In Media Res is José Parlá’s second solo show at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery featuring new paintings and sculptures as well as a large-scale mural installation covering parts of the gallery walls.

The exhibition represents a narration of some of Parlá’s most significant life experiences embodied in expressive calligraphic abstractions, some kind of journal that recounts everything from his childhood memories to his extensive travels around the world told through his “method of conceptual and abstract storytelling” and that in many ways have shaped his art. A “documentarian of city life”, as he usually defines himself, Parlá recreates with paint the colors and textures of the city and the places he has visited making use of a multilayered calligraphic style inserting personal tales into his work.

Looking at his work it seems difficult not to draw some parallels to Abstract Expressionism (with artists like Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly) positioning him at a crossroad with the graffiti scene he was a part of.
Highly personal, emotive, intricate and labour intensive, this new body of work opens a dialogue, not only with the city that has inspired it, but also with the viewer and their own experiences.

The exhibition also serves as a stage for the publication of a new monograph by Damiani, IN MEDIAS RES, considered the most comprehensive survey of Parlá’s life published to date, and that includes essays by Dieter Buchart, Lara Pan, and Bryce Wolkowitz.

Fran Cacirano

The exhibition runs from September 12 through October 18

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Images courtesy of @mrjustin82