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Prudencio Irazabal The Distance Within
218 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan

The works in The Distance Within address light and the emotional presence of color as a unique experience belonging to the medium of painting. Through dozens of paper-thin translucent layers, my aim is to attain a synthesis where image, materiality and meaning can become one. In the early 90s I developed this technique for layering colors after first photographing small cross sections of my paintings. The intensity, concreteness and material truth I found through these photographs is something I have been pursuing ever since. Those photographs also revealed the close relationship between simple, raw materials and the more inscrutable and transcendent nature of painting.

The paintings are made over long periods of time using an especially pure and transparent acrylic medium. In the absence of traditional gesture and brushwork, the liquid medium is poured and then extended across the horizontal painting, replacing drawing and shape with color and light. As the layering process builds, the colors become more intense and light begins to pulsate.

Through both disguising and revealing the identity of individual colors, I dissolve formal outlines and avoid sharp edges. By focusing on subtle chromatic diversity, the surface becomes rich while still allowing the eye to traverse the layers through to the white canvas. The resulting surface can best be interpreted when one moves slightly in front of the paintings.

Painting allows me to unite the certainty of materiality with the unreliable nature of perception alluding to a reality that is in the end inapprehensible in its totality.