For its inaugural exhibition, IS A GALLERY presents the work of architect, cartoonist, and bookmaker José Quintanar from March 14 to April 15.
Over the last four years, Quintanar has drawn Dutch landscapes by following rule-based processes. IS A GALLERY is pleased to show a Dutch landscape constructed with milled wood pieces in Quintanar’s illustrative style, a shift from work on paper to sculptural installation. Viewers will be invited to imagine places that are suggested by Quintanar’s approach, which mixes the visual inventiveness of independent comics with the application of game-like, almost computational, rules that transform or obscure the drawn landscape.
This exhibition strives to connect Quintanar’s previous colorful design work with his more recent stripped-down visuals. Earlier landscape drawings will be presented in their entirety outside of a book format and excerpts or documentation of book and installation works will further demonstrate the artist’s use of bare lines. The installation of “Dutch Landscape #11” sees Quintanar transfer his lines from two-dimensional drawing to three-dimensional wood segments, which were milled locally instead of shipped by the artist from the Netherlands. By having the piece crafted, arranged, and installed beyond his direct control, Quintanar adds another procedure to his work and resists a definitive presentation of his process. In the absence of lush pictures of nature, viewers will see an involved hand and a commitment to structured thinking.
The artist will present a talk titled “Making Books (A Dutch Landscape)” on March 21, 2021. He will be joined by his partner at Ruja Press, Ruohong Wu, and artists Gabri Molist, Carmen Gray, and Roberto Vidal for a talk titled “A Book is a Book is a Book.”
Quintanar has released several full-length comics and artists’ books including Conociendo a Jari, Grundfunken, Fartlek, and Culto Charles. His drawings have been published by The New York Times, Vice, Esquire, Fantagraphics, and others, and his work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Madrid, Porto, and Berlin. Quintanar is currently researching narrative structure and artists’ books for a doctorate at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. With artist Ruohong Wu, Quintanar runs Ruja Press, which publishes content from the multidisciplinary studio Ruja Office and its friends and collaborators.
About the Artist
José Quintanar is an artist, cartoonist, publisher, and educator currently pursuing a PhD at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. His work explores drawing as a game or set of rules applied in artist books and installations. Quintanar has released several full-length comics and artists’ books including Conociendo a Jari, Grundfunken, Fartlek, and Culto Charles. His drawings have been published by The New York Times, Vice, Esquire, Fantagraphics, and others, and his work has been exhibited in galleries in New York, Paris, London, Rotterdam, Madrid, Porto, and Berlin. Along with artist Ruohong Wu, Quintanar runs Ruja Press, publishing the architectural, artistic, and curatorial interests and materials of the studio Ruja Office.