One of the must-see satellite events of this year’s Basel Week Miami was definitely a solo show by Jose Parla that is on view at YoungArts from the 29th of November until the 15th of December. Roots features an all new body of work created exclusively for this site-specific showing that the artist created at the iconic Jewel Box (2100 Biscayne Boulevard).
Inspired by putting on a major exhibition in his hometown, the NYC-based artist created a series of large canvases and sculptures that are reference the connection of the past, present and future. Taking his Cuban roots as a starting point, the abstract works represent everything from the country’s history to his personal memories and experiences. From reminiscing about the places and streets that he used to work at, or have his studios at, to paying tribute to his grandfather, the vibrant works feels very personal to the artist. By covering canvases in calligraphy, thick layers of paint, plaster, concrete dust or collage, Parla composes rich and heavily textured abstractions that represent his own artistic past as well as serve as urban artifacts. The poetic feel of times past is accented through the stained glass windows around which the artist strategically placed his pieces, allowing his work to interact with their unique light.
The show was commissioned as part of the Rolls-Royce art program in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) and organized by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, and will travel to the the SCAD Museum of Art in 2017.