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JUAN ESC AURIA ZA AN UNCOMMON PORTRAIT OF SAN FRANCISCO


JUAN ESCAURIAZA A N UNCO MMON P OR T R A I T OF S A N FR A NC IS CO

CK Contemporary


J u a n E s c a u r i a z a : A n U n c o m m o n P o r t r a i t o f S a n Fr a n c i s c o October, 2016 In the mind and in the gifted hands of Spanish painter, Juan Escauriaza, there is no beauty without honesty. With his deftly composed canvases of San Francisco’s urban landscape, he captures the purity of the everyday and the exquisite in the banal. As an outsider looking in, he does not romanticize the American experience nor is he compassionless in his interpretations. In fact, these are the paintings of a man in the midst of a love affair with the overlooked moments routinely shaping the city streets in which we live. An Uncommon Portrait of San Francisco marks Escauriaza’s second body of work concentrating on the “City by the Bay.” With the eye of a documentary photographer, he instinctively homes in on what makes San Francisco so beguiling. Though he often renounces the picturesque in favor of the evocative, Escauriaza does not aim to merely duplicate the nuances of the city, but instead to give us pause, and to allow us the opportunity to uncover the mystery of the human experience. His facades, though worn with the passage of time, resonate with emotional intimacies and untold tales. Is there beauty in weathered signage or in the shadows of electrical wires that traverse the sky at dusk? For Escauriaza, the answer is always, “Yes.” He sees honesty in the simplicity of those moments, as he shares the quiet stories of each shadow cast and of every sidewalk crack. It is this unique sensitivity and vision paired with his dazzling skill as a painter, that allows a forgotten storefront to become a sacred offering. In the hands of a lesser artist, the optimism and energy that one feels in front of Escauriaza’s paintings would surely be lost. Though his buildings are sometimes down-at-the-heel, they are almost always set against radiant and cloudless skies of ocean blue. His vivd shadows create a delicate geometry that infuse life into the inanimate and it is the combination of his signature precision with unexpected instances of fresh painterly brushwork that introduce a palpable vitality into his canvases. Edward Hopper, the distinguished American painter and one of Escauriaza’s greatest influences said, “There is a sort of elation about sunlight on the upper part of a house.” For Escauriaza, that same elation can be felt in the intimate, honest and beautiful works that comprise this exciting new show. Charged with the history and character of the old, along with the promise and exuberance of the new, these paintings are sure to seduce not only the eye and mind, but also the heart. Lauren Ellis Director CK Contemporary


Grand-Mission

Acrylic on linen

38 1/4 x 63 3/4 inches

2015


Patriot

Acrylic on linen

51 x 63 3/4 inches

2015


Walking in the Mission

Acrylic on linen

38 1/4 x 63 3/4 inches

2016


The Day Before

Acrylic on linen

19 3/4 x 25 9/16 inches

2016


The First Day Acrylic on linen 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches 2015


Fillmore #2

Acrylic on linen

15 3/4 x 27 1/2 inches

2014


Timeless Acrylic on linen 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches 2015


California #2 Acrylic on linen 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches 2015


Ghost

Acrylic on linen

35 x 45 1/2 inches

2015


Fillmore #3

Acrylic on linen

31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches

2014


1062 Geary Street

Acrylic on linen

25 5/8 x 39 3/8 inches

2015


Franklin Acrylic on linen 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 inches 2016


Number 1

Acrylic on linen

38 1/4 x 57 1/2 inches

2015


Number 3

Acrylic on linen

38 1/4 x 51 1/4 inches

2015


Wires Acrylic on linen 51 1/4 x 31 7/8 inches 2016


Elite Acrylic on linen 39 3/8 x 19 3/4 inches 2016


Coffee Break

Acrylic on linen

19 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches

2016


The Candle

Acrylic on linen

19 3/4 x 39 3/8 inches

2016


The Other Side

Acrylic on linen

44 7/8 x 57 1/2 inches

2015


Rules

Acrylic on linen

44 7/8 x 57 1/2 inches

2014


Modern

Acrylic on linen

38 3/16 x 63 3/4 inches

2015


Fire-Hydrant #6

Acrylic on linen

19 3/4 x 39 3/8 inches

2015


Before Breakfast Acrylic on linen 31 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches 2008


Super Light Acrylic on linen 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 inches 2016


