Taubert Contemporary is pleased to present “Umbra, penumbra, antumbra”, Joan Saló’s second solo exhibition in Berlin. The Catalan artist shows a recent and unpublished body of work, a series of canvases with which he manifests new pictorial intentions.

During a complete solar eclipse, three types of shadow are generated in space with different qualities: the umbra is the darkest zone, where the moon completely covers the sun; the penumbra is located around the umbra, where the moon partially hides the sun; the antumbra is the only place from which the moon can be seen, exactly in the center of the solar disk. Saló’s monochrome paintings explore different tones and sheens to produce vibrant effects of light and shadow, suggestive images that appear and fade before the viewer.

To paint his recent work, Saló condenses the execution of the paintings into a single instant, reducing the creative process to a single transcendental act, a leap into the void that demands great concentration, determination and detachment. Although the choice of materials for the realization of these new pieces, as is usual in Saló’s work, is deliberately minimalist – acrylic paint in a single color on canvas – the results are expressive and eloquent: paintings that can recall gestures and forms from the beginnings of abstraction and simultaneously evoke the rhythms of cave art.

Plato narrates, in his Allegory of the Cave, how the images projected on the cave wall, which apparently configured reality, are only shadows of other bodies moving behind the fire. The viewer has a similar sensation when contemplating these new paintings by Saló: their rotund structures -some more somber, others cleareremerge as traces, vestiges or manifestations of something that seems to be beyond the paintings themselves, as if they wanted to testify to the existence of a mystery without ever revealing it.

– Juan Mut