Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery will be the location for José Parlá’s upcoming exhibition entitled ‘Walls, Diaries, and Paintings’.
Walls, Diaries, and Paintings features fifteen new paintings, that chronicle Parlá’s exploration of the diverse places and cultures he has traversed. From Istanbul to Havana, from Tokyo to New York, the colors and textures of the neighborhoods and alleyways have found a forceful and moving resolution in Parlá’s works that are both inspirational and revealing.
José Parlá is a documentarian of city life. Using the backdrop of this and many other towns, he re-makes in paint what can appear to be photorealist fragments of what he sees in the chaos and rush of the metropolis. His paintings reflect the accumulated memories and experiences, the walls that show a place that was, but no longer is – built over, renewed in some other configuration. Parlá paints revelations —transcriptions of the process — proof of the history of our neighborhoods. These markings expose his drive to say or divulge the passing of time, in the moment.
Parlá’s work shows that words, signs, and marks come to mean more, over time, in this symphony of diversity, both incongruous and in harmony, that surrounds our contemporary life. His practice originated in graffiti’s experimental and collaborative approaches during the eighties. Although he has come to identify with and reflect on the compositions of Abstract Expressionism, particularly Jackson Pollock and the later incarnations of Cy Twombly, as well as the German New Symbolist works of Anselm Kiefer, he transcends these antecedents by making altogether singular expressions that are part theater, part language, and part archaeology.
It is however, Parlá’s early inspirations and influence that have had the deepest and most important impact on his current work. In that, beyond painting, whether academic or street, are his Latin origins, particularly Miami, where he grew up listening to Hip-Hop music and seeing the colors and sights that are specific to the architecture of that place.
A new monograph of José Parlá’s work, Walls, Diaries, and Paintings, will be available upon the exhibition’s opening. Published by Hatje Cantz, it includes essays by Isolde Brielmaier, Greg Tate, & Michael Betancourt. Click here to purchase