"In González Lohse's paintings there is also a mixture of tiny personal dramas of individuals lost in nature and the landscape. The desolation faced by these characters, with whom we can identify, reminds us of European Romantic painting and of those sublime natural settings in which the protagonists present themselves in front of the immensity."
Daniel Silvo, director of Galería Nueva
The Flowing Land
"Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed."
Thus spoke Yahweh to his descendants; the Promised Land had not only a configuration of physical limitations (the Negev and by the seashore, the land of the Canaanites and Lebanon) but was also part of an idealisation of the freedom of an entire persecuted people, the burden of inheritance of hope to the Jewish people in Pharaonic times, subjected to pain and death.
There is no hope without an offspring that can till the land again, grow, stay. be.
Something is hidden there in Coco González Lohse's La Tierra Prometida [The Promised Land]. Something that sustains the landscape as a divine word included, moreover, as a protagonist immersed in the environment.
La Tierra Prometida is a new instalment of these observations, which oscillate between the minimalism of the object (these are 15 x 20 cm paintings) and the spatial magnitude of what is painted; that is to say, the landscape in its holistic dimension is trapped before the eye of the spectator, opening the field to the necessary perplexity of the violated territory that is Chile, the country with the broken corners overlooking the sea or that permanent and fatal ledge from which we all hang.
Coco González is a unique observer, metrical, subtle, a sensitive devourer of sinuous corners and nooks that say nothing apparent but which, when touched by his restless eye, take on a new life, as if dodging the faintness of memory.
He searches for pieces forgotten in time and rusty toys, which are like the little heads of the Los Andes matches or the marks left by the pop of the 1980s, of which he is a loyal and worthy representative, a repository of what was left unsaid or what was said ad nauseam in those years and those to come.
There is a sound of silence in Coco's work, something that makes us enter our dark tunnels, like metaphors of our distributed territories that are far away from what we see.
That silence of the southern ice fields or the desert-desert, the fearsome Patagonian winds or those that are found whistling loudly between the Andes, the endless giant tides of the Strait of Magellan, or the buildings that are like black holes located in our small incomprehensible cities full of common sense.
If there is something that crosses the painting of many painters of Coco's generation, it is darkness, that black bitumen with viridian, carmine and Prussian blue that squeezes or floods the form that tries to be liberated. This point is not random, nor is it a minor detail; just as the French romantic painters of the late 18th century, the humidity, the fog, the darkness that reigned put tension of unexpected human shame in each work. In the case of many of the Chilean painters of the eighties, it is also a way of succumbing to the emptiness or the recognition of existence, perhaps with that necessary quota of epic and precarious romanticism at the same time.
In these new works by Coco, all that comes to us again with a remarkable tension and a high poetic concentration of a silence that seeks to shout from those corners that few see or inhabit. There is something that is hidden in our history that is revealed here, from the invisible darkness of this southern realism of the south of the world, something that becomes more complex with the words that appear there: Ethics, Virus, Race, Grief, Oblivion, Expired, Doubt. What are these words? What is? What is missing? What subjugates, what liberates?
What are words but rifles in the temples of automatons? Furthermore, what are those words in the drifts of our empty territories of crowds that are alive only because they are virgin to ourselves?
Here, the Promised Land proposed by Coco González Lohse acquires the magnitude that transcends momentum; it comes to us in small format, like tears or like the covers of a small book where our lives are written, the past, the present, the ones to come.
Guillermo Grebe, artist.
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