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A MATTER OF DISCRETENESS

- FABIÁN UGALDE

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CURATORIAL TEXT

With his new show at Heart Ego, Fabián Ugalde (Querétaro, 1967) connects his interventions of iconic imagery with completely abstract pieces. The two groups of works seem to be only united by the artist’s primary medium, print. However, both abstract progressions of forms and ‘glitched’ classical paintings, examine a complex relationship between us and scientific knowledge. Bombarded with headlines about “The God Particle” (Higgs Boson) found at CERN, or the dark energy found or cancelled again, or about Göbekli Tepe shattering our understanding of history, we struggle to align our everyday intuition with what science tells us about the world of quarks and probability fields, our origins, or origins of life on the planet. The works presented in the exhibition offer us a pictorial glimpse into that conundrum that results from the analysis of the theories splitting our seemingly continuous reality into discrete parts.

Discreteness refers to the divisibility of things. If something is discrete, it can be divided into individual, fundamental parts that cannot be split any further. Since Aristotle, science has insisted that time and space were fundamentally continuous, not made of discrete parts. Only recently, with the observation of time crystals and quantum fields, the grounds beneath the assumption of continuity started to crack, with theories such as quantum gravity suggesting the possibility that even time might have some fundamental, albeit small, building blocks.  The recent discovery of ¨the Higgs boson has altered our everyday perception even deeper, further rooting our convictions about the discrete nature of reality.


Even our understanding of the present seems to break down, each moment becoming more discrete. Philosopher Byung-Chul Han claims that by stripping us from a greater narrative, modernity forces us to live in an atomized time (point-time), a timeline that consists of individual events in the past and future, loosely connected to one experience. Digitally intervened classical paintings in the work of Fabián Ugalde examine the fractal appearance that our reality has assumed. In the artist’s prints, the symbolism is devoid of a greater context of the painting, mirroring our lives and lacking a greater narrative. This process of highlighting individual symbols also motivates us to ponder whether symbols themselves can be discrete, detached from the intention of the artist or patron of the artwork. This question returns us to our perception of history, reminding us that history is discrete too, with figures like Kim Jong Un or Filip IV looking at us from Ugalde's works also consisting of events, identity traits, and other parts of the environment that formed them. Using images that broadcast power, braking them down, the artist motivates us to search for that one building block, perhaps an identity trait or a gene, or something entirely hidden, that might give this power to the characters portrayed in his prints.


With abstract prints, Fabián Ugalde delves deeper into the matter of discreteness. The forms in his abstract prints evolve, creating patterns, gradients, and illusions, appearing as a zoomed-in part of a greater, perhaps figurative image. Here, the artist uses a technique similar to Cézanne, searching for the fundamental element of the painting, only readjusting the lenses in a way that allows us to perceive more basic, indivisible building blocks that constitute art. These prints offer us a chance to reimage these hidden layers of reality and find a place for them in our aesthetics and daily logic, rebuilding the narrative of our lives.

- Anton Meshkov

ARTWORKS

PROGRESIÓNES SIMÉTRICAS

2024- Screen printing pigment on laminated

canvas - 200 x 125 cm

PERFECT BADNESS

2024- Digital print on cotton paper - 122 x 100 cm

PROGRESIÓNES (CUADRANTES) AZUL – TURQUESA
2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (CUADRANTES) NARANJA - AZUL
2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (SIMÉTRICAS) MAGENTA - GRIS)

2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (CUADRANTES) ROSA - ROJO)

2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (SIMÉTRICAS) VERDE - NARANJA)

2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (SIMÉTRICAS) ROJO - AZUL)

2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

PROGRESIÓNES (SIMÉTRICAS) ROJO - AMARILLO

2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  65 x 50 cm

Ed. 1/1 +PA + PT

NAPOLEON SIGNAL FAILURES 2

2024 - Digital print on cotton paper - 75 x 123 cm

CAVALIER SIGNAL FAILURES

2024 - Acrylic textile and ceramic applications - 90 x 74.5 cm

VELAZQUEZ ON PAUSE

2024 - Acrilic textile and ceramic -  120 x 105 cm

PROGRESIÓNES (SIMÉTRICAS) AZUL - ROJO
2024 -Digital print on cotton paper -  90 x 75 cm

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