Gallery Kressling: Palo Macho, Without story

28.06. – 01.09.2012 


Palo Macho:  is the only artist within the Slovak glass art scene to have chosen painting on glass. This somehow ambiguous position makes him kind of an outsider. Despite being essentially a painter, you will not find him listed in the catalogs of contemporary painting. Instead, he will be included among the glass artists. His rather unique expression, however, rebels against such simplistic classification. Palo Macho´s decision for painting on glass allows him to materialize the hidden implications of this medium. Indeed, he makes use of the transparency of glass to highlight the color layers and the brush strokes, integrating them with the very properties of the material, such as its structure or shine.

At first, Macho moves with a kind of structural abstraction, whose foreground is precisely the brush work – his input – in the form of resolute strokes or milder lines. Even more obvious are the rough structures on the glass surface, as well as the sumptuous layers of different colors. The plots derive from reality: portrayals or insinuations of body shapes or landscapes. The picture sometimes requests destroying the material itself, a hollow space in the glass sheet, a shapeless hole. Since 2005 Macho´s color palette has been growing more subtle, his pictures getting almost monochromic. Simultaneously, geometric abstraction has been emerging to the foreground, resulting in a peculiar situation that brings tension between the geometrical and the structural. For Macho does not give up the highlighted footprint of the brush or the structure of the glass surface. Only color fields are imprisoned into geometrical forms that, again, intersect and overlap each other.

The brush strokes mitigate the contrasts between these fields, modifying the dominant color and setting them in motion, into vibration. The artist himself admits this ambiguity, doubting, wiping off borders, adding a question mark after the name Geometry. The painting essence of Macho´s work is completely obvious. Color and its possibilities constitute the building element of the picture. Despite the soberly arranged composition derived from rational geometry, an emotive load is constantly present thanks to the expressive action of color.

This is precisely its reason-to-be on the glass. The brush strokes may have become milder than in Macho´s previous period of structural painting, they may somehow also subordinate to the strictness of geometry. However, they still carry enough energy to interfere, to remain dominant in spite of the fact that geometry keeps on pushing itself to the foreground through straight lines. Its hegemony is just apparent, though. Geometrical divisions only help organize the fields, giving them rhythm. Structurally, however, it is actually the main tool that gives the picture a final effect of animate motion. Besides a strict geometrical composition there is a vessel motif represented by a perfect ellipsis or by irregular oval shapes.

Sabina Jankovičová

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