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Enrique Servín

Ida y vuelta: Una bitácora para los sueños

To paint is to enlarge the universe, since each painting is the inauguration of a window that opens onto other dimensions, or rather to worlds that the limits of its quadrangle invent and offer to the gaze. Open new windows, new doors, yes, but in what direction? The answer that each painter gives to this question will shape, if not his aesthetics, then at least his visual discourse, the character and body of his production as an artist. When searching for this answer, Fermín Gutiérrez has opted for a mysterious and unknown region of freedom: the world of dreams.

There is no localism, no history, no message of salvation or condemnation in the sometimes subterranean and sometimes kaleidoscopic paintings of this artist, because in them everything happens in times and spaces that are not those of this world. Painting conscious of its location in an era after the avant-garde and the "isms", which for decades obsessed intellectuals and creators of the plastic arts, the art of Fermín Gutiérrez, descends from the work of marginal artists such as Marc Chagall or, now among us, Rafael Coronel, does not focus on formal experimentation but on the exploration of our often indecipherable secret worlds.

Indeed, his paintings do not attempt to create the cartography or catalog of our planet, a mission exhausted, or perhaps impossible. Instead, they offer us mysterious scenes of an intimate theater, based not on a rationally structured interiority, or even on the level of the symbolic, but generously nourished in the very fresh well of imagination and dream. Sudden, unusual and unexpected images; like when, on some occasion, when opening a door in the grandparents' house we suddenly come across the room with the "tiliches" - the old furniture, the old clothes, the objects that are no longer incomprehensible - and in that fragile and silently everything piles up in front of us, hiding under the form of earthy and dusty chaos that, in reality, hides a new order, and even a rigorous order, but founded in a contradictory and illogical way on a resounding and shameless freedom: order of disorder.

Academically trained in design and architecture, Fermín renounces the mathematical rigors of such disciplines in a quite interesting way. The physical spaces that appear in his paintings – halls, rooms, galleries and towers – contradict calculation, aesthetics and common sense; the corridors lead into the void, the doors lead only to themselves, the entire construction seems to consist of a room full of cards that threatens to collapse, to deconstruct itself to suddenly change shape or meaning.

On the other hand, where does the diverse imagery of this painter born in the flat and arid spaces of northern Mexico come from? It is interesting to note that the atmosphere of his paintings, although generally dreamlike, is frequently populated with religious or rather mythical accents. Archangels, snakes, Towers of pride, Eves, Umbrian Chamber that seem destined for worship. But to the cult of what or who? It is evident that we are not facing an encrypted message, much less an intellectual orthodoxy; some of these ruddy and sparkling archangels came down from the heavens of Islam and still come enveloped by the light of the Prophet; others, however, seem deeply disenchanted or skeptical. Suddenly one of them arrives dressed in the newspaper jacket, and we will even think we recognize ourselves in him.

But the world of dreams, as we know, annuls the subject-object relationship and erases the dilemmas of this-or-that, of before-or-after. In dreams, fortunately for dreamers, I am you but you are not the same, so down is up, and up is many places at the same time. Dreams are the country where all combinations are possible, where it is not necessary to understand what we ourselves say. And therefore, when we face these crystallized dreams that are Fermín's paintings, the nocturnal wings of the archangels, the steely beaks of birds and the swollen volumes of unusual hot air balloons open freely and sovereignly before our gaze; The bodies invite us without pretext to their nocturnal geographies and the spaces intertwine, dialoguing or canceling each other. All between purple gales and electric blue or yellow hail.

Now, after two seasons of pictorial production spent between the south of Brazil and his native Chihuahua, Fermín Gutiérrez offers us, with the collection titled “Ida y Vuelta”, a splendid log of his dreams, a generous harvest of images that bear witness of his most recent evolution as an artist. Between one series and another there are, of course, parallelisms and lines of continuity, but equally divergences and innovations: the colors calm down, the scene becomes complicated; new forms are added to previous inventories of characters and chimeras; The lines seem to relax and the whole moves towards a greater capacity for synthesis.


Mirages. Appearances. Scenes in which angelic snakes disguise themselves with checkered floors with impunity. Bathers preparing not for the dance but for the unforeseen flight. Sound clouds that encompass everything while murmuring their vanishing, but sometimes also dazzling, vowels. Men who run to gladly receive the lightning, the sudden ray of the image that freezes and defines them. And all so that viewers can achieve that human privilege: daydreaming.

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