Should one happen to look at Ginés Serrán-Pagán’s latest collection of works—and people with a keen regard for art are highly encouraged to do so—the most certain thing is that the celebrated Spanish artist has nothing left to prove. He is aging well like a prized wine, his strokes never losing the lust for creation, his mind always seeking the past and future with both eyes open.
A celebration of more than 30 years of successful exhibitions throughout the world, in numerous cities where he not only shared his paintings and sculptures but also spent time doing humanitarian work, the show brings together a fascinating assortment of visual fineries that depict playful horses, nude women, and souvenirs from the sea, all of which showcasing Serrán-Pagán’s distinctive use of colors and textures.
Described by one critic as “a restless man of acute sensibilities,” Serrán-Pagán displays a kind of temperament that is evocatively quiet and reassuring, someone whose visual approach is guided by mood and sensations. There is a charming optimism that pervades in the series, highlighted by his remarkable spattering of hues. In “The Dance of Love,” a pair of horses, as the title suggests, seems to move in rhythm, their eyes locked to each other and heedless of the engulfing blue around them. “Toro” emphasizes the roughness of details and the affecting simplicity of its execution. The outline of a naked female body is seen in “Woman of the Sea,” the subject facing a scenery that negates easy comprehension.
Similar to some of his previous work, there are verses and distiches (couplets) hidden under the thick layers of paint. The lines defining the contours and edges are laden with a sense of purpose, leaving an impression that is calm but forceful. However, not every piece is cheerful. In “The Shadow of Your Words,” he mixes red and black and achieves a subdued feeling of disarray. “Memories of a Horse” shows an animal that seems to be trapped in time and resigned to stillness. Serrán-Pagán takes inspiration from his constant travels—the spaces between arrivals and departures—producing shards of life kilned in journeys that leap out of his canvas.
For a man whose life has been devoted to art and charity, Serrán-Pagán greets the world with a crooked grin and a firm handshake. His experiences reflect on his work. He is a wide-eyed wanderer and his skilled hands reach places farther than his feet do.