Juan Uslé
Spain, 1954
Juan Uslé studied fine art at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Carlos in Valencia between 1973 and 1977. During the final two years of his time in Valencia he worked with his wife, artist Victoria Civera, on photography, photomontage and painting. In 1978 he decided to centre on painting and started to teach at the Department for Plastic Expression at the University of Santander. In 1980 and 1982 he won a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Culture and in 1984 he was appointed to teach at the Department for Plastic Arts at the University of Cantabria. In the early eighties his style moved more towards sober, Expressionist painting with references to the sea and travel. In 1986, Uslé won a scholarship from the Spanish–US Joint Committee for Cultural and Educational Cooperation to study in New York. He moved there the following year and has lived there ever since. His work has gradually become more lyrical and abstract. In 1992 he took part in Documenta 9 and made a name for himself worldwide. In 1996 his first retrospective was held at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM). In the nineties Uslé’s work could be found at almost all international painting exhibitions, especially after Saatchi included him in his famous Sensations exhibition in 1997, which featured the leading up-and-coming names on the international scene. He currently lives between New York and Santander, and has exhibited at galleries such as Chaim & Read in New York, Camargo Vilaça in São Paulo, Thomas Schulte in Berlin, and Soledad Lorenzo and Ivory Press in Madrid. His work can be found in museums all over the world, including Tate Modern in London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. The ”la Caixa” Collection of Contemporary Art has a significant range of paintings and photographs by the artist spanning the first two decades of his output, including works linked to the abstract tradition made before he moved to New York and just after he arrived, such as El grito. Autorretrato (1982), Cita en Danz (1985) and Crazy Nöel (1987-1988), along with pieces that could be considered as a transition between styles, Tú y yo (1990-1991) and Paint-Point (1991), as well as a hefty group of paintings that resist classification in which abstraction, geometrical support, references to the image or the real and independent forms play rhythmically on overwhelmingly seductive surfaces, including High Noon (1992), Asa - Nisi - Masa (1994-1995), Atado por detrás (1995), Missing Lines (1996) and Earthy Dream (1997). In addition, albeit with major changes in structure, one should add Otra red (2000-2001) and Guantánamo / Guantanamera (2004). Soñé que revelabas VII deserves a special mention as a piece from the large series with the same title—perhaps the artist’s hardest-hitting and characteristic work. Summer - Saro (1997) is the only photograph included in the set. In recent years the artist has continued to exhibit his photographs.
Mariano Navarro