For the past two decades, hundreds of pocket notebooks have joined Bernardo Ortiz in action. Loaded with ideas, Ortiz extracts from these a selection of observations and uses them as foundation for the conception of his projects. The assembly of each of his exhibitions—beginning with his personal notes which are then materialized and developed into drawings and paintings in his studio— culminates in the recognition and interaction of the exhibition space. Contemplating the architectural space in relation to the works that have been previously executed, is a fundamental aspect of Ortiz´s creative process. Although his practice over the years has wondered the same conceptual territories, whenever he embarks on developing a new exhibition he manages to infuse his works with cohesiveness and innovation.
Baja Resolución (Low Resolution), Ortiz´s fourth solo show at Casas Riegner, delves into ideas that since early on in his career have fascinated and unsettled him, thus continuously reappearing in several of his pocket notebooks. It is worth noting that his profound interest in the notion of the image resulting from a series of technical and material solutions that is preceded by an opaque surface, serves as a premise that infuses the entire exhibition. The title Baja Resolución (Low Resolution) therefore points to the specific nature of an image and its basic building blocks (pixels); the pixels or information contained in a low resolution image constitute a kind of one toned mini-mosaic thus making the surface of the image seem opaque. The opacity of that plane and its imprecise nature is precisely a quality that seduces the artist.
Bringing together paintings and drawings in various formats, some of which have been installed on a series of wooden structures, Low Resolution responds to the artist´s fascination with modern painting. Always approaching painting from an exogenous point of view, Ortiz interweaves his pictorial thought with his notion of “a page” which according to him acts as a “material support but also as a discursive space” in which design, drawing and writing come together. As a general rule, Ortiz intervenes the support in subtle ways, thus establishing an uncomfortable relationship between the media and format he chooses to employ; he often draws thin lines with hard-leaded pencils on a linen´s fine threads, or applies multiple thin coats of gouache, oil or enamel. All in all, his formal strategies suggest the passing of time while pointing to that complex territory of “surface” or “page”.