ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONISM ARRIVES IN BILBAO

Mural, 1943- Jackson Pollock

 

 

Abstract expressionism is considered the first American movement within abstract art. American critics soon caught the emergence of the new style. Robert Coates is credited with the invention of the term, however the artists of this movement rejected this idea implying that they had nothing to do with abstract painting or German expressionism.

 

 

PH-950, 1950- Clifford Still 

 

 

 

The representatives of this current belonged to different nationalities and social groups, therefore it was a heterogeneous feeling. What they did have in common was the experience of historical events of such magnitude as the Spanish Civil War, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Cold War, among others. The scale of the US as a world power fueled the confidence to proclaim itself queen of the artistic panorama at world-wide level. What stands out to this movement is the capacity of expression that shows in its works.

 

 

Excavation, 1950- De Kooning

 

 

Divided into two easily recognizable currents, the "action painting" that stands out for its movement, was the seed that germinated the primacy of action before the work. The gesture of painting spontaneously proclaims itself as a kind of psychic and physical automatism of the artist.


The other side, the "color-field" or painting of fields of color is an antecedent of the minimal movement. It was presented as an alternative to "action painting", focused on the color and language that it transmits. One of the characteristics of this aspect is the intensity with which its representatives fix the color in the fabric, making a monochrome with hardly any presence, a light and calm movement that contrasts with the vibrant reaction of the action paintings.

 

Blue gray- Mark Rothko

 

 

 

This movement removes the traditional barriers between painting and painter making the action a work of art. For this reason, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao together with the Royal Academy of London have wanted to pay tribute to this style with an exhibition that will open on February 3 and will be in force until June 4. Curated by David Anfam, Edith Devaney and Lucía Agirre, it promises to be an unavoidable event for this season.

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.