XAVIER ROBLES DE MEDINA
Known for his rigorous monochrome works, Xavier Robles de Medina (b. 1990, Suriname) combines a consistent, near-mechanical mark-making technique and surface quality, with pictures drawn from a personal archive. His paintings appear to exist on two sides of a spectrum: the emblematic and the highly personal. It is when these tendencies collide, that we seem to glimpse the unknown that Robles de Medina is attempting to excavate through his idiosyncratic mix of symbols. The poetic nature and non-linearity of his subjects belies the almost mathematical rhetoric of how he constructs his paintings, which de Medina mediates through the Cartesian coordinate system.
Spending months forming his images, the slowness of Robles de Medina’s process is an integral part of the paintings’ vernacular. Perhaps it is this aspect of the picture being interpreted by the human hand, at a human pace, that transforms the digital, low-resolution jpg into something more complex. Compared to the many contemporary technologies and approaches that can speed up artmaking, these works are particularly jarring.
Xavier Robles de Medina’s sensibilities are rooted in an observational drawing practice as well as an objective dissection of the painting as a three-dimensional object. He questions social and artistic categorizations, in search for a truth regarding his identity as it relates to the painting tradition, though his practice also ranges digital film montage, writing and sculpture.
Robles de Medina holds an MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London (2019), and was nominated for the Prix de Rome Visual Arts, Netherlands (2017) and shortlisted for the Royal Award for Modern Painting, Netherlands that same year. Recent exhibitions include What if the tongue is cut out?, Robles de Medina’s solo presentation with Catinca Tabacaru Gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong (2022), Senegal’s fourteenth Dakar Biennale (2022), and The Palliative Turn at Künstlerhaus Bremen (2022). Robles de Medina lives and works in Berlin.