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Marc Straus Gallery
Dueña de Luna, 2020
Oil, gold leaf and acrylic on linen mounted on panel
Verso in marker
86.88 x 80.75 x 4 in.


Artist to gallery

Omar Rodriguez-Graham’s work is the result of an ongoing exploration to find the meeting point between the recognizable and the abstract. His work begins with the use of recognizable images from historic Renaissance paintings as an armature to place marks.

In a carefully planned process, Rodriguez-Graham digitally modifies these historic paintings to an unrecognizable abstraction. These digital sketches are then translated into actual large-format paintings. A patchy sky, a stark insignia, colorful regalia, limbs and weaponry are the substrates for a reconsidered image.

As with the calculated approach of Renaissance painters, Rodriguez-Graham methodically assigns different colors, textures and techniques to specific areas, slowly constructing each plane. Even the shape and scale of canvases are carefully considered. As he builds the painting, Rodriguez-Graham welcomes moments of improvisation, experimenting with different ways of applying oil paint in each passage of the picture. This is his way of compressing and tackling various moments of art history. And yet in the end, these very contemporary abstract paintings feel related to the Renaissance. They are bold and charged with vitality and emotion. By opening a dialogue with the great painters in history, Rodriguez-Graham is an artist fully aware of the progression of abstraction in the last seventy years.

Omar Rodriguez-Graham (1978, México) lives and works in Mexico City. His work has been shown both individually and collectively in México, the United States, Europe and South America. His recent solo shows include: Rafagas, Wu Galería (Peru, 2015), Eternal Return, Galería Arróniz (México, 2014), Mise en Abyme, Galería Nuevo Ochenta (Colombia, 2013), Pintura Construida, Galería Libertad (Mexico, 2012) and Variaciones Sobre un Tema (Arróniz Arte Contemporáneo, 2011). His work has been included in museum shows such as: El Hombre al Desnudo (The Male in the Nude) at the National Museum of Art (Mexico, 2014) the 15th Rufino Tamayo Painting Biennial at the Tamayo Museum (Mexico, 2012) and Bella y Terca (Beautiful and Stubborn) at the Museum of Modern Art (Mexico, 2010), among others.

Rodriguez-Graham graduated with a BA from Drew University in Madison, N.J., U.S.A. in 2003 and received his MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, P.A., U.S.A. in 2005. He has twice been a recipient of FONCA’s Beca de Jovenes Creadores fellowship. Among the residencies he has atended are The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2013) and The Banff Centre (2010). His work is held in private and public collections in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, México, Peru, Singapur, the United States of America and Venezuela among which are included La Colección Jumex, México, Museo de Arte Moderno, México, Sayago & Pardon, U.S.A, Jorge Pérez, U.S.A.