eternal time is made visible. In the central panel, the human form peers beyond the boundaries of the frame, directing their vision towards something that also exerts a gravitational pull on the prominent feline form. This gaze outward, a reference to the very act of seeing, is recurrent in Salvador’s painting. In an enigmatic vertical work, a solitary human figure in the centre of an endless expanse of blue likewise directs their look beyond the confines of the frame, this time directly confronting the spectator. In this way, we as viewers are made aware of our own vision-we are engaging in an active process of interpretation. Crucially, the gaze here alludes to the metaphysical equivalent of seeing, perceiving or knowing. Herein lies one of the guiding principles of the artist’s practice, indeed, of his life.
Ultimately, Salvador’s art hinges on the same universal themes and ideas that connect the pre-colonial subject to modern thinkers, the Andean cosmovision to natural science, and the Western tradition of painting to contemporary art practices. Through recurrences, his work can be said to exist within a continuum, outside teleological time; like the artist’s own identity, it morphs and expands, continually revisiting and uncovering its past in an ongoing exercise of remembering.
Text by Julia Tavares Grünberg