Spanish Art Sensation Secundino Hernández Is Not Worried About Success

We visited the artist in his Madrid studio.


Up until 2012, Secundino Hernández was a well-regarded, yet still emerging painter. But in that year’s edition of ARCO—Madrid’s top contemporary art fair—everything changed. Über-collectors Don and Mera Rubell spotted Hernández’s large-scale painting Wimbledon (2011) in the booth of the Frankfurt gallery Bärbel Grässlin and were immediately intrigued. In fact, they were so smitten with the Madrid-born artist that after buying the abstract work, they have acquired five additional paintings thus cementing their support, and catapulting Hernández to the heights of the international art scene in the process (the Rubells are also partly responsible for the extraordinary rise of Oscar Murillo (see 6 Weird Things the Rubells Told New York Magazine About Oscar Murillo and Instagrammers Step on Oscar Murillo at MoMA).

As of today, Hernández is represented by six international galleries: Victoria Miro (London), Forsblom (Helsinki), Krinzinger (Vienna), Bärbel Grässlin (Frankfurt), Heinrich Ehrhardt (Madrid), and Múrias Centeno (Lisbon). With both Forsblom and Victoria Miro, Hernández will be showing in New York’s Armory Show this week (March 4-8), a good opportunity to keep tabs on his most recent production.

Hernández splits his time between Madrid and Berlin, and keeps studios in both capitals. “Berlin is a fantastic city to think and work on ideas, and Madrid is perfect to paint,” he is fond of saying. And, arriving at his Madrid studio, it’s easy to see why that is: his studio space is enormous, airy, and flooded with natural light. Outsized canvases are arranged side by side, lining the walls with Hernández’s playful juxtapositions of line and color fields, and his signature textural plays.

What’s the secret of the success of Hernández’s oeuvre? Perhaps it’s ineffable; any attempts to rationalize its appeal pale in comparison to the actual experience of encountering his works. His paintings can be breathtaking, like suspended mazes of line and color that entrap the viewer.

In the run-up to his Armory Show outing, artnet News met with the abstract painter in his Madrid studio. See our video above to find out more.

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