DUMONTEIL is pleased to present Rubén FUENTES’s solo exhibition Conversations avec le vide at DUMONTEIL Contemporary Paris, featuring up to 20 works of the artist's most recent pictorial practice. He draws on Laozi's "Tao Te Ching" to reflect on "emptiness" and extends it to the universe's origins and the blank space in art and literature. Fuentes presents a panorama in which nature is the dominant force through his unique acrylics and oils with a touch of Chinese ink techniques.
This exhibition is the result of 3 years of pictorial reflection, started at the beginning of 2020 with the pandemic. We were confronted directly with this void: galleries, art fairs, museums, all closed. Instead, we stayed at home, locked up, social distancing requires. In this exhibition, Ruben seeks to represent the void or space that exists between natural elements, and to explore through the representation of emptiness and nature an expression of the complex relationship between man and nature in order to convey messages about the importance of preserving our natural environment.
In Taoist Eastern philosophy, the void has no negative connotation, but is considered a space of unlimited creation, a place where the vital breaths that animate the Tao or Dào circulate. Empty space is used to suggest infinity, calm, solitude or serenity. In this series of paintings by Ruben Fuentes, the void is literally treated as an element of the composition.
Emptiness of absence or fog which will dialogue with the spaces occupied by symbolic figures of our imagination, Emptiness which brings mystery, silence and the necessary aesthetic reserve. Many of the circular compositions in the form of mandalas use a central void. They can be used as a support for meditation. But are also a reflection on the origins of the universe, when space and time began 14 billion years ago. The matter of the cosmos also began thanks to the stars. It can be said that we, the animals, the trees, the minerals, are stardust, because the chemical elements which form life were created inside the stars. This is the case of the paintings in the series A brief history of time (in homage to Stephen Hawking), Habiter l'étoile, or the installations Construction - deconstruction.
The void is also treated by leaving the support blank. The paint accidents in stain shapes that give rise to landscapes and were created by practicing Zen meditation, which is essentially emptying one's mind. And this is how irruptions of gestures or splashes emerge that you cannot create if you think.
It is the representation of abundant nature that gives meaning to this series. Nature is the space of the full, the void is the place of circulation of harmonious breaths to allow new births.