Burning Sunset

Silver & Platinum

Royal Mantle

Perez, J. Esteban
Working within the framework of a fundamentally abstract vocabulary, Esteban Perez has created luminous, brilliantly colored compositions in enamel for the past forty years.  He uses a combination of opaque and transparent materials to make work ranging from intimately-scaled, wearable forms such as brooches and pendants, to large wall-mounted panels.  Some of the artist’s early pieces reflect his admiration for the whimsical fantasies of Paul Klee and his later panels reflect his love of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko.  However his most current work simply revels in the opulent beauty of color and light.  While he organizes his compositions like a painter applying oil to canvas, he is keenly aware of his medium’s unique properties as he creates compositions with a layered depth, and visual allure only possible in enamel.

Born in Santiago, Chile in 1939, Perez was educated at the University of Chile’s School of Applied Arts.  He trained in multiple disciplines including painting and design and was awarded second prize in painting at the Art and Technique exhibition in Santiago in 1963.  He studied enameling on his own through a highly experimental approach to materials.  After completing his studies in Chile, he moved to New York in 1965 and taught enameling workshops at the Riverside Church from 1969 to 1971.  In 1968 his work was featured in a group exhibition at Metarco Galleries, one of the few commercial venues where the public could see the latest developments in contemporary enameling.  He was given a solo show there in 1975.

His work was included in the National Ceramic Exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse in 1970 where it received the prestigious purchase award.  In 1980 he was commissioned to produce a large, multi-panel, enamel-on-steel mural called Constructivist Space Drawing for the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York.  He completed and installed the piece in 1982.