NEW TERRITORIES, OUR POSSIBILITIES

Espiral, Rodrigo Juarranz, Luisa Pita, Arancha Osoro and Marita Segovia Galleries

 

One of the greatest aspirations of contemporary art is the ability to reinterpret and transform the (subjective) reality in which we live, aspiring to build other realities from renewed points of view since, without a doubt, the current insane state of the world requires other ways of seeing it.

Diego Benéitez

El pasado que construyó el futuro, 2018

Mixed media on board

150 x 150cm

Eduardo Vega de Seoane

Castillos en el aire, 2017

Acrylic and oil on canvas

146 x 114cm

Far from the abstract, fragmented and intentionally objective representation, very typical of cartographies, many artists propose new possibilities and alternative ways of being in the world based on concepts such as territory, map, landscape or border, employing strategies ranging from the purest and introspective fiction, displacement and deformation, even critical thinking to appropriation and simulation, among the most used. In this spectrum, we can find some of the issues developed by the artist invited to partake in Art Madrid '19, Rubén Martín de Lucas, but can also be found in the work of certain creators that we will present in our fourteenth edition.

Nacho Angulo, "Dios no existe todavía", mix media on wood, 2018. Espiral Gallery.

The work of Nacho Angulo, represented by Galería Espiral (Noja, Cantabria), reflects precisely a deep and very personal interest in geography, construction and the soulfulness of living matter. In his "constructed paintings", as they were baptized by the art critic and professor Francisco Calvo Serraller, in those beautiful pieces in wood, not only the references to territory and the obsession with the artist's framework are made explicit, as we see in the pieces such as “Hummus” (2015) or “Esquizos” (2018), but they also expand condensed, isolated and enclosed poetics, as seen in “Individuum innefabileest” (2016), “Aflora” (2018) or the revealing “Dios no existe todavía” (2018).

Manolo Oyonarte, "Espejo Cósmico", mix media on canvas, 2018. Galería Espiral.

Also, defined territories that become undefined, challenged and destabilized all of which is presented from the singular perspective of each artist of the Espiral: the horizon layers, vitalistic, contrasted and dreamy, accumulate in Víctor Alba’s work. Paintings like “Castillos en el aire” (2017) by Eduardo Vega Seoane are authentic pictographs of contemporaneity, forms in continuous movements that reflect so well the freedom from which the painter creates. We can also find other territories that are both sinister and fascinating such as the scenes by Manolo Oyonarte, where the individual enigma of the subconscious is stained with violent colours and disturbing figures; just as the internal worlds of Jerónimo Maya which are made present in his mysterious paintings both ethereal and carnal.

Alberto Sánchez

Il n'y a pas, 2018

Mixed media

89 x 107cm

Marcos Tamargo

Catábasis, 2017

Mixed media on board

180 x 180cm

Located in the classic sabotage among the dialects of photography and painting, a wound always opened by the great Darío Villalba, we can find the work of the Australian-Hispanic Alberto Sánchez who, despite sharing a name with the great sculptor from Vallecas, presents a work that rather reminds of the lucid and tremendous games created by Juan Ugalde. However, Sánchez's work is located in the centre of great contemporary cities, becoming a set of large landscapes in which the Expressionist worlds imagined by the artist are revealed. Sánchez is the new addition to the fair from the Gallery Rodrigo Juarranz (Aranda de Duero, Burgos), alongside the lyrical and evocative Diego Benéitez and the textural Marcos Tamargo, very interested in mineral texture, also nostalgic of the rest, the natural or artificial memory; all of this revealed in his vital journey.

María Ortega Estepa

La búsqueda III, 2018

Collage

55 x 49cm

Mariajosé Gallardo

El rico, 2017

Oil, enamel and gold leaf on canvas

100 x 81cm

If we are talking about nature and landscape we have to summon the Luisa Pita Gallery (Santiago de Compostela) and start with María Ortega Estepa. Ortega, an artist very sensitive to social potential of art, is the author of exuberant naturalist paintings, small invented places in which, as we have seen in her last works, some of her elements crave getting out of the two dimensions imposed by painting, making a physical appearance in the form of real branches and mosses: devoted vegetation of the earth. Another enthusiast of the natural territory that has come to populate with a fleet of 2,600 plants planted in the humid Venezuelan rainforest is Darío Basso, from whom we will see a selection of his “Emanaciones”: abstractions, that with still wild echoes, connect with the phenomenology, because the artist feeds them to the natural landscape so that they are directly exposed to the sun, the rain, the wind, the temperature changes, exposed in summary, to all the possible physical phenomena. Luisa Pita closes her proposal for Art Madrid with the symbolist and enigmatic María José Gallardo, an artist who exhibits some of her latest paintings for the fair. We are facing a special Cabinets of curiosities, with its characteristic lapidary messages and its vital lessons, as in the little flattering “El que más da menos pide” (2018) or the vanitas “El rico” (2017), usually under the influence of Baroque tradition finished with very thin flakes of gold leaf, that which above all are paintings made with that strong passion, so meticulous, careful and full of the personal curiosity of Gallardo for the interesting things of this world.

Rafael Navarro, "Falsa Libertad", photography, 2015. Galería Arancha Osoro.

