Lines of Flight: Tony de los Reyes at Grand Central Art Center


Nomads have no history, they only have geography. – Gilles Deleuze


French poststructuralist Gilles Deleuze described himself as a philosopher of geography. Deleuze preferred metaphors of territory and with Felix Guattari developed the concept of lines of flight. Lines of flight could be considered shifts in the trajectory of a narrative that escape a force or power. Deleuze & Guattari where interested in diagraming these lines of power and maybe more interested in finding places of mutation where power could bend and lines of flight to somewhere else might appear.

Border Theory (ambient crossing/ambient bond) 2012 Dye and oil on linen 60 x 70 1/2 in. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

In the new exhibition titled Border Theory at the Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana painter Tony de los Reyes charts what he calls free spaces and spaces of containment using abstraction, color field principles, and sections of the US-Mexican border captured by satellite photography as the foundation of this new work. In the 15 new paintings on display at GCAC de los Reyes uses a mix of unprimed linen, multiple layers of fabric dyes, and thin lines or dots to map for the viewer how even the most intense strata, like borders, are permeated with lines of flight and places of mutation. Deleuze was interested how people’s lives are always being patterned and constrained by dominant significations and how they might escape these containments. In this investigative new body of work, de los Reyes shows us the way. Deleuze believed that there was no diagram that did not include, besides points that connect up, points that were free or unbound, what he would call points of creativity, change and resistance that would help us understand the whole picture. In the painting Border Theory (ambient crossing/ambient bond) de los Reyes uses smooth spaces of color coupled with markings, or dots, to show how one diagram (or painting) can show points of connection but also move a viewer to consider the state of things and how in the face of a powerful metaphor like Border, there exists multiplicity. In works like Border Theory (second compression/spectral flares) de los Reyes deterritorializes Border and through color, maps the many lines of flight available to the viewer and in the process marks the way to somewhere else. These markings make visible the abundance of free space available for possibility. These 15 new works by de los Reyes are a hopeful body of work.

Border Theory (second compression/spectral flares) 2012 Dye and oil on linen 69 3/4 x 99 in. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer

Tony de los Reyes is interested in the layered structures of identity and personal and political consciousness. The central project for Deleuze was how might one live and believed what was most interesting about a person was the lines that make them up, or they make up, or take, or create. Deleuze would find a lot to like in de los Reyes’ exciting new series of work.

Tony de los Reyes Border Theory September 1 – November 14, 2012

Grand Central Art Center

125 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
General Phone: 714.567.7233
Fax: 714.567.4145

All images by Robert Wedemeyer courtesy Tony de los Reyes studio.

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