The process in which Ricardo Morales-Hernández formulates his canvases is both intuitive and rigorous. The attention shown to a somewhat harsh array of materials melds readily with his fluid and lyrical strokes. The presented series of works float ambiguously through abstraction between a figure and landscape. The resulting images are emotionally jarring, but beautiful at once. Morales-Hernández’s questions of the rational, typical of historical landscape paintings, is married with a diverse range of material considerations. Terming the series “compost paintings”, the surfaces are layered and collaged with materials from his archives, dating from 2009 to the present, some of which were components of former, dismantled works, and some collected from the surrounding tropical environment. The substantial amount of layering results is a form of reverse archaeology constituting a “reflection of emotional and spiritual status, compressed as a summary”. This summary, memory made physical, is epitomized in the color blue, yet counterpointed by its source. The blue comes from construction chalk, used for snap lining, temporarily gridding out physical surfaces. The works coalesce in the absurdity of attempting to take architectonic measurements of emotional states.
Morales-Hernández’s omnivorous approach to materials and technique is an embodiment of the political and cultural status of the Puerto Rican colony, where crisis and often struggle manifest itself in the form of acquisition and survival. His musical graphism and botanical oriented drawings are almost fueled by his memories and the grammar of landscape, literally using sticks and stones, artist made charcoal, sand, stitches, collage, and construction chalk employed in additive and subtractive process mirroring the scalability of memory and sentiment.
Ricardo Morales-Hernández - This. The history of a lover blue as the sky never shy
East Hampton Shed, September 3 - October 3