Angel Otero is known for oil paintings of bleeding color fields that bunch and crease to create topographic textures. In this visually compelling edition, Untitled (SK-PH), the artist flattened one of his compositions into a digital print, turning his signature folds into trompe l’oeil. Here, they read as intricate line work atop a tumultuous sea of brushed pastels. Inspired by a visit to the Lincoln Center archives, Otero drew a connection between the dramatic flair captured in photographs of operas presented during the 1970s and works from his “Poussin” series. Discussing the characters depicted in Poussin’s paintings, Otero remarked, “they were painted with poses that seemed staged, like a play set, and they reminded me of the opera pictures.”
The ruffled, bunched, and roiling surfaces of Angel Otero’s canvases explore the tactile potential and associations of oil paint. Using the thin, dried layers formed by pouring oil paint in globs or puddles onto glass, Otero creates works whose surfaces undulate and splay, decorating them with dense textures or Spanish baroque floral patterns. He often applies paint in a collage-like manner, creating an intriguing transgression of traditional notions of painterliness. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, much of Otero’s work, such as his 2012-13 series of ornate steel gates embedded with glazed porcelain, reference the neighborhoods and images of his childhood.