Mateo Galvano’s Alluvium Variations is a meditation on migration. In the series, color roils across paper surfaces like clouds etched with inky veins, suggesting formidable atmospheric occurrences and the ensuing disruption and dispersion. Tangled scribbles, meandering, discursive marks and fields of color depict imagined landscapes, conveying a sense of agitation and restlessness.
The artist generates these works by smearing and scraping, scratching and blotting acrylic paint on paper, making palette knife and brush strokes, and threaded lines that imply seams and stratum, patterns and maps. On the paper surfaces, dynamic lines trace the contours of invisible volumes and encounter rigid forms and spatial gaps. Forays of pre-lingual scrawls in colored pencil traverse the surfaces, intermittently subsumed by broad washes of paint. Marked by organic, striated passages, tilted curves push into geometric shapes, as if representing chromatic streams of biotic traffic that have been impeded and blocked, resulting in turbulent ruptures.
Geopolitical concerns motivate the work and serve as a thematic underpinning. Galvano endeavors to discuss, through abstract means, both the plight of the refugee and the courage of the émigré. On the one hand, the dialogic mark-making evokes alluvial particles dispersed across land by weather, displaced from their source of origin, nourishing the soil at the sites of deposit. On the other hand, this discourse of line and gestural color implies human diaspora, and the universal impetus to cross cultural and physical boundaries in search of possibilities for asylum and belonging.