Law & Order
Tim Sheward Gallery, London, 2013
Law & Order
Our Music doesn't go out of fashion because it isn't about fashion.
AC/DC has survived because it hasn't changed direction.
All it is, is Rock n' Roll.
- Brian Johnson,1992
Juan Bolivar's practice investigates geometric abstraction as a language reconfigured. For Law & Order Bolivar presents a postcard series, and a colour-field landscape series of paintings examining the relationship between law(s) and order(s) within in his practice. Simultaneously showing the two bodies of work, Bolivar explicitly presents the source material from which his work derives alongside more familiar re-configured compositions by the artist.
The postcard series (the source) consist of to-scale copies of artists' postcards purchased from museums and galleries,which appear to have been placed on blank canvasses and positioned for reference only, without further commentary. They represent historical canons in geometric abstraction and perfect order(s) which can not be altered.
Each of these paintings is titled after a rock band from the late 70's to the early 90's. This oblique referencing, listing band names from Krokus to Tygers of Pan Tang alongside artists such as Mondrian and Albers, becomes a fanzine roll-call of all-time greats and a candid backstage glimpse of Bolivar's archive source material.
Alongside this postcard series, Bolivar presents a series of colour-field landscapes which incorporate these historical elements of geometric abstraction. Paintings by Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt and Peter Halley are reconfigured and assimilated in these colour-field landscapes. In doing so Bolivar appropriates both the motifs and stylistic appearance of geometric abstraction, whilst questioning its significance today by placing these into a barren land without horizon line. Each of these paintings is titled after a rock song, indicating their source-connection to Bolivar's postcard series.
In Law & Order the artist's notion of perfect order(s) and values absolute, is contested in a world now governed by new law(s) and changing fashions - the unfolding conflict highlighted by the prisons and wire fencing in paintings such as Jailbreak.