(Brooklyn, New York) – Romi Studio, in partnership with Brookfield Properties, is delighted to present the inaugural exhibition of the 1 Bell Slip Gallery, Lucía Rodríguez Pérez: Homecoming, curated by Romina Aurora. This will be Brooklyn-based Chilean artist, Lucía Rodríguez Pérez’s first solo exhibition with Romi Studio. Additionally, it is the inaugural exhibition at the new 1 Bell Slip Gallery, which was constructed by renowned Handel Architects and designed by the award-winning firm, Leong Leong in 2022. The exhibition will open March 24 through May 31, 2023. There will be on an opening reception Friday, March 24 from 6 – 9 pm located at 1 Bell Slip Brooklyn, New York, 11222. The exhibition title extends a triple-fold invitation: welcoming new residents to 1 Bell Slip, inaugurating the gallery space, and showcasing artworks that prompt visitors to question the nature of anchoring oneself and creating a home.
Complimenting the architectural lines and striking curved aluminum walls of the gallery space, Lucía Rodríguez Pérez: Homecoming celebrates the full scope of Rodríguez Pérez’s distinctive style and art practice. The exhibition features over 30 artworks, which consists of Rodríguez Pérez’s abstract oil paintings from 2018 to today, drawings, and 13 hand assembled paper collages from her Grid series (each 9.5 x 9.5 inches). In addition, a site-specific installation of painted ivy mounted over a spay-painted wooden lattice, an idea initially conceived by the artist in 2018, will hang from an island wall to offer a new and intimate perspective of her work.
The starting point of this exhibition is Rodríguez Pérez’s Grid series paper collages, which she began creating in 2018. As the artist describes it:
I wanted to see if I could create tension and interest just by playing with color and composition—as to build a foundation on which my paintings could be constructed [. . .] I realized they were the first space in which I allowed myself to be free of representation, to explore color and composition not just as tools but as the medium through which my vision could come to life.
All the paper collages from the Grid series are titled in numerical order, suggesting it’s documentary specificity to when the work was made and how the artist worked serially within the (mostly nine by nine square) parameters. The exhibition will be accompanied by Perago, a book that fully illustrates the Grid series published by the artist and her brother, Alfredo Rodríguez, in 2019.
A strong dialogue is shared between the small-scale paper collages interspersed with large abstract paintings, where one would not be possible without the other. In the Grid series, Rodríguez Pérez explores the endless variations of colored paper squares within the enclosure of a nine by nine square grid. Despite strictly adhering to the grid formula and all its right angles, Rodríguez Pérez gravitated towards using colors that are invitingly soft, warm, sometimes sandy, and distributed very selectively in low to high contrast. For three years, this subject occupied the artist as she used the simplicity of colored paper squares to hand assemble, one square at a time, quiet to busy compositions ranging from stripes, diagonal chevron patterns, triangular tessellations, and squares within squares. The final result of each paper collage is a unique architectural construction which expands beyond the nine by nine square grid, and unveils the origin points of the artist’s ability to render spellbinding gradients as captivating as each sunset, the perception of depth, and movement through color.
In her Balcony paintings, Rodríguez Pérez uses the same architectural mindset by constructing images of pillars and the surrounding sky by skillfully manipulating color to create the illusion of natural light. While architects and artists cannot manipulate natural light, she masterfully blends colors in her palette to create a complex yet subtle gradient that evokes the feeling of a sunset or sunrise. Each Balcony painting created by Rodríguez Pérez is a unique and autonomous creation, featuring its own distinct elements and patterns. Although each painting includes an undulating pillar that serves as the focal point, the fences and tiles are adorned with dynamic patterns that range from scalloped and diamond motifs to quatrefoil shapes. The fence’s exquisite pattern and perspective provide a sense of privacy for the viewer, allowing them to experience the sublime within the sanctity of the colored cloister. Roríguez Pérez’s unwavering awareness of color and its effects, material, and seeking equilibrium defines her approach in “solving” all her works on view.
This exhibition connects the artworks in the context of arriving or returning home, a universal experience familiar to any New Yorker who has recently moved into a new home. Rodríguez Pérez’s creative production of the grid mirrors the process of unboxing belongings in a new home. In the same way, each paper square is embedded with color, each mover’s box is filled with items that could be translated into a color. For instance, a box of books could equal yellow, a box of random junk could equal grey, some are lighter, others heavier, and the quantity is variable. Both involve packing and unpacking individual pieces that contribute to a cohesive whole, where every piece is equally important. Simply unboxing box-by-box does not guarantee there is a home, just as placing a square-on-square in a collage does not promise the grid is dynamic or complete. Rodríguez Pérez shows us it is internal rhythm, finding color and spatial relationships, and personal experiences which lead to a sense of belonging. Lucía Rodríguez Pérez: Homecoming celebrates the unique parameters within 1 Bell Slip—and like the color juxtapositions of the grids which informed the artist’s dreamlike paintings—it’s up to the residents to transform space to create a beautiful home and community.
Lucía Rodríguez Pérez (b. 1986, Santiago, Chile)
Lucía Rodríguez Pérez was born and raised in Santiago, Chile. She received her B.F.A. from the Universidad Católica de Chile in 2009, and her M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in 2016. Her work is encompassed primarily by paintings, but explores a range of media including works on paper, collage, sculpture, and videography. As described by her husband and artist collaborator, she is a “chromo-phile who prioritizes ambiguity.” Currently, her work explores the tension between abstraction and representation, and is informed by color as the first and last word. Rodríguez Pérez has shown internationally and widely in Colorado, including her debut solo exhibition in the United States at Alto Gallery in Denver (2022). Group exhibitions include Peep Space, Tarrytown, NY (2023); Sala Virtual CCU, Santiago, Chile (2022); Soft Times Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2022); RedLine, Denver, CO (2019); Light Grey Art Lab, Minneapolis, MN (2018); Flux Factory, New York, NY (2016); among others. She is the recipient of a merit scholarship at the New York Academy of Art, and has been awarded grants and residencies from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and Space 776 in New York. Her work has been featured by Project Gallery V, the Denver Art Museum, Mesa Gráfica, ArtAlLimite Newspaper, and more. In addition to Romi Studio, her work is included in New York-based gallery, Deanna Evans Projects’ Trove program. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.