Anthony Vasquez's solo exhibition at Horizont Gallery in Budapest.

Anthony Vasquez: Light Necessities
7 September - 12 October, 2022
HORIZONT Gallery, Budapest

For almost 20 years, Anthony Vasquez worked within the genre of figurative painting as his primary medium to deal with his understanding of the human condition.Then 2020 happened, and with it came a sense of uncertainty and dysregulation. Vasquez was searching for some sense of control, struggling to find the narrative or figuration that could satisfy all that needed to be said. He drastically turned his ambition towards investigating multiple interpretations of lightness, asking the question, "How important is it to create uplifting work during times of unrest and struggle?" Through working with a new medium, play became the creative impetus towards engaging with the broader term of lightness. Exploring the subtle and soft glow of reflection and the hard, vibrant colors of light that are contrasted with the natural forms of wood, Vasquez created something entirely new. He developed a body of work that carries a sense of lightness, pulling from the past a tryptic of inspirations starting with the working class skills in construction and building he learned from his father and grandfathers, the awe-inspiring skylines of the Southwest region where he grew up in the United States, and the works of three specific contemporary artists. Richard Serra's connection of material to his father's trade, James Turrell and his open sky spaces, and the colorful curvilinear compositions of Frank Stella have become important elements that inform Vasquez's new work.

Despite the 3-dimensionality of the work, the artist wants these objects to be viewed within the traditional format of rectangular paintings. Strong geometric forms combined with color invite multiple viewpoints. However, the space between the forms is not forgotten, but rather infused with contemplative melodies of light. One of the goals during the creative process is to maintain the integrity of the material. Emplacing color into small cuts or slightly bending curves, the artist's intention is not to use wood, but rather to create a balance between the natural state of the material and color. The surface of the wood is then seen as its own skin, an integral element that is equally considered in the creative process. Additionally, during the construction of each object, the intention is to discover the range and capacity of the material without losing its form. Grounded in a rich heritage of building and constructing, Vasquez will continue exploring the intersection of these traditions and contemporary art.

Anthony Vasquez (1981) is a Chicano-American multidisciplinary artist based in Budapest, Hungary. His portfolio includes a range of abstract painted objects, and minimalist landscapes. Growing up in New Mexico, attending college in Colorado, marrying a Hungarian woman, and living in India, the United States, and now Hungary, he has grown to value diversity and culture in a profound way that continues to influence my creative processHis two recent series were produced after leaving the US once again, this time to live in Hungary. The series, titled We Share the Same Sky and New Objects Same Sky, were inspired by the process of looking within himself in order to understand how different cultural and social contexts and family of origin were formative to his identity. For example, his use of wood as material comes from a rich heritage from both grandfathers and his father being carpenters. Working with power tools that he previously used in the building trade, now he is pushing the limits between contemporary art and woodworking. His main goals in creating these new objects, is to maintain the integrity of the surface of this natural material, while at the same time perfectly balance within these objects the plasticity of unnatural acrylic paint. A third element of light is often formed within my work that greatly contributes to the visual experienceAnthony Vasquez graduated from Adams State University. From 2015 to 2019 Anthony served as lead facilitator and co-director of program design for Art For Change foundation in New Delhi, India. Currently, Anthony has taken a full time studio practice at Budapest Art Factory in Budapest, Hungary.

Photo: Dávid Biró