No End Acrylic on linen 51 3/4 x 38 3/4 inches 2015


Powell Street

Acrylic on linen

44 7/8 x 76 3/4 inches

2014


Sunshade #2

Acrylic on linen

32 x 45 3/4 inches

2016


Palm (Mission)

Acrylic on linen

29 1/2 x 51 3/16 inches

2014


Green

Acrylic on linen

19 5/8 x 39 3/8 inches

2015


1959

Acrylic on linen

19 3/4 x 39 3/8 inches

2015


J

uan Escauriaza was born in Madrid in 1961. He has a PhD in Geological Sciences and a postgraduate degree in Hydro-Geology and Paleontology. Though he worked for ten years as a geologist with several important companies in Spain, his true passion was always for art and in 1994 he dedicated himself solely to painting. Since then, he has had over sixteen solo exhibitions, numerous group shows and a major retrospective sponsored by the City Hall of Madrid. His extraordinary critical and commercial success makes it even harder to believe that Escauriaza is an entirely self taught artist.

Though he still resides in Spain, Escauriaza’s work is focused on the American landscape. He visits the US frequently and studies his surroundings, sizing up his chosen milieu for subject matter. Inevitably, he is drawn to those elements of the landscape that many of us might pass by without registering a second glance. By way of acrylic brushed on linen with masterful prowess, Escauriaza reminds his viewers of the poetry of place and the beauty of the prosaic.


An Interview with Juan Escauriaza Can you tell us a little about yourself and your personal history? I finished my Degree in Geological Sciences in 1986, with a speciality in Paleontology and a Graduate Degree in Hydrogeology. Despite many years working in this area, painting was always on my mind. In my youth, I regularly visited the Prado Museum and Sorolla Museum. Thanks to a relative of mine, I came to know the work of Pablo Palazuelo, which had a great impact on me. At this point, I started to be greatly aware of color and composition. In 1994 I started to show my work, so far with a total of 17 solo exhibitions and many group shows, including an individual retrospective sponsored by Madrid Town Council in 2009. How do you work? What makes your particular process unique? I think that observation, constant work, dissatisfaction, frustration, even coincidence, have been forming my way of seeing things. A painting is an expression of my inner world and my particular view of the world, and in the end, an expression of sincere emotions. How would you describe your subject matter or the content of your work? What are you trying to communicate? Some images and sparks have been trapped in my memory for many years. With time, the ideas get richer and prettier. I try to isolate beauty from objects otherwise ignored. For me this is the intellectual and really creative part of my work process, when ideas get arranged and I make decisions. Almost always, my iconography revolves around the city as an homage to one of the greatest human achievements. Regarding the second part of the question, I would say that in my work there is no intention or goal - it is the spectator who can make his or her own interpretation. I only try to be honest in my work and

maybe to leave a part of my soul within it. I believe that in art, what really matters is what cannot be explained. How would you describe your aesthetic? I prefer figurative language where light and composition are my foundation. I have not previously studied about aesthetics - I simply do what I feel and how I feel it. In my opinion, art is too serious to be tied to fashion or trends, which only closes doors. A finished work no longer belongs to me - others should define it. What memorable responses have you had to your work? When people buy my work, when they get to penetrate it, there is no better or more rewarding response. It is also very rewarding when other artists show their admiration for my work, like the recent inclusion of my work in “The Acrylic Painter”, a superb monograph about acrylic painting by James Van Patten. Other memorable achievements for me include the introductions of my catalogs made by great authors such as Carl Little or Edward Lucie-Smith, appearing on the magazine cover of “Mas Arte, The World Art Magazine”, and it was an honor too to be chosen by the Madrid Town Council for a solo retrospective exhibition in 2009. Name your greatest influences. My influences are many and diverse, and not always coming from the Painting world, such as Wim Wenders aesthetic and the photography of Walker Evans or John Gutmann. I admire the imagination of Andrew and Jamie Wyeth, the theatrical view of Jerome Witkin, the endless creativity of David Hockney, and always the work of Richard Diebenkorn and David Park….So many!

Madrid, July 2016


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Profile for CKContemporary

Juan Escauriaza: An Uncommon Portrait of San Francisco  

Show Catalog of new paintings by Juan Escauriaza on display at CK Contemporary

Juan Escauriaza: An Uncommon Portrait of San Francisco  

Show Catalog of new paintings by Juan Escauriaza on display at CK Contemporary

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