José Horacio Martínez


«Río Arríba»


May 9 – June 30, 2018

In this new series entitled Río arriba [Upstream], Jose Horacio Martínez presents a selection of paintings and drawings. These new works of art by the artist raise a series of questions around chance and how it can be evidenced through painting, color and gesture.

Martínez’s paintings become maps that tell us about the powerful and contradictory relationship of the individual and its environment: a tragic relationship in permanent movement, where love and death take center stage, instead of a painful and rigid relationship, where there is no time to think about a future and where dispossession and resigned acceptance are a constant that leads us to look at ourselves as mute participants of a representation of our already fated sad and painful condition.

Through his paintings Martinez takes us through vibrant and intense colors, subtle drawings, stamps and calligraphy that are ordered before our eyes, leading to mysterious encounters that happen only when we approach them and let ourselves be seduced by them, while the hidden meaning of his pieces take us down paths that lead to invisible places.

Encountering these paintings replenishes our labyrinths with meaning and energy and we are pleased to discover that it is not only something we can see but also a place where tensions and unlikely dreams come together. Martínez’s painting is not a simple instrumental work thought of as a daily construction. Rather, it is based on daily events and it becomes thoughtful and hazardous as it expands on a surface, perhaps looking for a nonexistent exit that is nothing more than a promise.

José Horacio Martínez, together with Óscar Muñoz and Fernell Franco, is one of the most well-known contemporary artists of Valle del Cauca. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Fine Arts of Cali and in 1994 he received the first prize at the XXXV National Salon of Artists. In 1991 he was awarded the first prize of the V Regional Salon of Artists and in 1998 the first prize in the Colombian Painting of the 90s Salon, granted by the Inter-American Development Bank. In 2016 he presented his most recent works at Museo de la Tertulia in Cali in the exhibition Tratado sobre la insurrección de la pintura o El tercer lado del espejo. The exhibition Geografías de la Incertidumbre at the Museum of Modern Art in Barranquilla features his work from the last five years. In the thirty-first edition of the International Book Fair in Bogotá, Guillermo Vanegas Flórez presented the book Deshidratación episódica de los sedimentos 1989-1996, which revolves around Martinez’s career. His work is part of important institutional and private collections both in Colombia and abroad.