Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

1F 5 Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Open: Tue-Sat 10am-6pm


Joaquín Boz: diffusion

Perrotin Seoul, Seoul

Thu 30 Mar 2023 to Fri 26 May 2023

1F 5 Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, Joaquín Boz: diffusion

Tue-Sat 10am-6pm

Artist: Joaquín Boz

Perrotin Seoul presents diffusion, a solo exhibition by the Buenos Aires based artist Joaquín Boz, marking his first exhibition with the gallery and in Asia. The exhibition showcases more than 10 paintings created on-site at Perrotin Samcheong gallery for two months.


Paintings travel. They often travel en masse, caged in delicate crates to keep them away from possible damages and other unexpected circumstances. The typical scenario is: Once paintings are completed in an artist’s studio, they are ready to travel around. Unless the artist changes his mind to add or subtract anything to and from his creations, they are fossilized in their final forms.

Paintings travel with the standardized process. Condition reports, minute wrapping and packaging, and wooden crates, followed by unpacking with another round of condition reports, hanging, and returning to the crates for shipping. Professional art handlers take care of most of the process. Temperature and humidity are under strict control to keep the precious creations in their original, pristine state. Under such intensive care, the paintings leave the artist’s hands. Whether they are abstract or figurative, the process is more or less the same.

Joaquín Boz also travels. Unlike his paintings, however, he travels by himself and does not maintain the supposedly pristine, untouched state. He changes as he navigates through different destinations while maintaining his art-making practice. Often from Buenos Aires and sometimes from other cities, he takes passenger flights, more or less the same as other artists. Yet, one thing distinguishes from most of his colleagues: He travels ahead of his paintings.

His paintings most often do not travel from his studio in Buenos Aires, art storages, or galleries elsewhere to their destinations. In these instances, the artist travels ahead of his works and arrives before them. When do the artworks arrive then? Indeed, they do not depart from anywhere but from the artist’s psyche. And he travels with some of his handy creative tools, including his accustomed painting knives. Once he arrives at the destination, he practices through his muscle memory. The works then manifest through certain shapes, colors, and textures, which are to be accumulated and evolve through his many travels. In this sense, they arrive after the artist, through the artist.

As such, Joaquín Boz travels in time. And such a way of working is a highly analogue mode of production given how convenient it is now for anyone to create anything. We have been witnessing an ever-accelerating cycle of creation and consumption where everything quickly falls into oblivion in the vortex of too many things even to recognize at the same time. Under this regime, creative efforts are often standardized and produced in forms that can be easily shipped to anywhere in the world with proper zip codes. Certain artworks are even created out of thin air, based on algorithms to generate images with pre-determined elements in a set number of combinations. Such works are created in an atemporal vacuum, defying our shared experience of space and time.

Joaquín Boz takes up space and time. For the exhibition in Seoul, Boz once again travelled all the way to the city. He turned the gallery into his temporary workshop for a prolonged period of a few weeks leading up to the exhibition. There, he continued his time-consuming, analogue practice with abstract, indeterminate shapes, spontaneously adding and subtracting elements until he settled a sense of completion in each composition. Created en masse, the paintings speak to the artist’s evolution of accumulated experiences in time. They are created on-site, but they are not site-specific per se. They travelled with the artist, and they are traveling with him.

What one might discover in Boz’s travelling with his work is that there is a certain level of repetition. Repetition, not in the sense of repeating the leitmotif but as a mode of maintaining the existence in ever-changing acceleration of everything. Is there a pattern in his seemingly repeated figures, shapes, signs, colors, and even textures on the wood panel? Even if there is no pattern, one might eventually find one by the law of nature where humans are bound to generate patterns out of the most random occurrences of the world (There have been countless occasions where people witnessed the face of Jesus on cloth, in clouds, and even on milk foam!).

If certain deep learning models and generative AI, such as Stable Diffusion or Midjourney, learn ‘enough’ visual data of Boz’s works since the beginning of his practice, some patterns that are not evident to our human eyes might be turned into exact formulae with a touch of added randomness. Yet, as much as they might be a result of complex calculation even beyond our understanding, they cannot be the ones that take up space and time through the artist, with the artist. If Boz’s works are to be fed into a learning machine, images ‘created in the style of Joaquín Boz’ will be presented as a result of calculated patterns of repetitions instead of inviting us to go against the instinct of finding patterns.

Going back to Boz’s paintings, which came a hard way to the exhibition through a laborious on-site creative process, they call for an effort not to see what emerges when we are automatically drawn to our embedded nature of pattern recognition. They ask us to see what is removed from the exhibition space, namely the artist’s spending of time on-site and his very analogue manner of traveling with his paintings. As our view of his works at this time is limited to the very works presented in the exhibition, there might really be an evident pattern of repetition in the bigger body of his works to be accumulated in the coming years.

Yet, what we do learn from Boz’s elusive paintings is not really this quantitative approach to his practice. What we learn is how an artist maintains himself, how he travels with his paintings, how he often arrives before them, and how we can stand against our all-encompassing nature of finding comprehensible representations or patterns, even from the most-random occurrences of the world.

Jaeyong PARK

Joaquín Boz (Argentine, b.1987) creates earthy-colored abstract paintings that rely on his physical energy, careful scrutiny and patient refinement. He spreads, scrapes, and pushes oil paints across wood panels with his hands, creating various textures and gestures that leave behind a record of his physical presence. He uses an array of undulating loops, staccato scratches, and calligraphic marks to flirt with identifiable forms without allowing them to coalesce into recognizable images. When he is not applying paint, he is wiping it away.

Every painting exhibits the presence of countless discrete decisions and organic networks of marks that record the artist’s intimate and pointed conversations with his materials. He is equally comfortable making works as large as ten by thirty feet and others as small as eleven by thirteen inches. Regardless of size, the paintings are composed of anti-heroic gestures that celebrate the potential of touch and the humble, earthbound nature of material things.

all images © the gallery and the artist(s)

By using you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience. Close