Neo-expressionist painting, if that’s what this be, often has literal depth. Layers of paint come between viewer and canvas. And layers don’t get much thicker than those of this Mexican artist.
When you square up to it, there is a material heaviness. And this translates (in our primitive minds) to a metaphorical heaviness: in other words we feel the pull.
Drawn closer to the surface one can lose oneself in the cracks and crumbles as if every square inch was ripe with intention and hard won expression.
But it is not known how much angst this work caused Sodi. None, it is always possible. It is possible he has hit upon a decent trick to provide that instant gravitas.
Like many painters of a certain ilk, he is all about process: spreading on a trademark mix of pigment, sawdust, pulp, fibres and glue. He lets the cracks work themselves.
Indeed Sodi has spoken of relinquishing control. With an element of chance in all his paintings, he works on the floor a la Pollock. Then he leaves it to dry for at least two months.
Most results in this show include a certain furriness, a certain glitter, and a sense that you could pull the paint away from the wall in chunks. As itchy as a scab.
So there may yet be an existential wound behind this work. But equally, there may just be a painter with a technical niche and a Taoist approach to finished product. I’m not sure which to prefer.
Bosco Sodi: Graphein can be seen at PACE London until October 4 2013. See gallery website for more details.