ALL HEROES: LICHTENSTEIN IN THE CANAL FOUNDATION

The Canal Foundation opens an exhibition dedicated to the Lichtenstein posters on Thursday, October 4th. The designer facet of this artist has made him a global icon in the field of posters. In this showing, there will be a total of 76 pieces, many of them travelling to our country for the first time.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Crying Girl”, 1963

American Pop Art identifies with the work of three paradigmatic creators: Robert Indiana, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, although each of them developed a unique and personal style that allows distinguishing their work within the pop movement. If Warhol opted to exploit the figure of the media-icons of the moment with techniques based on mass reproduction and copy-interventions, Lichtenstein focused on comics and the exploration of a likewise iconographic aesthetic, albeit starting with characters in vignettes. His plastic composition, closer to the printed images of newspapers and magazines, became a reference of this artistic style, based on the strong contrast of colours, the figures outlined on dotted backgrounds and the use of motifs connected with advertising and graphic novel.

Roy Lichtenstein, “M-Maybe”, 1965

His work, in fact, drinks from the trend of mass production where the importance of the single piece, a symbol of a period already surpassed in the history of art, is left aside, to focus on gaining visibility through infinite copies. This approach to artistic creation is only a sign of the moment, a time when factories and industry reach the peak of their productivity and need a public, avid of objects to feel part of a hyper-consumer society.

Roy Lichtenstein, “Sunrise”, 1965

Paradoxically, the motifs chosen by Lichtenstein for his multiple copies ironise on the inherited standards of a society already transformed, but that resists change by imposing clichés and stereotypes. His pieces of women with kitchen tools, trapped in the inertia of everyday life, or the faces of young ladies in distress, with a standardised beauty representative of the pin-up canons still present in the comics, collide with the changing course of times where individualism gains prominence against the homogenisation of tastes and patterns of consumption. Feeling unique in the magma of globalisation, in a moment of artistic awakening in which such a concept had not even been named, is an almost visionary position that Lichtenstein manages to convey without falling into the drama or losing the freshness and visual force of his creative proposal.

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.