Yujin Min, Frieze, November 13, 2018

It’s becoming clear that Lehmann Maupin is focusing its newly-opened Seoul outpost on bringing some of the finest artists from the New York art scene to Korean shores. That includes the Puerto Rican, Brooklyn-based Angel Otero. At his solo-exhibition entitled ‘Piel de Luna’ (which translates as surface of the moon in English), Otero presents a set of his distinctive process-led paintings including Incense and Peppermints (2018) and Melting Gates (2018) which integrate varying elements of time, chance and collage technique of using ‘oil skin’ fragments to meld together ambiguous abstract compositions. These works conceal a treasure trove of his childhood memories and encyclopedic knowledge of paintings by some of the greatest artists ranging from Diego Velázquez to Willem de Kooning.

The real highlight of the show is the larger than life wall piece, Piel de Luna (2018), in which Otero has meticulously interwoven various pieces of hardened oil paint peeled off from canvases that he had previously worked on. Contrary to some beliefs that paintings are ‘dead’, the artist poses an interesting challenge to the traditional medium by removing paint from the canvas altogether and substituting individual brushstrokes for fragmentary remnants from his previous works. For Otero, it seems, the possibilities for painting are endless.

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