Secundino Hernández, Rojo, 2016. Acrylic, alkyd, oil and lacquer on linen, 310.5 x 287 cm, 122 1/4 x 113 in. Courtesy the Artist and Victoria Miro, London © Secundino Hernández
I first saw Hans Hofmann’s paintings in the flesh in 1999 in a small collection at the Met – (part of a pilgrimage of sorts which included a visit to Hofmann’s mosaic mural for the New York School of Printing on West 49th Street, which features in the banner image for this website). I remember being surprised by the imperfect physicality of his canvases, buckling under the weight of paint. Still, as rough and ready as these paintings looked, they were the genuine article.
If the finish of Hofmann’s canvases was an initial disappointment to a naïve art student brought up on reproductions, then it was a joy to discover many years later the fresh and rich paintwork of the Spanish artist Secundino Hernández. This, I thought, must have been what Hofmann’s surfaces looked like before they acquired a layer of New York grime.
Matisse observed that “…a big painting needs more architecture, more technique”. Hernández works on a far larger scale than Hofmann did, but through his considerable technique his canvases somehow retain a very human measurement. The paintwork, modulating in tone and colliding with the same comfortable friction that Hofmann termed push and pull, is complex yet well resolved.
If certain places bring to mind certain colours, then Spain presents them all at once. Hernández works in Madrid, and his paintings seem to resonate with the opaque intensity of a sunlit urban landscape.
4 thoughts on “200 words #19 / Secundino Hernández”
Great, Robbie – your commentary and the work itself. It blazes.
Sent from my iPad
Glad you liked it! If you get the chance to see the work in the flesh, do. The scale is impressive.
Robbie…. long time no hear. Cant find contact details for you. Wondering where I can see what works you have coming up for sale.
So sorry I didn’t see your comment before now. I’ve been busy with other things for a bit and haven’t updated the site for a few months. I am going to change the format soon and add a contact email, but for the time being, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll reply straight away.
Hope you’re keeping well.