Gow Langsford Gallery is pleased to present a new collection of paintings by contemporary Central American artist Bosco Sodi (b. 1970, Mexico City). Sodi is known primarily for his vibrantly saturated, deeply textured relief paintings and conceptual sculptures and this is the first time his works have been shown in New Zealand.
Founding Director Gary Langsford notes; “I was first introduced to Bosco in November of 2014 in New York by our mutual friend and Gow Langsford gallery artist, Antonio Murado. Antonio mentioned Bosco’s work to me and I recalled I had seen a number of works at various art fairs around the world in the previous few years. I was particularly drawn to the scale and texture of the work as it is so unlike anything being produced here in New Zealand.
Bosco and I had a few email exchanges at this time, but it wasn’t until 2021 that we reconnected when I was actively looking for international artists that had never exhibited in New Zealand. This was partially inspired by not being able to travel due to the global pandemic. If I was unable to see exhibitions overseas, then maybe we could bring some of those exhibitions to New Zealand. As a result, Gow Langsford gallery will exhibit works by Mexican born Bosco Sodi and New York artist Peter Halley in 2022 as part of an ongoing program to bring important international works to New Zealand.”
Exploring the creative gesture in tandem with material experimentation, Bosco Sodi’s painting practice fuses the planned with the incidental. There are certain aspects where he is very decisive in his actions–such as selecting the geometric shape of his stretcher, the colour of his pigments, the mixed materials he will use–before he surrenders the materials over to the earth’s elements. To do this, he begins working horizontally on stretched canvases, layering paint (and at times mixed media such as sawdust and natural fibres) over the course of many days, allowing the resulting time, air and changing temperatures of the days and nights to create natural cracks and crevices. On occasion he works with the earth’s gravity by relinquishing control altogether and hanging the works vertically as they dry, resulting in unique and natural changes in their surfaces.
It is a process that links the artist to his creations spiritually, and the resulting forms are evocative of the earth’s elements. When encountered, they seem almost a part of the natural world, as though one found these rich colours and surfaces in a far-away desert, an underwater cave or at a volcano’s precipice. This is because Sodi allows his works to breathe and grow with the natural chemistry of the earth. These are works that invite a visceral and intuitive response from their viewers. They go beyond just being artworks by embodying elemental processes and playing with notions of deep earth time. Sodi chooses not to title many of his paintings, so as not to further disconnect the viewer's experience from the immediate work itself.
Through the action of surrender, Sodi’s practice embraces the beauty of chance, fate and the unique. These notions are rooted in Eastern philosophies, including Japanese wabi-sabi, which celebrates both imperfection and impermanence. Sodi was introduced to the concept as a child, and it is so central to him that he named his non-profit arts centre in Oaxaca, Mexico, Fundación Casa Wabi. In turn, he has been influenced by other international art movements that hold a similar ethos of abstraction, such as the Japanese collective Gutai and the Italian Arte Povera movement.
Sodi’s work is held in major public and private institutions around the globe, including 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Ishikawa, Japan; Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, Belgium; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana, USA; Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany; The Scottish National Gallery of Art, Edinburgh, Scotland; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
- Text by Imogen Cahill