Secundino Hernández – Dreaming of Wild Honey

    23 June–25 July 2020

    ‘I’m not looking for certainties, I’m looking for questions. I’m always trying to review and revisit what I’m doing.’ — Secundino Hernández

    One of the most dynamic painters of his generation, Secundino Hernández is celebrated for a spirited enquiry into the language, history and enduring potential of abstraction. 

    New works made especially for this presentation continue the Spanish artist’s investigation into the vocabulary of painting – line, form, gesture and colour – and historical classifications of the medium – action and colourfield painting – to create images that, radiating a sense of urgency, explore not only their own process of creation but our responses to a painted surface.

    The exhibition is also available to view via the App Store on Vortic Collect.

    Last year Victoria Miro established a studio space in Venice for invited artists to spend extended time in the historic city and make new bodies of work. During a recent two-month residency, Flora Yukhnovich used the opportunity to engage more fully with Venetian culture. Her sources include the music of Vivaldi and the memoirs of Casanova, in addition to one of her key influences, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works including ceiling frescos in the Ca’ Rezzonico museum and the Chiesa Santa Maria della Visitazione she was able to study first hand to create this new suite of paintings for this exhibition.

    Flora Yukhnovich: The Venice Paintings is presented by Victoria Miro in association with Parafin and is available to view both here and via the App Store on Vortic Collect.


    Acrylic on linen
    204 x 164 cm
    80 1/4 x 64 5/8 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘The idea is to first paint the whole surface of the painting, so the whole canvas is painted from the back or from the front, every centimetre. Then I wash, or erase, parts of the painting.’ — Secundino Hernández

    These latest paintings pivot between spontaneity and improvisation, action and reflection. Foregrounding colour and gesture through a process of partial erasure, the resulting works have a dramatic, exploratory quality and openly display the challenges and triumphs of the artist’s practice.

    Still from video featuring works in progress in Secundino Hernández‘s Madrid studio

    Writing about Hernández’s work, Oliver Basciano notes that ‘Within the parameters of his unique process, there is a mad freedom to Hernández’s paintings, one that operates beyond the restraints of authorial control… For the viewer, the artist’s surfaces feel kinship with the turbulent mark-making of a JMW Turner seascape… Hernández’s work evokes the same loss of control as one is submerged into the painted surface, a sublime overwhelming, a surrender to the elements and all the scarring that brings forth.’

    Still from video featuring works in progress in Secundino Hernández‘s Madrid studio

    Acrylic on linen
    179 x 144 cm
    70 1/2 x 56 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    Acrylic on linen
    179 x 144 cm
    70 1/2 x 56 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    Acrylic and dye on linen
    241 x 200 cm
    94 7/8 x 78 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘I use a very liquid paint, which is like ink. Everything becomes quicker and harder to control. It’s nice to have this liquid reality. Everything evolves out of the shapes, yet the shapes are very difficult to define.’ — Secundino Hernández

    Vortic installation view

    Acrylic and dye on linen
    241 x 200 cm
    94 7/8 x 78 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘With the dark paintings, I dye the canvas from the back with a dark navy, almost black, to create a powerful contrast.’ — Secundino Hernández

    For Hernández, painting is both a physical and cerebral activity, a conduit for intellectual and philosophical enquiry. Whether employing strong linear elements, by turns painterly or calligraphic, or rich bursts of colour, his work corrals diverse influences within a signature abstract language, often collapsing traditional distinctions and hierarchies. In Hernández’s hands, a monochrome might also be an action painting, while an action painting might, on closer inspection, reveal itself to be an almost archaeological excavation of the picture plane.

    Vortic installation view

    Acrylic on linen
    179 x 144 cm
    70 1/2 x 56 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    Acrylic on linen
    179 x 144 cm
    70 1/2 x 56 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘You can see how the fields of colours become like islands, the strokes become shapes. You have a dance of fields and lines and colours, and the paintings start to work.’ — Secundino Hernández

    Discussing the tension between calculation and spontaneity in these works, the artist says: ‘When the works succeed, I see a dance between pictorial languages and a balance between something which is very much under control and something else which is accidental.’ The use of the word ‘dance’ is key. Rhythms – variously turbulent, lilting or exuberantly waltzing – impress themselves both within and between the works on view.

    Vortic installation view

    Acrylic and dye on linen
    87 x 58 cm
    34 1/4 x 22 7/8 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    Acrylic on linen
    179 x 144 cm
    70 1/2 x 56 3/4 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘It’s about creation and destruction, in terms of forms, shapes and colours, but mainly for me these paintings propose something new in terms of being direct.’ — Secundino Hernández

    Vortic installation view

    Acrylic and dye on linen
    99 x 67 cm
    39 x 26 3/8 in

    Secundino Hernández, Untitled, 2020

    ‘It’s a very intuitive process. It’s the joy of making a painting.’ — Secundino Hernández

    Vortic installation view

    Secundino Hernández

    About the artist

    Secundino Hernández was born in 1975 in Madrid, where he currently lives and works. Solo exhibitions of his work have recently been presented at institutions including CAC Málaga, Spain; Taidehalli Helsinki, Finland; Yuz Museum, Shanghai and Maison Louis Carré, Bazoches-sur-Guyonne, France. His work has also been shown as part of group exhibitions at the Royal Academy, London, UK; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español, Madrid, Spain and Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra, Australia. His work is in numerous institutional and private collections, including The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, Spain; and The Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada, among others.


    Vortic Installation

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    XR installation view, Secundino Hernández, Victoria Miro on Vortic, 23 June–25 July 2020. All works © Secundino Hernández, courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

    Victoria Miro worked with the virtual art platform Vortic to capture these works – as well as their physical gallery spaces in London – photogrammetrically with the latest high-resolution 3D scanning technology.

    Vortic’s software and rendering techniques, which have never before been used in the industry, enable Victoria Miro to present exhibitions of 2D and 3D works in the very highest quality. These works can be experienced in Virtual Reality via the Vortic Collect app.

    Learn more about Vortic here.

    For enquiries regarding featured works and other matters, please contact the below:

    Victoria Miro: salesinfo@victoria-miro.com

    Vortic: enquiries@vorticxr.com

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