Lulu is pleased to present a solo exhibition of the Costa Rican, San José-based painter Federico Herrero.
Federico Herrero’s work responds to the urban environment of the city. What he makes stands as a direct rebuttal to those who assume that painting is irrelevant, elitist, or precious. Painting, his work contends, is not something removed from but deeply embedded in the everyday life of a city, taking place on curbs, buildings, street signs and a multitude of other surfaces everywhere. It is integral to our sensual and semiotic perception of the world. In what he creates, paint is liable to behave as it does in an urban context. It is for this reason he works with acrylic, oil, spray paint and ink and that his paintings often exceed the canvas and extend out to the environment of the gallery or exhibition itself.
His formal language straddles Latin American and more Western European traditions of abstraction. Bright, multicolored, and irregularly shaped forms stack up willy nilly upon one another much the way urban growth might develop in a city. Indeed, what he depicts can, at times, be read as a topographical view of the world seen from a bird’s eye perspective, at other times, a landscape in profile divided by a horizon line. In this way, the work possesses the ability to exist on several pictorial planes at once, as landscape, portrait, and the perfectly flat plane of paint. That said, for all his engagement with the practical and quotidian life of this medium, what he makes cannot be limited to such functional descriptions: a highly personal, if idiosyncratic quality of making joyously pervades everything he produces, rendering it irreducible to any kind of illustration.
For his exhibition at Lulu, Herrero will concentrate on lesser known aspect of his production: small painting. Notorious for working in a variety of predominantly large scales, Herrero here indulges in a more domestic version of his practice. Works range from his more antic proliferations of imagery to much more spare fields of color. It offers a rare opportunity to experience his work at its most distilled, object-like and intimate.