I am interested in discovering and assimilating the overlooked deteriorated layers of advertising on walls fading and withering in the sun. I see the writing on the wall and the storied layers of paint as the psychology of society

(José Parlá - Brooklyn, NY)

Brand New Gallery is pleased and thrilled to present “Mirrors” the first solo exhibition by José Parlá at the gallery.

In Mirrors, Parlá creates a new series of paintings that reinvent the cityscape by exporting parts of walls he found in Italy to his Brooklyn studio in order to create work that interplays and re-contextualizes detritus appropriated and presented as objet trouvé in both abstract paintings and poetic interpretations of places seen by the artist’s eye.

Parlá collected ripped posters he has applied to his work as collage that will be returned to their country of origin using his paintings as the vessels translating his journey from Milan to Rome, Napoli, Matera, Bari, Lecce and Bologna. In these works, Parlá reflects on memories from his travels and imports them back to Italy as carriers of new meaning.

In this exhibition José Parlá pays homage to several artists such as Mimmo Rotella, Isidore Isou, Tristan Tzara, and Burhan Dogançay, and art movements that are close in relation to his practice: New Realism and Lettrism. With these new works Parlá continues to examine ways of how his own art making process over the years has incorporated; writing, texture, collage and Metagraphics with what the Romanian artist and founder of the Lettrist movement Isidore Isou defined as: “[...] encompassing all the means of ideographic, lexical and phonetic notation, supplements the means of expression based on sound by adding a specifically plastic dimension, a visual facet which is irreducible and escapes oral labelling.”

By working in this tradition Parlá captures a ‘visual phonetic poetry’ throughout his art. Isou’s right hand man, Maurice Lemaître, a Lettrist theorist, added that Hypergraphics is an “ensemble of signs capable of transmitting the reality served by the consciousness more exactly than all the former fragmentary and partial practices.”

José Parlá (1973, Miami, Florida) Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York, studied at Miami Dade Community College, New World School of the Arts and Savannah College of Art & Design.

His work has recently exhibited at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah College of Art & Design, Georgia; National YoungArts Foundation, Miami, Florida; Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, Texas; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; UMMA, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan; The Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; Van Every/Smith Galleries, Davidson College, North Carolina; The Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba; Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico; SECCA: Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, among others.

Parlá’s work is in several public collections including, The British Museum, London, United Kingdom; The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Pola Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan; The National Museum of Fine Arts, Havana, Cuba; UMMA, University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Collaborative projects include, the 11th Havana Biennial with Wrinkles of the City: Havana, Cuba project, which was completed in 2012 between Parlá and French artist JR.

Parlá also worked with the Caldera Arts Program at The Portland Art Museum where he collaborated with participating youth for his Signature Roots, workshop and installation.

Permanent public arts projects include a commission by ONE World Trade Center for his monumental mural painting, ONE: Union of the Senses, the largest painting of its kind in New York City, in the tallest building in the western hemisphere; The Barclays Center in Brooklyn; the Brooklyn Academy of Music BAM Fisher; André Balazs’ Chiltern Firehouse, London, United Kingdom; North Carolina State University’s Hunt Library by Snøhetta; Concord City Place, Toronto, Canada.