Juan Uslé, born 1954 in Santander, Spain, has developed a rich painterly oeuvre. After experimenting with other styles, at the beginning of the 1980s, Uslé turned to a somber expressionist style, in which references to travel and the sea gained importance. After moving to New York in 1987, Uslé soon became a name to be reckoned with in the international painting scene. His work was introduced as part of the documenta in Kassel in 1992, which was a key event in the process of his world-wide recognition. His project is magisterially based on the coexistence of a substantially lyrical feeling of reality, combined with a keen interest in geometry and construction. Thus, his paintings combine grid-like structures of a Piet Mondrian with the playful levity of a Joan Miró; color compositions à la Kasimir Malevich and monochrome tendencies of the American tradition of an Ad Reinhardt. Uslé himself suggests his work should be interpreted by acknowledging the coexistence of opposites and sees his work as both lyrical and dramatic, often finely composed and at the same time coarsely structured.
Juan Uslé received his training at the Escuela Superior de Belles Artes San Carlos in Valencia. He participated in the 51st Venice Biennale (2005) and exhibited at documenta 9 in Kassel (1992). In 2002, he was awarded Spain’s national art prize. His painting and photography has been presented in numerous individual exhibitions in the US and Europe, including Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela (2014), Kunstmuseum Bonn (2014), Museu d’Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma (2010), Fundación Bancaja, Valencia (2008), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga (2007), and “la Caixa” Foundation, Barcelona (2006). He was also in numerous group exhibitions including Fundación Federico García Lorca, Huerta de San Vicente, Granada (2015/16), Museo de Albacete (2015), Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (2015), Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga (2015), Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (2015), CentroCentro Cibeles, Madrid (2015), Patio Herreriano – Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Español, Valladolid (2014), Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (2013/14), Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela (2013), Museo Reina Sofía (2013), Fundación Botín, Santander (2011), the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2011), Kunsthalle Emden (2009), Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo (2008), and Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg (2008). His work is part of various public collections, including Museo Reina Sofía, “la Caixa” Foundation, Barcelona, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, MUMOK, Vienna, MIGROS, Zurich, Musée d’Art Moderne, Luxembourg, Pinakothek der Moderne, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Moderna Museet, New York Public Library, Serralves Museum, Museum Morsbroich, Sammlung Goetz, Munich, Marugame Hirai Museum, Museo de Bellas Artes de Santander, and Saatchi Collection. Juan Uslé lives and works in New York City and Saro in Cantabria, Spain.