Artist's Statement: Eduardo Stupia on Reinventing Landscape, his debut solo show which is currently in London...
"I started as a draughtsman back in the seventies, making very delicate ink drawings, stuffed with little images.
© Sergio Guerini
Those were made always in black and white, and that kept going on and on during the next few decades, always in the field of drawing.
At the same time, I was also incorporating new brands of different black inks which, mixed and diluted with water, eventually transformed that black into different shades. It became, in a way, a different colour.
Later, I started to incorporate a wide scope of different materials, with many different qualities of fluidness and harshness.
I changed the mixture and intervened with several fluid agents, so those materials weren’t strictly under my former black and white palette.
The latest pieces I've been working on were made away from my studio in Buenos Aires. In the last few months I've been working in different studios in San Pablo, Miami, Madrid and London, depending on which fair or exhibition I was participating.
Of course, that means a lot of challenges – especially when you think of your own studio as this particular, intimate territory, where you make yourself confident, turbulent and audacious.
But you discover you’re capable of working everywhere. Bringing the spiritual and intangible stuff with you, together with the physical materials, makes you much stronger and more independent.
I like to see myself as a musician who takes his instrument with him and plays anywhere and everywhere.
I think I would point to the largest pieces – 200 by 300 cm each – as my favourite works in the exhibition, because they kind of sum up of the rest of the works exhibited. They refer strongly to my own development during the last three or four years.
I wouldn't choose any medium as being better than any other, because the differences between them are a matter of substance instead of hierarchy.
I'm driven to make the most of any medium, whatever its characteristics may be. Just like I try to put together strong counterpoints between graphic elements, I also intersect and juxtapose the most diverse and antagonistic materials.
I find myself very much attracted to the tradition of landscape in many of its manifestations. My references are the British and Dutch landscape, the landscape in Chinese and Japanese painting, and the expressionist landscape.
All of these influences operate upon my image only indirectly – as a resonance instead of a reference.
I try to induce the eye of the beholder to perceive certain traces, appearing more or less legibly. They're referential when there's nothing but brushstrokes, lines, scratches and stains. I like to think of these landscapes as 'language-scapes' – landscapes of the pure language.
Being invited to create a solo exhibition of my works in the latest Sao Paulo Biennale was a highlight of my career. The opportunity to exhibit individually here in London for the first time has been another.
The most difficult and challenging aspect of my work is to not become a hostage of my own style. And the most enjoyable part is precisely the effort it takes to avoid falling into that trap.
I'd tell the next generation of artists not to be cynical not only about their own work. Try to avoid being attached to this certain second gaze of self-awareness, which is a symptom of contemporary artists.
I would tell them to be devoted to working faithfully to the timing that your own process imposes, instead of running after exterior phenomena, positions or achievements.
When I started drawing, I only wanted to just draw. I wouldn't ever have dreamed of becoming an artist. Being an artist was a consequence, rather than a decision."
- Eduardo Stupia: Reinventing Landscape runs at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery until April 27 2013. Read our preview.