The works by Jimenez Deredia “El Tiempo y el Espacio” on show at Ascaso Gallery, the artist strips subject matter down to its essentials. He distills and compacts the complex into the simple wherever he can, and becomes the great master of “omission,” knowing how to reduce the irrelevant into the relevant.
But while his work may appear somewhat abstract, it never really is intended to be. If he is drawn to the perfect shape of a circle, for instance, it is not only for its form, but also because of the mystery and promise the circle contains. Perfect it might be, but one day it may break open, and who knows what might emerge!
It is this profound sense of containment, of being based in life that sets Jimenez Deredia’s oeuvre apart from the work of his contemporaries. Even his pieces that resemble assemblages of “smooth stones” somehow retain a quality of “pregnancy” about them, as though they contained life, or were as much like seeds as like stones.
This contemporary sculptor’s vision of containment and of essences is both too easy and too difficult to emulate. Too easy because it requires only technical talent to mimic his art, and too difficult because his conceptual standards are so high that to follow him within such a simple format, and then to fail, is to announce publicly the paucity of one’s talent and imagination.
Jimenez Deredia is recognized as one of the pivotal figures of 21st century Latin American art, and among its most influential sculptors and determined visionaries. In addition to the great integrity and dedication that is evidenced in his work, it also contains a marvelous sense of harmony and focus that comes from experiencing art that is “all of a piece,” for it represents a lifetime of giving form to intuitions of what is significant and timeless about life.