PARADOXES OF COGNITIVE CONSTRUCTS: PHYSICS AS LANGUAGE
JANUARY 25 - MARCH 9, 2024
Opening Reception with the artist: Thursday, January 25, 2024, 6-8pm
Gallery Talk with the artist and independent curator Dakin Hart: January 27th, 2024, 2pm
SEIZAN Gallery New York is pleased to present Jorge Palacios, Paradoxes of Cognitive Constructs: Physics as Language. From January 25 through March 9, 2024, Palacios will take over the gallery space with his latest sculptural creations. Conceptual rigor and theoretical depth characterize the work of this renowned sculptor from Spain. The opening reception with the artist will be on Thursday, January 25th, 6-8pm. Gallery Talk with the artist and independent curator Dakin Hart will be on Saturday, January 27th, 2pm.
Palacios' interests focus on exploring the mental constructions we create to represent abstract ideas or phenomena. He delves into how, through these constructs, we process information from the world, verify it, and question it—particularly when our perceptions come into apparent contradiction with our learned experience. He concentrates on investigating abstract elements and sensations that, although universally recognizable, lack an attributed morphology. The artist postures, "What would be the shape of abstract concepts such as inertia, balance, velocity, gravity, magnetism, electricity, sound, light, or time?"
His reflections on visual semantics translate into the materialization of sculptures, for which the viewer plays a fundamental role. From the response of the observer, the artist asks if his work can be interpreted through some common pattern, and whether the laws or principles of physics can serve as a channel to find a universal visual language. Palacios’ work plays with the psychology of perception, confronting intuition with reason and investigating cognitive paradoxes. He explains, “As a sculptor, I have studied the specific curves that fluid dynamics generate in nature. I have explored them through other materials that are neither liquid nor gaseous, which has helped me to create sculptural oxymorons, or visual paradoxes, based on collective empirical knowledge and the inherent behavior attributed to said morphologies.”
Some of the sculptures presented in the exhibition are used as a static vehicle to examine fluidity and movement—the same notions that Harold Edgerton researched using static photographs. Pushing these observations further, Palacios uses the laws of physics to delve into how clearly rigid and solid materials can appear to possess liquid and ethereal qualities. One of his more recurrent inspirations for this pursuit is the Pitch Drop experiment, the longest-running lab experiment in science history—initiated by Thomas Parnell in 1927—that illustrates how the world's thickest known fluid, and slowest moving liquid, creates the illusion of being solid.
His work is a testament to his deep knowledge of material behavior, not only about materials he physically sculpts or models, but also those he suggests he is working with, such as gasses and liquids. Investigating the field of rheology, among other branches of physics, he analyzes the fluidity, deformation, and flow of matter. When exploring material plasticity, he is inspired by some elements that have both liquid and solid properties like snow, sand, and volcanic magma. Through a practice rooted in extensive research, he seeks to bring visual form to theoretical phenomena. His body of work includes abstract sculptures that give viewers the perception that artworks are under the influence of the principles of pressure, viscosity, and surface tension.
Just as the photographer Berenice Abbott was interested in the laws of physics that determine magnetic behavior, some of Palacios' constructs stem from his interest in George Gabriel Stokes’ study of the propagation of waves and Nikola Tesla’s research into the behavior of electricity. Asking such questions as, “Can we find patterns and curves that repeat in nature at different scales and mediums?” In the search for the origin of nature's morphologies, for Palacios' practice, it has been highly motivating to study Newton's fundamental laws of classical mechanics and find some forms in common. The shape and movement of water flowing through a sinkhole, where the water rotates in a circular pattern, the form of a tornado, where air moves in an upward rotating spiral, and the morphology of a galaxy, where stars and gas rotate around a common center due to gravity, are all examples of rotational motion phenomena. Regardless of their medium, they all surprisingly share a common morphology, from the microscopic to the astronomical scale.
In this exhibition, viewers will see sculptures conceived of as a site of departure, which pose significant inquiries that challenge the degree of meaning that can be derived through an artwork. Palacios' work contains myriad investigations and perception games that take shape at the center of a Venn diagram between expression and exploration. At the height of his career, Paradoxes of Cognitive Constructs: Physics as Language is a recognition of Palacios’ conceptual excellence and profound theoretical investigation.
For the last twenty-five years, sculptural works by Jorge Palacios (b. 1979, Madrid, Spain) have been widely exhibited in public spaces, including Manhattan’s Flatiron Plaza, where he presented Link (2018), a large-scale public sculpture curated by The Noguchi Museum. In 2015, he presented Sketch in the Air in SoHo, which was selected by Artnet as one of the ten most interesting public artworks to see in Manhattan. Currently working on large-scale commissions created with Porcelanosa Krion material, his works have also been installed at the Monastery of El Escorial, the Floridablanca Sculpture Gardens, and the Torres de Colón building in Madrid, and in an exhibition of public sculptures in the streets of Toledo at that city’s Sun Gate and Bisagra Gate.
Palacios’ sculptures has been exhibited in numerous museums and centers for contemporary art, including his latest exhibition at the Würth Museum, curated by Kosme de Barañano. His solo exhibition at The Noguchi Museum, curated by the Senior Curator Dakin Hart, was presented in three of the Museum’s indoor galleries and its sculpture garden—establishing a dialogue with Isamu Noguchi’s works in the permanent collection. Palacios has also exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts of Guadalajara, Santa Cruz Art Museum, Mirador Hall in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Fundación Canal, Fuensalida Palace, Salle d'exposition de la principauté de Monaco, and in spaces such as the Executive Terminal of the Madrid-Barajas Airport. Palacios has been the subject of reviews and articles in publications including Artforum, Artnet, Hyperallergic, Vulture, Sculpture Magazine, Interior Design, Architectural Digest, Cultured, Frame, El PAIS, ABC, Tendencias del Mercado del Arte, Fuera de Serie, ICON, and Descubrir el Arte, among others.
The artist is based in New York.
Generous support is provided by Porcelanosa.
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