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Source: The Santiago Times - Online Edition - English

Local Artist Adolfo Javier Romero Reveals His Finest Gallery to Date

"The Pendulum’s Root" exhibition marks a closure for an epic cycle of original art conceived and realized by Adolfo Javier Romero, one of Chile’s "new generation" of artists. Romero readily admits that he’s exhausted by the process and enjoys the thought that a bit of catharsis may find him as others take on and internalize the emotion and intensity of his paintings – and yet he sighs, too, and looks a bit lost in the large, sun-scoured patio where he often creates his best work.

For years, it had been a sty of canvas, paint spatters, stretched frames, and half-finished castoffs that had not captured the flames in Romero’s mind he seems desperate to commit to a permanent rendition – and a perfect one. Now the patio is clean, neat, and organized more to the taste of a man of protractors and rulers. "My Mother hates clutter" is the response to what must have been obvious in the onlooker’s gaze.

"I hate this," Romero continues, "it feels dead here now."

Indeed. In a different setting this is the very spirit of suburban Santiago, with wild grapes overflowing trellis upon trellis, crumbling cement walls that somehow bespeak rustic style instead of ruin, and a friendly temperature that hints of the ability to dance or drink here once the sun crashes into the Pacific.

But when one has seen Romero in the "clutter" of his searing gallery of distorted faces, grim smiles, and violently warm colors, even the chatter of birds on the cracked walls seem hollow. Where a few blots of red acrylic have been wiped at, the smears remind that the real life of this patio has been removed in preparation for unveiling at the gallery in a few days’ time.

The series is no longer nameless. The exhibition, "The Pendulum’s Root," is famously subtitled "Morphosis; the Erosion of Residual Equilibrium." The description is difficult even for an appreciative and sophisticated audience – but then again, the paintings deserve verbiage as impossible to qualify and dissect as the exhibit itself. The protagonist in the series, absent in a physical sense – though often quite apparent in the painting – is manifested as a state of unattainable nature, a dark paradox on a luminous canvas bursting with sharp, unorthodox color and contrast. "The conscious" Romero attempts to explain, "and also its trajectory on various levels" – hardly much help sometimes, such words. But then, that’s why paintings are not novels.

ARTMAGE - Artist Adolfo Javier Romero Reveals His Finest Gallery to Date, THE PENDULUM'S ROOT

While representing such disparities as angst and ritual; externalized, personal imagery and common iconography; distorted realities and provocative geometry – the gallery is instantly recognizable as common in its artist, if not facile in terms of work-to-work relationships and alternative renderings of similar themes. And while the gallery will be called expressionism or post-modern – contemporary, perhaps – it is difficult to see each painting as comprising any or all of the characteristics one expects from such classifications.

A bit of this, an influence here, a breakthrough there… there is a distinct feel that while Romero has done his homework, he also brings a tremendous influence of ingredients from the artesian, low-cost, high-grade subculture of Chilean artistry and what are often called "folkloric" products by both those who market and seek out indigenous masterpieces while visiting Chile.

Perhaps it is Santiago – urban, populous, commercial – that keeps the "best" of the ancient traditional handicrafts rumored to be in the southern mountainous regions, or beyond the Atacama to the north. But in the case of Mr. Romero, one thing is clear: without the bustle of Santiago, good and bad, this is one artist who would have found frustrated outlets for his enormous creative energies in traditional arts… the exhibition is difficult to categorize precisely because of Mr. Romero’s synthesis of a purist approach to modernity with notions of respect and the need to honor practices that have their foundation in time immemorial.

Gallery: Posada del Corregidor
Address: Esmeralda # 749, Santiago, Chile
Telephone: 633.5573
Exhibit: "La Raíz del Péndulo" [trans. "The Pendulum’s Root"]
Series: Mórphosis de la Erosión y el Equilibrio Residual [trans. "Morphosis; the Erosion of Residual Equilibrium"]
Dates: July 23rd – August 6th, purchases possible on all days.
Hours: M-TH 9am-1pm & 2:30pm-5:30pm / FRI – 9am-1pm & 2:30pm-4:30pm

Complete details (and gallery) at ARTMAGE.COM

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