Ensamblajes Territoriales (Johans Peñaloza) | La Tierra Prometida (Coco González Lohse).

In our sixth exhibition of 2021 we bring to Madrid the Chilean gallery Isabel Croxatto with the work of artists Coco González Lohse and Johans Peñaloza. The painting of both of them starts from a figurative exploration of conflict and desolation scenarios.


Peñaloza’s work starts from the photographic record of the social outburst that took place since October 18, 2019 in the city of Santiago de Chile. Barricades, debris, burning vehicles, graffitied walls… these scenes, in the manner of urban landscapes without human presence, are the pictorial recreation of the political protest actions that have been taking place in the capital and throughout the Andean country for months. The origin of this movement lies in the rising cost of urban transportation, but its roots lie in the social inequality that has been growing year after year in recent decades.

The city, presented here as a battlefield, is the space where these inequalities manifest themselves most clearly. The invisible violence generated on the population due to the high cost of living becomes visible in its reaction, and Johans Peñaloza’s painting shows the results of this accumulated violence. The absence of color reminds us of El Bosco’s representation of the world in the previous folding panels of his triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights, also without characters, also desolate. The grisaille emphasizes that sense of despair and drama, also reminding us of Francisco de Goya’s series of engravings The Disasters of War.


In the work of Coco González Lohse, unlike Peñaloza’s work, we find situations that we might find ironic. Although the subjects (and the painted words) are not exempt of dramatism, the naïf appearance of her paintings make us smile. And that is where the strength of these small-sized works lies: in the perversity of that violence and pain recreated with innocent and joyful shapes and colors. “Expired”, “sorrow”, “alone”, “hunger” or “delirium” are some of the words painted and represented as advertising signs, reminding us, inevitably, of the letters that preside over the hill of Mount Lee in Los Angeles and that form the word HOLLYWOOD.

Gonzalez Lohse’s paintings are also charged with social and political history. The terrorist attack on the twin towers, the sinking of the Titanic or global warming are suggested in these ambiguous images that are also mixed with small personal dramas of individuals lost in nature and landscape. The desolation faced by these characters with whom we can identify ourselves refers us to European romantic painting and to those scenarios of sublime nature in which the protagonists are presented in front of the immensity.

The contemporary disasters presented by Coco González Lohse and Johans Peñaloza will be exhibited at Galería Nueva from June 3 to 30, 2021 by the hand of the Chilean gallery Isabel Croxatto.

Johans Peñaloza & Coco González Lohse

From 3 to 29 June 2021


Organized by Isabel Croxatto Galería (Santiago de Chile)