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María José de Simón; The lurking question

Santiago Espinosa de los Monteros Warsaw, Poland. October of 2016. 

To stand before María José de Simón´s work is to embark on a long and mysterious journey. As observers, we often enter into a state of alertness and prepare ourselves to cast a look devoid of expectations. In front of her work, that gaze is surprised by an unconventional piece with uncommon genetics.

María José de Simón faces each of her pieces without a plan. There is no previous project. Nothing conditions the canvas seconds before she can pour the first strokes on it. Suddenly, unexpected forms begin to emerge from an imprint full of lyricism.

Her work, which seems to be done almost automatically, derives in mysterious forms that, soon after looking at them, unravel inexplicable spaces that make the viewer a walker, a researcher, a being that scrutinizes through clear voids to unveil the point where they find themselves.

Thick black lines refer to the observation point. We are standing under a bower, or perhaps inside it. We are privileged observers of the luminosity and at the same time prisoners inside a huge dark spot. But this captivity is pleasant. Nothing inside suffocates because it is autonomous and becomes a sort of other with which to coexist.

There is no figuration, nor is there a rigorous abstraction, adhering to the scrupulous rules that define it. If the term fits, it is an instinctive painting that unleashes in those who look at it the most singular mechanisms of association.

María José de Simón's Spanish blood is the same that runs through the veins of her work. The brutality and decision in her strokes remind us of the best: Joan Hernández Pijuán, Antoni Tàpies, Albert Rafols Casamada, and the self-taught Antonio Saura; all of them are there uninvited, not in the colors or the composition, not spying on her behind the glass, but there, crouched down to give us a wink through the ways of perceiving space, resolving it, giving it shape and leaving it to walk its own path.

María José walks through life with a brush and spatula in her hand. She meditates, approaches, reviews, rejects, doubts, attacks, smokes, undoes, covers her tracks like a harassed fugitive, turns her back, walks, and wanders with the same ease. Suddenly, something in her perception forces her to stop. The work is resolved, although for our luck the questions never end and each piece promises to be the definitive one without being so.

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