PSJM is a team of creation, theory and management formed by Cynthia Viera (Las Palmas G.C., 1973) and Pablo San José (Mieres, 1969).

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Clean Future

Clean Future is a series framed within PSJM’s “social geometry” line, which bases its minimalist compositions on statistical data. The series is in turn linked to the sub-series “natural history”, a reflection of the ecological concerns of the group from the Canary Islands. In those pieces the sensual compositions concealed environmental dramas, whereas this new series adopts a more optimistic tone by depicting future scenarios in which renewable energies have become hegemonic – luminous works of art that symbolize hope for a clean future.

First presented in 2022 at the Canary Islands Foundation for the Development of Painting, Clean Future consisted of two mural interventions, three large-format paintings and four wall sculptures made of polychrome wood.  The pieces, made expressly for this exhibition with locally produced ecological paint, form part of the concept of “painting in the expanded field” as theorized by Rosalind Krauss. In a way, painting has always lain at the core of the PSJM team’s conceptual work. In Clean Future, painting is positioned in relation to the word, the space it takes up and matter which has been turned into a sign in the interplay of twists and turns that produce images of great simplicity and yet profoundly meaningful density.

Fundación Canaria para el Desarrollo de la Pintura
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

DATE: 2022

On the one hand, the murals take us back to the essence and origin of painting: the wall. This is how it all started, by staining a rock with a hand. On the other hand, there is also a nod to genre painting, as these works of art update two pictorial genres: the one most valued by the academy, historical painting – since these pieces evidence diachronic visions – and the one most valued by easel painting, the landscape. They are therefore “temporary landscapes” that function as social, ecological, political and ethical complaints through beauty.

As for the sculpture, although it is a field that PSJM has explored on other occasions – such as the large metal sculptures of the “natural history” series – here, in these wall sculptures, it is a kind of “stacked colours”, arranged on a shelf on the wall. The team from the Canary Islands is presenting this kind of work here for the very first time.

It is well worth reflecting a bit further on these enquiries into painting and the medium in which it lives. The fact that in these pieces from the “social geometry” series, the image has to be linked to a title in order to be fully understood and enjoyed touches on a key issue: there is no image without a word in human cultures. Painting cannot be separated from myths, stories and concepts. Every work of art, whether contemporary or from the past, needs a verbal supplement if we are to fully enjoy it. To understand the content of Velázquez’s Las Hilanderas (The Spinners), it is not enough to remain on the surface; you have to be familiar with the myth of Arachne. The same could be said of a piece by Kandinsky or any other abstract painter. This is why PSJM’s ideas always possess several different layers of meaning and aesthetic fruition. The viewer is free to remain on the first level, that of sensitive perception – aesthesis – and formally enjoy the work, or she can read the cartouche and find its meaning, or go even deeper and read the theoretical text. In either case, if simple abstract forms arranged with grace and proportion in a given context have the potential to provoke a wider debate – beyond the important task of adding a little visual beauty to this world – the goal of this artistic duo will be reached. As a social construct, every concept and every work of art goes beyond its mere perceptual elements, and is always endowed with experiential preconceptions too. These abstract pieces that are being read are therefore an invitation to discussion, a sensitive stimulus for thought and debate.