On September 12th, 2015, Mary Boone Gallery, in conjunction with a concurrent exhibition at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, will open an installation of new paintings and sculpture by José Parlá.

The title “Surface Body / Action Space” discloses various modes of practice and philosophy that define Parlá’s work. In his painting and sculpture, heavy textures and thick application of paint form a layered substructure that conveys weight, volume and permanence, while veils of color, rapid calligraphic marks and remnants of text form a palimpsest-like surface suggesting the ephemeral: memory, the traces of lives and time. Like graffiti-cloaked fragments of city walls, the works evoke societies in upheaval and solemnize the distinctly human impulse to leave a record of our presence.

Parlá’s Cuban American heritage is a duality that infuses all of his work. Where the urban wall structures signify fixed geographical-political boundaries, the gestural performance symbolizes marks of personal freedom. Parlá sees his work as “erasing the hyphen” between the two words, while similarly bridging polarities between painting and sculpture, maximal and minimal, abstraction and representation.

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