Jose Luis Cena: NOWHERE

Mirus Gallery San Francisco is pleased to present the solo exhibition of Jose Luis Ceña, NOWHERE. Opening reception will be Friday, October 11th 7- 10 pm, and the exhibition is free and open to the public for viewing through November 9th, 2019.

About the Exhibition: “NOWHERE”

“The painting has a lot of intuition. That intuition is what gives you the magic, the soul, and it is what sets us apart. But only with intuition is not enough ... I have always defended painting as an intellectual process. There are paintings in which I think much longer than I paint.”- Jose Luis Ceña Ruiz 

So much of our life revolves around places we will never go and people we will never meet. Media has imagined a fantasy world in which we all willingly participate in— except painter Jose Luis Ceña Ruiz. Instead, he has become synonymous with his paintings, sacrificing his life to the art of seeing beyond the screens whose presence dominates our day-to-day experiences. His work echoes the sounds of the past molding a multiplicity of abstract forms into solitary moments. 

“NOWHERE”  is a collection of embers from the artist’s existence; his devotion to surpassing the finite. His hand is kinetic; the energy of his marks reverberate through our senses. Spontaneously born out of a studied understanding, these marks are the grounding evidence of tactile experiences that make up our lives. If only we pause long enough to listen, the static of the modern world falls into the background, behind the untamable immediacy of our senses.

“I end the day with the feeling of having been in so many places and lived so many things.” The clock of the modern world runs on hyper speed, and stepping out of the current can feel lonely. Like another traveler on an isolated road, Ceña Ruiz meets the viewer where they are. He offers up timeless counsel on the state of being alone, gleaned from the struggle of walking beyond where the path of culture ends, both everywhere, and nowhere. No matter where you come from, or where you are going, Ceña’s paintings mark a before and an after in the journey.

-Maia Jackson

About the Artist:

Jose Luis Ceña studied fine arts, engraving and graphic design in Madrid, which has allowed him to develop a universe of art that stands at the crossroads of various genres. His work, which varies between abstract and figurative art, can best be described as “abstract realism”. The two fundamental components of his work are colour and form, which he treats dynamically. The Spanish artist works constantly under the interaction of these two components and his creations vary between painting and photography. He seizes a moment, captures a fragment of a view, like a photographer, which then he retransmits with a paintbrush. His touch is dynamic, the colours create lively contrasts, reinforcing his mastery of the composition, the centre of which is always a human figure. This particular focus on the human figure, however, is quite unique because we never encounter any gaze, as though Jose Luis Ceña is seeking to portray the anonymity of emotion and the fleetingness of time ; he suspends a moment of time and then recreates it for us in a symphony of colors and forms. 

In a society where the visual image, whether desired or imposed, is all powerful, the artist builds his work around the scenes of daily life, even the most intimate: a young woman in a forest, a man stepping across the threshold of a door or sitting at a kitchen table, scenes which are usually described as the banality of life, but which the artist always treats with a generous amount of mystery – there we say abstraction – through the splashes of colour which are frenetically applied to the canvas. It is as though the artist was inviting the « viewer » to take part in the creation or at least to participate in its interpretation. These very personal compositions invite us to reflect deeply to extend the range of the possible, to explore our curiosity and develop our imaginative capacity. The artist and the viewer are united in an exchange of emotions and perceptions, which both collide and reinforce each other.

Jose Luis Ceña has created a very personal style in an artistic universe which crosses boundaries and creates intersections between different genres: photography, abstract painting, hyperrealist paint… His works have been added to some of the most prestigious private and museum collections (Spain, China, etc.).