October 23, 2013
Maxwell Colette Gallery is pleased to present Sidewalk Scholar, a solo exhibition of new work from Mario Gonzalez Jr. The show will present large-scale mixed media paintings on wood along with site specific installations from the noted Chicago painter. The exhibit is slated to run from November 09 - December 31, 2013 with an opening reception on Saturday, November 09 from 6 - 10pm.
Gonzalez’s paintings have been described as abstract, but they are far more interested in realities than abstractions. A comparison may be drawn with the loose spontaneity of Asian calligraphy as these works are conceived in the mind’s eye and executed with the swiftness of thought. But the true inspiration for the bold, sinuous forms that inhabit Gonzalez’s paintings are street glyphs, painted with rollers by gang members in the sixties and seventies. These primal markings were intended as signposts for an urban sub-culture but they ended up inspiring the international graffiti culture that would follow. For Gonzalez, who grew up in a world emblazoned with these markings, Sidewalk Scholar is an opportunity to re-contextualize these cryptic runes from the past, and to redirect their energies. Gonzalez’s paintings are shot through with a powerful sense of place, presenting stunned memories of archaic street symbols, objectified and distilled down to their true visual essence.
Mario Gonzalez Jr.’s artistic vision comes from the fusion of fine art training at SAIC and twenty-plus years of graffiti practiced on global streets. In 2013 Gonzalez has seen his work exhibited in a number of museums including MIIT in Turino, Italy, The National Mexican Museum in Chicago and The Chicago Cultural Center. Sidewalk Scholar is the first solo exhibition for Mario Gonzalez Jr. at Maxwell Colette Gallery. Further information may be found on his website: mariogonzalezjr.com.