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Plurality and diversity

MEXICO CITY.

A commitment to painting, sculpture and photography as techniques, without going into the aspects of multimedia and conceptual art. This has been the line of work that the Óscar Román Gallery has maintained during its 30 years of life.

The space has been characterized by the promotion of innovative painting, in line with international trends, carrying a certain risk and independent of neo-conceptual definitions “, explains Óscar Román in an interview with Excelsior.

TITLE: Oración de la luz (2021), oil and silver leaf / cloth. Author: José Luis Bustamante

The quality of the pieces and the plurality of the offer have allowed us to generate a national and international market, which has led us to grow both in the artistic space and in the critical discourse around the work ”, adds the director of the venue.

Inaugurated on June 15, 1991 on Anatole France 26 street, in Polanco, where it had its headquarters for seven years, and later it was changed to the current one, on Julio Verne 14, in the same neighborhood, the Óscar Román Gallery has exhibited work of Mexican artists “who have been maturing” and of emerging young people, but also of recognized creators.

Yes we have focused a lot on young people, but we have also tried to celebrate the careers of artists who were important and who had been left a little aside in the art scene ”, adds the art historian.

And he puts as an example the surrealist painter Alice Rahon (1904-1987), to whom in 1994 the first exhibition-tribute was made after her death; and to Luis López Loza (1939), “another of the greats of the Rupture Generation who we thought still had a lot to say and we also published a book about his career”.

The graduate of International Relations from UNAM says that abstraction and figuration in all its forms have had a place in the gallery. “Not exhibiting contemporary art was a conscious decision. Although at the time we were very close to Eugenio López, with the Jumex collection, we realized that in Mexico the galleries left painting out and we thought it would be more enriching to continue betting on this line ”, he details.

Who has a diploma in Art History from the National Gallery in London, and another in Contemporary Art from the Center Pompidou in Paris, details that the gallery currently represents between 30 and 40 artists, has exhibited more than 500 exhibitions and has a collection own about 300 works.

It has been very satisfying to see that the creators who were in the beginning, such as Jorge Marín, Estrella Carmona or José Castro Leñero, already have a mature and recognized work. Now we are betting on young people like Cartú, Fernando Osorno, Fernando Sama, Ricardo Alemán, Luigi Fantini and Brigitte Briones, who are just a part of the new talents with different proposals and trends ”, he indicates.

Román admits that they have had to face great challenges throughout these three decades. “One was the strong economic crisis of 1994, another when Paseo de la Reforma was closed and the number of visits dropped a lot and, the most recent, is the pandemic, which forced us to close six months and we are still working to overcome it. The most affected are the careers of the youngest artists. It has been difficult, but I think we are achieving it little by little ”.

The cultural promoter highlights that to celebrate the 30th anniversary they are currently exhibiting three individual samples by José Luis Bustamante, Marco Arce and Ernesto Álvarez. “And, in the back, a collective result of 30 years of supporting the diversity movement is presented, which began with the participation of our artists in the Gay Cultural Week of the Chopo Museum.”

He announces that they will also publish a commemorative book designed by Luis Almeida, which will unveil a representative selection of the gallery’s collection, which they plan to exhibit in a museum.

FUTURE SAMPLES

Óscar Román anticipates that they have prepared a special offer for this year. In September, he says, they will exhibit an exhibition-tribute to the Rupture movement, with its most important artists, such as Manuel Felguérez, Luis López Loza, José Luis Cuevas, Fernando García Ponce, Vicente Rojo and Francisco Toledo, among others.

For October we are preparing an exhibition with creators from the gallery. In November we will present an exhibition of 80 or 90 contemporary votive offerings by our artists. And in December we will have the end of the year auction, in support of foundations ”, he points out.

And he says that they continue, in addition, with the offer of virtual tours and the presence in social networks, “responding to the new times.”

-Virginia Bautista

TITLE: Socrates, torpedo fish (2013), oil on linen
Author: Marco Arce

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