Joaquim Chancho calculates the core of his formal language with mathematical precision, through rhythm and the repetition of lines, colours, geometry, and calligraphic elements. His sequential series of works are created in two interconnected processes, as gouache drawing composed in fine detail forms the foundation for subsequent layers of gestural oil painting.
His thoughtful working method reveals a carefully considered drawing and painting vocabulary. Eluding a concrete narrative reading, the artist's works seem enigmatic, and yet an astonishing and expressive effect unfolds due to their self-reflexive nature.
Chancho's works are suffused with a precisely calculated quality, expressed through an ensemble of vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines that connect or overlap. The grid and lattice structures created are the basic building blocks of sequential geometry - ostensibly the clearest concept of order - and a characteristic feature of Joaquim Chancho's oeuvre as a whole.
The painter applies gestural strokes with a fine brush or pencil to create a form of visual writing, using both saturated colours and black and white to enhance the effect of depth. The artist varies the painting technique he has created in small and large formats, sometimes densely packed with a formal language and eccentric colourfulness, other times in a minimalistic grey or black. Inspired by lettering, he develops highly intuitive painting in a quest for non-figurative representation, the meaning of which is not overtly apparent. The artist gives his works numbers instead of titles, denying the viewer a concrete reading direction and, at first glance, resembling numbered documents in an archive.
Chancho's art combines various elements of Cubism, Post-Informal and Post-Minimalism, which use a language alternating between signs and geometry. Like square roots that can be multiplied the work is never finished for the painter, but like life itself is an eternally repeating cycle. With geometry, he creates a framework which enables him to build a very personal mental map with the intention to free himself from any compulsive rules of painting or writing.
The works on paper (1990 -2000) consist of densely drawn lines in angles, grids or waves, which fill the entire surface of the canvas. At the beginning of the working process, the painter divides Japanese paper on two axes, then uses a fine brush or pencil to make consistent movement with repeating coloured lines over the entire surface. He varies the drawing gesture between thin, narrow lines and generous wave-like movements. The works are reminiscent of calligraphy, which is difficult to decipher. Like Pythagoras, who stated that mathematics and geometry are languages, Chancho's works refer to the immanent expression of art, which can be combined, modified and developed immeasurably linguistically and mathematically.
The artist's oil paintings (1990-2000) function both as a response to and continuation of the drawings on paper. If the artist stuck to black, white and red in his drawings, apart from occasional intervals, his paintings seem like explosions of colour. The basic form is characteristically formed by horizontal and vertical lines in contrasting colours. First, the artist spreads out a layer of paint with the brush, which is completely covered by other layers and horizontal and vertical lines, exposing the underlying layers of paint in isolated instances. A chromatic balance is created between the base layer and the surface of the works. Some lines are short, dense and jagged, while others are drawn long, determining how far the surface of the painting opens up.
The artist distinguishes the act of painting from the act of drawing by the physical and cognitive commitment he makes to each separate form.
Joaquim Chancho (*1943) studied at the Escola Superior de Belles Arts Sant Jordi (School of Fine Arts) in Barcelona, where he was nominated for the "Premio a la Pintura Joven" (Prize for Young Painters). The painter, who was initially interested in architectural and landscape motifs, developed a formal language consisting of constructive elements and dense, pigmented brushstrokes during his studies. In 1993 he completed his doctoral studies at the University of Fine Arts in Barcelona and from that point forward devoted himself to the language of geometry and abstraction. He lives and works in Barcelona. More