Artist: Tomás Sánchez
Title: Tomás Sánchez: Inner Landscape
Essay: Susan L. Aberth, Tomás Sánchez: On Razor's Edge
Essay: Gabriel García Márquez, Tomás Sánchez
Editor: Nicole Sisti
Publisher: Marlborough Gallery, Inc.
Book Format: Hardcover
Published on the occasion of the exhibition Tomás Sánchez: Inner Landscape, an exhibition which shows the prescient juxtaposition of two parallel bodies of work: paradise on earth and vast fields of trash. Tomás Sánchez’s hypnotic vistas cannot be attributed to any specific geographic location; they are entirely imaginary. Often alluding to his many travels and his garden, these paintings are, first and foremost, guided by his daily practice of meditation, which he has maintained for nearly five decades. Sánchez writes:
When I enter a state of meditation it’s as if I’m in a jungle or a forest; the mind enters into a great exhilarated state, like an exuberant jungle where you can experience fear, desire, anguish—all types of emotions and feelings. When I begin to feel that there’s a point of inner consciousness everything goes toward that inner space, that inner river. Everything goes toward that place of quiet, that realm of tranquility within the forest where there is a lake.
Sánchez’s recent compositions are notably anchored in the vocabulary of American abstraction and Minimalism. Within these paintings, there are inherent compositional tensions and harmonies, beyond the meticulous detail, that guide the viewer through space. Each painting on view is the result of months—often years—of the artist’s dedicated attention.
Providing a contrast to Sánchez’s more well-known subjects are three of the artist’s large-scale trash landscapes. Many of Sánchez’s followers are familiar with his pristine, paradisiacal, renditions of nature, but have been less exposed to these stark depictions of trash that portray humanity’s incessant consumption and violence towards the environment. This body of work is essential to Sánchez’s practice as he began producing these works in the early 1980s while living in Cuba and has continued the series to this day. These contrasting series on view strengthen one another and articulate the artist’s singular and contemporary approach to landscape painting.
Tomás Sánchez was born in 1948 in Aguada de Pasajeros, Cuba. He began his studies as a painter in 1964 at the San Alejandro School of Plastic Arts in Havana and later at the Escuela Nacional de Arte. In 1980 he won the Joan Mir Drawing Prize, given by the Miró Foundation in Barcelona and in 1984 he won the Amelia Peláez Award for painting at Havana’s first biennial. In 1985 he had his first retrospective at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. In 1989 he left Cuba to live in Mexico and subsequently moved to southern Florida. He joined the Marlborough Gallery in 1996. In 2003 a substantial monograph on the artist’s body of work was published by Skira with an essay by the South American poet and Nobel Laureate, Gabriel García Márquez and texts by Edward J. Sullivan. Sánchez currently lives and works in Costa Rica and Miami.
Inner Landscape is the result of nearly six years of collaboration between Marlborough, the artist, and a number of private collections. This exhibition has been made possible by those collectors who have entrusted us with their paintings, allowing us to present a cohesive narrative of Sánchez’s last decade of work.