Buzz Lightyear launches into flight. He hollers, “To infinity… and beyond!” Take it from the brave, jet-powered toy astronaut. Reaching the outermost expanse of the interminable universe — or a kid’s playroom — is only a part of the adventure. The purpose of life is found in wanting to go over the edge of the final destination to see what lies on the other side. Nano Rubio’s new body of paintings, in prolific I Saw Red at LAUNCH LA, speaks to such an attitude.
Primarily working in abstraction, recurring cone-shaped voluminous curtains and dragged paint slabs playfully punctuate the frontmost surface. Underneath, Rubio most notably utilizes a dizzying number of rhythmically spaced, hard-edged lines to construct a field of optical filter. It matters not, however, how many lines are painted, as the number appears to exponentially multiply toward infinity with each stripe drawn and adjacent gap unmasked — revealing the depth behind the veil of impenetrable barrier.
Rubio’s exercise of producing countless lines feels more akin to a conceptual practice than geometric abstraction or action painting. Seen in Roman Opalka’s black to white paintings and On Kawara’s dated postcards, the intent can be understood as the obliteration of all else but the implied, inevitable end point.
Fortunately, Rubio does not pursue this finality to death. Though highly obscured, a glimpse through the narrowly arranged cage of crisp lines show a complex, often amorphous environment that exists within; maybe a room, perhaps outdoor. In discovering the brave new world, the artist commands to dive deeper and continue the explorative mission — to infinity and beyond.
Nano Rubio’s I Saw Red is on view at LAUNCH LA until July, 25, 2015. It’s a SEE-RED-FOR-YOURSELF.
All images courtesy of gallery.