Paul P. “Arrière-pensée” at Lulu, Mexico City
Lulu is very pleased to present a solo exhibition of the Canadian artist, Paul P.
The work of Paul P. willfully inhabits a very specific universe and nexus of reference. It looks back to the 19th-century, western origins of homosexuality as a discursive formation and the subsequent flowering of art, literature and coded language occasioned by its taboo status. As such, in P.’s universe we encounter everything from the languorous ethos of the English dandy, to the Whistlerian landscape, to the foredoomed adolescent idealization of beauty, Tadzio, in Thomas Mann’s Death in Venice. However, anything but nostalgic, P.’s interest in this period has less to do with a fetishization thereof than it does with a pictorial taxonomy of types and codifications. Pursuing this interest, P. looks at and draws upon its crystallization in gay pornography of the 60s and 70s, which becomes the core of his subject matter. It is almost as if he telescoped this entire, clandestine history into portraits culled from these magazines, which he portrays with the narcotic intensity of the otherworldly, here perfectly, if ethereally embodied in watercolor. Over the years, P.’s investigation of this period has expanded to include sculpture, in the form of furniture, and abstraction, among other things. It has been over ten years since the artist has done a show focusing on portraits. But for his exhibition at Lulu, he returns to this core interest, inevitably incorporating into it his exploration of landscape, abstraction and spacial organization which have been his concentration since. It is both a revisitation and a succinct distillation of the artist’s practice, offering a rare opportunity to consider the central stakes of his work and its evolution in its most concise terms.
At Lulu, Mixico City
until 25 January 2020