Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present Fluid Borders, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Omar Chacon, opening on Thursday, September 9, and continuing through Saturday, October 23, 2021. This will be the artist’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.
Omar Chacon’s lustrous abstract paintings are constructed in layers from small, colorful paint elements affixed to canvas or paper. From afar, the paintings glimmer with an alluring sheen and a mix of vivid and subdued hues. Closer inspection reveals surfaces studded with a multitude of individual drips, drops, or irregular tiles, each containing striations of vibrant acrylic. Chacon’s paintings suggest woven fabrics, mosaics of glass tile, or enamel cloisonné, yet they are distinguished by lively imperfections, a joyous spirit of generosity, and a notion of cross-cultural exchange.
Based on the influences of his Colombian heritage and experiences living in the U.S., Chacon is inspired by the connections between individuals within large, diverse communities. He conveys this sense of vital interrelation in his paintings through compositional strategies, color placement, and chance associations. For example, the works on canvas in this exhibition contain slightly meandering grids of small rectangular tiles. Each tile is unique in its color combinations, and as rows of tiles spread across the surface, their differences and similarities are resolved in an overall chromatic orchestration. Alternately, in one work on paper, the palette is mostly restricted to shades of purple, but hundreds of drips cascade down the sheet as if following the energy of an invisible magnetic field. In another work on paper, a dark ground is interspersed with tiny beads of intense, multihued color that suggest a vast, yet welcoming, cosmos.
Chacon’s paintings are both exuberantly abundant and carefully balanced. They reflect his in-depth study of color theory as well as his interest in interpersonal relationships, family narratives, indigenous traditions, the history of Central and South America, geography, and community. His work reminds viewers that each individual gesture—colorful, bold, subtle, unexpected, or part of a sequence—is reliant on those surrounding it to form a flourishing network.
Omar Chacon was born in Bogota, Colombia. He received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, CA and his BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design, FL. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in cities such as Los Angeles, Milan, San Franciso and Mexico City. Chacon has participated in exhibitions at the Children’s Museum of the Arts in New York, NY and the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, AL. In 2009, Chacon was selected as part of the Queens International Four at the 2009 Biennial at the Queens Museum of Art, New York. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2007 William and Dorothy Yeck Award through the Miami University National Young Painters Competition and the 2008 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. His paintings have been reviewed in Art & Antiques, Artnet, Art in America and Artweek Magazine, among others.