Art on the Town, Teo González

Alan G. Artner

   Spanish artist Teo González’s first solo exhibition at the Roy Boyd Gallery three years ago was dominated by tiny cell-like marks ordered on square canvases by means of a grid.  A couple of pieces from that period remind viewers of González’s rigor; though more recent works in his present show at Boyd indicate he is up to something more optically exciting.
    The dozen paintings on view are still squares in a single color on which the artist has placed with a pipette thousands of small droplets in a different color.  The size and intensity of the blobs give variety to the surface, which looks alternately grave and comic, as before.  But now, with a grid no longer an instrument of order, the lines of the artist’s droplets ineveitably undulate, giving the surface another, larger vibration.
    González sometimes heightens the vibration by clustering his marks within a wide, uninflected surround.  The tiny cells thus seem to aspire to an arrangement that precisely echoes the angles and straight edges of the painting but continually fails to duplicate them.  The sense is almost of a living thing at the center of the pictures that in the act of breathing expands and contracts, throwing everything off.
    This new wrinkle—think of a cloth that does not lie flat but has a gentle wavy surface—creates an effect recalling Op Art, though it remains brilliantly clear that the artist’s painstaking process of creation is what the work is primarily about.