KHFA exhibition archives

America Invertida

Eduardo Portillo
February 24-March 31, 2018
Opening reception Saturday, February 24 from 6:00-8:00 pm
Artist will be in attendance

Kirk Hopper Fine Art is pleased to present our third solo exhibit featuring artist Eduardo Portillo (Houston). Portillo's latest work continues to challenge the two dimensionality of painting with his sculpture-like paintings. His work often comprises subdued colors and soft tonal shifts, which are contradicted by his aberrant, shaped canvases. The subtlety in his work also alludes to a conceptual deception and distortion of things, similar to how a Mercator projection map deceptively distorts the actual land masses of continents.

In regard to the exhibit America Invertida, the work has the ultimate intent to define itself by crossing an imaginary division that separate painting and sculpture in order to "subvert our traditional definitions" of both. Such subversions present themselves in distinct manners.

Portillo states, "I depend upon my work to direct itself through space subverting normative identity or designation of the object as well." Joshua Ware describes the work as "being indicative of sculptural identity." He goes on to describe how the work is "still a canvas stretched over a frame consisting of a painted outward-facing surface and an exposed wall-facing surface. These qualities could be suggestive of traditional wall hangings. In fact, the pieces placed upon the floor would seem just as natural hanging next to the other works, and vice versa. The gesture calls attention, then, to the manner in which physical placement affects nominal identity."

This exhibition uses the title "America Invertida" in order to help expand the conversation about physical placement and the identity of the artist. This conversation about painting, placement and its redefinition as an object can expand to our search of meaningful existence. Our search for meaningful existence is the result of our endless need in finding that In-between. The In-between can be indicative of our current state and what we strive to be.


Houston-based Salvadorian artist Eduardo Portillo challenges the most formal of conventions—the flat surface on which a painting is often created. Expanding upon the ideas that sparked the experimental and iconic shaped canvases of the 1960s, Portillo creates uniquely asymmetrical stretchers with varying edges, angles, and faces, and stretches canvas over them, creating topological compositions that protrude from the wall, undulating between elevated points of pressure and fluid expanses of space.

Eduardo Portillo relocated to Houston from El Salvador in 2003 to pursue an education in art, and received a BFA in Painting from the University of Houston in 2011. He has been awarded recent artist residencies with Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas as well as the Vermont Studio Center, and his work has been widely exhibited across Texas in such venues as Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio; Lawndale Art Center, Houston; Site 131, Dallas; and Galveston Arts Center, Galveston; with forthcoming exhibitions in Marfa, Texas and Torino, Italy. In 2013, his exhibition with the HCC Central Art Gallery was included in the Texas Biennial.

Kepler 602.0297.9, 2016, acrylic, 48" x 84"