A LOOK AT CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRY

The work of Ana Pais Oliveira, Iván Baizán and Rubén Fernández Castón starts from a shared interest in geometry and its plastic translation. The proposal of these creators conveys a clear interest in the construction of new physical spaces with which to body their concern for the environment and the role of the individual in the urban environment. On many occasions, it is about proposing alternative buildings, imaginary architectures that defy natural laws; in others, giving way to a geometric abstraction where the volumes are defined by contrasts of colour.

Rubén Fernández Castón

Entrelíneas III, 2016

Acrílico sobre madera (las dos caras de la pieza están pintadas con el mismo diseño)

55 x 42cm

Ana Pais Oliveira

Heavy drawing #26, 2017

Mixed media on cardboard

70 x 50cm

Iván Baizán

XV (de la serie "Usted no está aquí"), 2018

Serigrafía, acrílico, poliestireno y papel montado en caja de madera (obra enmarcada en caja y cristal)

40 x 30cm

If something characterises contemporary geometry, is its ambition to exploit the plastic possibilities of the materials to generate the illusion of volume and depth from the linearity of the flat support. It is, in reality, a hand extended to the viewer, an invitation to transcend the physical limitations of our three-dimensional space to give free rein to alternative realities, to floating constructions, to buildings without support points, to impossible materials.

This is one of the strong points of the work of Iván Baizán. The pieces of the collection "In the limits of the structure" develops one of the most paradigmatic facets of this artist, specialised in engraving and printing. His work offers urban cartography based on the superposition of planes and the communicative power of colour. In the form of exquisite wooden boxes, his last works are like windows open to a new universe, the one where man has taken the reins of his time and space, where it is not necessary to live corseted by inherited forms and unbreakable laws. Its floating architectures pose a paradox in a perfect aesthetic balance that combines materials, design and staging.

Iván Baizán

VI (de la serie "Usted no está aquí"), 2017

Serigrafía, acrílico, poliestireno y papel montado en caja de madera (obra enmarcada en caja y cristal)

100 x 80cm

Iván Baizán

II (de la serie "Usted no está aquí"), 2017

Serigrafía, acrílico, poliestireno y papel montado en caja de madera (obra enmarcada en caja y cristal)

100 x 80cm

The Portuguese Ana Pais Oliveira follows a similar line. Her work is a compendium of structures where architecture is very present. All her work conveys that tricky balance between the colourist abstraction and the game of textures in a display of proposals that go from painting on canvas to collage on cardboard. Constructions of the imagination that make their way around two fundamental ideas: line and colour. The geometry of Ana Pais is solid and wide; it expands in ambitious formats and with friendly tones that transfer to the support the utopia of the impossible architectures.

Ana Pais Oliveira

Heavy drawing #35, 2017

Mixed media on cardboard

70 x 50cm

Ana Pais Oliveira

Heavy drawing #32, 2017

Mixed media on cardboard

70 x 50cm

Ana Pais Oliveira

Heavy drawing #40, 2017

Mixed media on cardboard

70 x 50cm

For his part, Rubén Fernández Castón exceeds the limits of traditional painting to create works that approach sculpture. His most recent work applies geometry to pieces that develop on two sides and participate in the double game of illusion, the "meta-geometry", inside and outside the work itself. With flat and clean colour strokes, the contours are created by opposition, with a dance of contrasts that risks with shocking tones, without overlapping, neat, concise and pure.

Rubén Fernández Castón

Entrelíneas IV, 2016

Acrílico sobre madera (las dos caras de la pieza están pintadas con el mismo diseño)

59 x 40cm

Rubén Fernández Castón

Entrelíneas V, 2016

Acrílico sobre madera (las dos caras de la pieza están pintadas con el mismo diseño)

60 x 40cm

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Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.