“Of course, space is very important and, in general, functions as an active and complex ingredient—both perceptually and psychologically. In some of my works, layers are superimposed with images that are almost the central protagonists. But you could also say that some works have an atmospheric quality, a certain ambiguity, even though they might start with grids and almost geometrically divided space. In general, my use of geometry “trembles,” this makes the space in the paintings become increasingly mutable. I seek density and surprise, but sometimes I arrive at density or complexity through different paths, through the process-based simplicity of black or gray marks, as in the S.Q.R. paintings, or through the complex grids, spaces, and juxtaposed gestural marks of my interminable Rhizomes.” Juan Usle in conversation with Shirley Kaneda, July 1, 2014.
In the 90s Juan Uslé’s abstraction was nearly everywhere in New York City. His small graceful paintings have inspired a great many of the Abstract Mannerists over the years. These works are Postmodern, mannered and highly structured. And like the other painters of this time his process is concentrated on the brushstroke. But these paintings aren’t a critique. They are concentrated on human experience. Uslé paints these geometric patterns to evoke personal narratives of time, space, heartbeat and touch.
“Uslé has taken the brush imprint that represents nothing but itself – an invocation of the great historic longing in painting for the absolute absence of mimetic reference, for pictures that do not imitate anything – and turned it into a sort of painterly cardiogram, a work that reflects and responds to the history of painting and may at once be read as a self-portrait in a very elemental sense.” [Stephen Berg]