Spotlight: Venezuelan Artist Johan Galue Explores a Surrealist Universe in a New York Show

The artist's solo show 'Surreal Suspensions' taps the visual language of dreams and memories.

Johan galue, Donde Las Cosas Suceden Por Algo (2024). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

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What You Need to Know: On view through May 31, 2024, Venezuelan artist Johan Galue is the subject of a solo show with Unix Gallery, New York, “Surreal Suspensions.” Featuring more than a dozen recent works, the exhibition lets viewers explore Galue’s artistic, Surrealist world and discover his own visual lexicon of symbols and motifs, which tap everything from Jungian theory and dreams to the influences of personal and collective memory. The show also highlights a level of presentational experimentation, as some acrylic on canvas works are shown on traditional stretchers, while others are installed loose on the wall.

About the Artist: Originally from Maracaibo, Zulia, Johan Galue is currently based in Maracaibo, Venezuela, where he studied at the University of Zulia Maracaibo, graduating with his bachelor’s in 2008 with a focus in drawing. His work and practice is recognized for its imaginative style and content, and he has been featured in several significant group shows that parallel this element of his work, such as “New Surrealism” at the Museum of Art Acarigua-Araure, Venezuela (2018) and “Inner Realities Exhibition” at the Bellas Artes Theater and Art Center, Maracaibo, Venezuela (2017). Speaking of his practice, the artist said, “I am unafraid, and I have unwavering faith in what I do, as what I create as an artist essentially represents my perpetual vision.”

Why We Like It: Moving through Galue’s solo “Surrealism Suspensions,” the concept of exploration and discovery are heightened by the evolving vignettes and otherworldly landscapes, compelling viewers to seek out allusions to narrative, or a cohesive use of symbolism. At once playful and uncanny, the figures in Galue’s work offer clues as well as obscure direct readings, as they gesture with strange appendages or float as disembodied parts within contexts that could be understood as either dreams or nightmares. The works are imbued with themes and ideas around the subconscious and psychology, which suggest not necessarily a break from reality, but what might be just below the surface.

See inside the exhibition and featured works below.

Looking down the entrance hall of the solo show of works by Johan Galue at Unix Gallery, with the name of the show, Surreal Suspensions, on the left wall and a bright, tapestry like painting on the right wall.

Installation view of “Surreal Suspensions: Johan Galue” (2024). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

Johan Galue, Arbol De La Vida (2024). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

Installation view of three paintings by Johan Galue inside a white gallery space.

Installation view of “Surreal Suspensions: Johan Galue” (2024). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

Johan Galue, Submundo (2023). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

Installation view of four paintings by Johan Galue inside a white gallery space.

Installation view of “Surreal Suspensions: Johan Galue” (2024). Courtesy of Unix Gallery, New York.

Surreal Suspensions: Johan Galue” is on view at Unix Gallery, New York, through May 31, 2024.


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