About the Exhibit - The Fortune of Having Been There
Angel Otero’s exhibit, The Fortune of Having Been There, is on view at Lehmann Maupin’s 24th street location in New York from January 28th - March 27th, 2021.
The exhibit features a combination of Otero’s signature style of creating paint skins that he collages onto canvas (see description of the process below) with the traditional style of painting on canvas. I personally am loving this combination, you get all of the incredible texture, but recognizable objects as well.
“The works featured in The Fortune of Having Been There foreground images drawn from Otero’s memories of his childhood combined with art historical references, all while maintaining the artist’s signature process and abstract style.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source)
Otero was born in Puerto Rico and this exhibit features memories from his childhood there, specifically his grandmother’s home.
“In The Fortune of Having Been There, depictions of items tied to childhood memories (particularly of the furniture from Otero’s grandmother's home in Puerto Rico) are combined with art historical influences that range from Pierre Bonnard’s interiors, to Joan Mitchell’s vibrant palette, to Georges Braque’s use of fragmented and fractured space.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source)
It wouldn’t be an exhibit in 2021 if there wasn’t some reference to the pandemic, so sure enough Otero references the shortage of toilet paper experienced at the beginning of the outbreak.
“There are two rolls of toilet paper on the couch; one sits on the couch’s back and the second has rolled to the floor, leaving a trail of paper draped over its front. The toilet paper adds a layer of domesticity that is oddly out of place, while also subtly nodding to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source)
The thing I love most about this exhibit, and probably what I love most about abstract expressionism in general is that by having objects that the viewer can feel familiar with or a connection to, the painting becomes more about just the artist’s experiences and about the viewer’s experiences as well.
“Ultimately, Otero’s desire to expand his understanding and relationship to painting within a contemporary context drives his exploration of the liminal space between representation and abstraction, offering the viewer the space to explore their own relationship to history, memory, and the depths of the subconscious” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source)
Video fo the Exhibit
To see a walkthrough of the exhibit, skip ahead to 2:39 in the video below. About the Artist - Angel Otero
About the Artist - Angel Otero
Angel Otero was born in Puerto Rico and lives and works in Chicago and Brooklyn. He received his MFA and his BA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
“Angel Otero is best known for his process- based paintings, collages, and sculptural works that venerate the inherent qualities of his material of choice, oil paint.” - Lehmann Maupin Gallery (source)
Angel Otero has an incredibly unique process for creating his works where applies oil painting on glass and then scrapes the paint off to create a ‘skin.’ He then applies these skins to the canvas. So almost collages his paintings. In these newer works (like in this exhibit) he combines the paint skins with the traditional method of painting on canvas.