Old / New
David Castillo Gallery is proud to present Old / New, a solo exhibition by Glexis Novoa. Novoa renders cityscapes like peering into a curio cabinet and coming face-to-horizon with societal apocalypse in miniature. In Harold and the Purple Crayon, a children’s book by Crockett Johnson, Harold draws his own picaresque narrative into being. With similar intuition, autonomy, and deceiving innocence, Novoa’s sculptural approach to drawing conjures urban environs as products of and covert oppositions to totalitarianism. The exhibition includes work the artist has been developing over the past several years: his graphite on marble and graphite on dry wall drawings. The exhibition includes new bodies of work as well, such as an installation and color prints.
Novoa constructs a language of symbols based upon icons of political, ideological, religious, and Art Historical significance in the trench between what one sees and expects to see. In this no-man’s land, Novoa re-codifies the past, critiques the present, and projects a future either destined for disrepair or ripe for collaboration and creative reconstruction. Novoa’s architectural surfaces of marble and drywall evoke the construction of history. Similarly, his use of graphite evokes the written word, further aligning the viewer with the authorship of history, and history with interpretation.
Unlike Harold’s innocuous wandering, Novoa’s work brews an urgency implicit in the satellites, monuments, microchips, and parachutes almost voyeuristic in their revelation of the past and manifestation of the future- two unknowns responsible for the despair and hope entwined in Novoa’s work. Post-Guerrilla / Post- Terrorism, for example, suggests both static complacency in the wake of guerrilla attack and the naming (in the fashion of Art History) of a successive militant movement.
Confronting Novoa enables one to realize the weightlessness of pedigree in the face of universal concerns such as alternation of landscape, destruction of life, and perpetuation of culture. Novoa causes the viewer to isolate and associate objects, endowing them with potential energy. The symbolic nature of his drawings warns that if not given a collaborative, pensive, and immediate push in the righteous direction, a force beyond human power and Newtonian physics will seize the opportunity, perhaps to disastrous results.
Glexis Novoa was born in Holguin, Cuba and lives and works in Miami. He studied at the National School of Art, Havana and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. His work has appeared in Artnews, New York Times, Miami Herald, Artpapers, and Art in America among many other publications. He is also included in the Phaidon book Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing. The artist has exhibited at prestigious venues throughout the US, Latin America, and Europe.