We are pleased to announce an exhibition of works from the 1960s and 70s by Argentinian artist Juan Carlos Stekelman. Stekelman has been painting for over fifty years, working always on paper in gouache and acrylic and, from around 1955 onwards, making small edition linocuts. Throughout his career, the artist has remained consistently faithful to the figurative in his oeuvre. His drawings, paintings and prints obsessively re-work the forms and expressions of both people and animals. These mysterious figures are created from dreams rather than recognizable models, embodying a psychological escape into another world of the imagination and often evoking both humour and horror in the same instant.
Stekelman was born in Argentina in 1936 and graduated from the Manuel Belgrano School of Arts, Buenos Aires in 1962. At this time he led an avant-garde reconsideration of art-pedagogy, alongside Julio Le Parc and other leading artists. He was editor of 'arte y palabra', an artist's journal, and also released publications with original artwork alongside writing by poets such as Renee Uset.
In 1963 he moved to New York where he lived, worked and exhibited for five years. At this stage, his practice was dominated by a black and white palette, in black ink, charcoal and pencil. In 1969 the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired one of his drawings titled Semaphor. In 1968 Stekelman moved to London. He continued painting and exhibiting, with shows in London, Oxford, Leicester and Brighton. During this period there is a development towards a fuller use of colour, a looser hand and a thicker, more expressive line. Since 1989 Stekelman has been living and working once again in Buenos Aires.
As Professor Dawn Ades says in her preface to the catalogue, to accompany his 2012 museum exhibition Juan Carlos Stekelman Early Works (1965-1975) at the The Frankendael Foundation Amsterdam, “Stekelman upends the conventions of portraiture, creating with his close-up heads and busts a striking array of idiosyncratic and sometimes recognisable characters. His work needs to be brought into critical debates about figurative expressionism of this period, but at the same time appreciated and understood for its unique, individual character.”
Works by the artist are included in the following permanent collections: Museum of Modern Art Buenos Aires, Argentina; Museum of Modern Art New York, USA; Museum of Modern Art Córdoba, Argentina; Museum of Modern Art Santa Fe, Argentina; Museum of Modern Art Asunción, Paraguay; National Museum Print Buenos Aires, Argentina; ESCALA - The Essex Collection of Art from Latin America, UK and The British Museum London, UK.
The exhibition will feature 25 works on paper from both Stekelman’s New York and London period. The exhibition is in collaboration with BALON - JD & Stuart Evans
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