Kiria Koula: Gallery & Bookstore

José León Cerrillo likes to think of abstraction as a process meant to amplify information, rather than reduce it. Similar to the game that involves using multiple definitions of a particular word without ever uttering that word, Cerrillo’s work points at what seems to be nonexistent so that we can deduce and construct the complexity of its existence.

His works, which vary from 3D structures to 2D compositions of symbols and geometric shapes, function as tools that propose multiple interpretations and forms. By shifting our perception, Cerrillo’s work invites us to recognize and rethink what’s behind or inside what we’re looking at, instead of describing what is already apparent and defined.

For his exhibition at Kiria Koula, Cerrillo created three new metal structures combined with a series of six silkscreened prints on glass and a fabric curtain. His metal structures look more like the contours of invisible volumes than volumes themselves, and transform the void spaces that they frame into complete spatial configurations. Using a similar gesture, his prints on glass and fabric, which are composed of letters, symbols and geometrical silhouettes, suggest the use of an alternative grammatical system capable of being read from either side of its surface.

José León Cerrillo (b. 1976, San Luis Potosi, México) lives and works in Mexico City. He has shown his work in museum exhibitions around the world such as MoMA PS1 in New York, Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca, Tensta Konsthall in Stockholm, Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, Fundación Jumex in Mexico City, and Betonsalon in Paris, among others. He received an MFA from Columbia University in New York in 2003. His exhibition at Kiria Koula marks the first time his work is shown in San Francisco.