Brian Sanchez: FIRST LIGHT 22 November 2022 – 7 January 2023 OMNI 56-57 Eastcastle Street London W1W 8EG
OMNI presents First Light, an exhibition of new paintings by Brian Sanchez. Opening November 22, it will be the gallery’s first solo exhibition of works by the acclaimed American artist.
Featuring twelve new paintings, First Light sees Sanchez further develop his experiments with colour, composition, line and light. Incorporating post-painterly abstraction and hard-edge painting techniques, the works on display articulate the dualities of colour, evident in Sanchez’s use of saturated man-made colours alongside natural shades reflective of our everyday landscapes.
On entering the gallery, one experiences a sudden buzz of energy as the colours and forms jostle with one another and bring forth complicated emotional resonances. As a young person, Brian Sanchez spent time in the Navy and his work draws on this sense of dissonance – violence versus peace, chaos versus order. This experience has had a multifaceted influence on his work that spans into the technical, he uses a special kind of military-inspired vinyl emulsion paint which absorbs and reflects light in an entirely unique way. The result is stunning and jarring, reframing our expectations of vision and radicalising our way of seeing.
Sanchez’s carefully rendered paintings are imbued with clusters of dark colours, hinting at an abstracted symbology or language, while retaining the warmth of the surrounding hues that glisten on the raw weaved canvases. The atmosphere and vibrancy of the colours on display demand the viewer’s presence, asking them to fully immerse themselves in their depths. The visually stunning surfaces convey the experience and emotion of colour and expand upon our personal connections to certain tones and shades, which in this digital age can often be lost or diminished on a phone or computer screen.
Drawing on a range of historical and cultural influences, Sanchez’s use of line, colour, and form is evocative of Barnett Newman’s “Zip Paintings” and Matisse’s “Cut-Outs”. Up close, the exhibited works range from meditative, sentient, and convulsive. Each painting resembles an independent destination that leads to the next, tracing an immersive, energetic journey throughout the gallery. Indulging in colour, texture, form, and gesture, First Light is a celebration of Sanchez’s practice which continues to evolve and innovate.
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