Very different is the proposal of the Arancha Osoro Gallery (Oviedo), which presents a selection of six creators: Rafael Navarro, José Paredes, Kiko Miyares, Luis Parades, Elena Rato and Iván Baizán. Navarro presents some of his most beautiful and seductive diptychs, classics such as “Diptych nº9” (2002) or “Diptych nº49” (2002) as well as more recent realizations, regarding our surroundings, the architecture and our way of relating to it, as in “Cartografía” (2015) or “Falsa libertad” (2015), works in which he maintains his unmistakable dialectic that, as the creator Joan Fontcuberta pointed out, “not only invite us to reflect on visual expression, but also to share heartfelt inner experiences”.

Elena Rato, "Los límites del gesto II", acrylic on canvas and vynil on the wall, 2018. Galería Arancha Osoro.

We may continue with the work of Baizán, also very concerned about the structural forms: serigraphies of possible or impossible buildings which acquire volume, levels and dissections through the encapsulation in methacrylate and polystyrene. We also highlight the series in sculptured glass “Cities and citizens” (2014) by Luis Parades, constructions only in appearance less sophisticated than those of Baizán but tremendously magical, sensory and textural from their minimalist forms. Magical can also be the surrealist universes of Paredes, an artist who presents his latest series, “Escenografias de lo inestable” (2018): optical games in dreamlike spaces starring the contemporary man and his particular ghosts. On the other hand, the new territories by Rato are shaped by superpositioning surfaces, in that kind of palimpsests that now also combines with a kind of invasive vinyl and that presents as exercises or "metaphorical whims", based on the suggestive game of gestural interruptions.

Joao Carlos Galvao, "Sin Título", embossed and lacquered wood, 2018. Galería Marita Segovia.

We finish with the interesting selection that the Marita Segovia Gallery (Madrid) will exhibit. In its booth, you can appreciate the painstaking work by Pilar Pequeño, photographer staring in one of the online exhibitions of the Art Madrid Market. From the intimate flowers -which remind so much of some of the works of the Spanish realist painters, as those by the brilliant Isabel Quintanilla-, to the decadent architectural spaces, Pequeño’s work always emerges from silence and the melancholic contemplation, creating amazing and seductive images that evoke a mysterious omen. Hunches also come from the shapes of the work by David Rodríguez Caballero -artist also presents in the Aurora Vigil-Escalera's booth-: a fragile and special creation, strange and fleeting; something that contrasts completely with the bold relief sculptures by João Carlos Galvão. It is obvious that the experience in wood is fundamental for the Brazilian artist, who continues to transmit his personal and poetic message, direct and truthful, demonstrating his absolute passion for the transcendent properties of wood. However, the artist Edgar Plans -whom we can also see in the Miquel Alzueta Gallery’s booth- works on the pictorial qualities in his last works, as we see in “Art Wall” (2018) or “Colors” (2018), extending his personal iconography from his characteristic ludic and colourful drawing.

These are the unique territories devised by some of the artists of Art Madrid '19. Artistic worlds that, if capable of thrilling, can motivate us to change our understanding of "the real" and the ways in which we relate to one another.

 

Buying the first work of art always instils respect. A difficult feeling to define that mixes vertigo with adrenaline. But over uncertainty and caution, a pleasurable sense of connection, understanding, and desire prevails. That work that, once seen, stays in the mind, reappears in the memory several times a day and seems to tell you that it is willing to be part of your home, is the perfect candidate to make the decision.

In the first steps, many collectors do point out that one does not start from an established plan, but rather that one acquires pieces based on taste and the connection one feels with them until, after time, they realise that the volume of works that accumulates can be labelled as a "collection". For example, this is how Alicia Aza explains it:

“I was not aware that I was collecting until many years later when a third party named me as a collector and talked about my collection. In 2005, I became aware of what collecting means and decided to articulate a collection with an identity of criteria and formats”.

Marcos Martín Blanco, co-founder, with his wife Elena Rueda, of the MER Collection, shares this same opinion:

“Collecting has been a passion, driven by a visceral state that encourages you to do so. The collection, in terms of acquisitions, has not been particularly complicated because, let's face it: it is easy to buy because they are all beautiful things and you have some clear idea of where you want to go, but at first those preferences were not so clear. It is with the time that a criterion is being formed”.

It is not always this way, of course, but for the buyer who starts out on this path, the personal connection that entails the first piece is essential. There it is the germ of a lasting relationship that is not limited to a simple aesthetic question but is an open window to knowledge, to exploration, to a world that is often unknown to us and awakens our fascination. The seed of that connection is purely sentimental, and it is precisely this impulse that determines the first acquisitions. The first piece is never forgotten.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Ana Maqueda

Exceeding the usual recommendations made by advisers and agents, rare is the occasion when the art lover decides to buy by pure investment. These paths usually open later, when the volume of pieces is large enough. In addition, there are those who are a bit against this classic concept of the traditional collector, approached from an eccentric, elitist and little accessible vision. On the contrary, art buyers are, above all, art lovers, sentient beings and permeable to creative stimulus who, at a given moment, decide to deepen the relationship they already have with art to take a piece home.

It is not that hard to overcome that small psychological barrier that turns the visitor into a buyer if one approaches the matter from a more personal and intimate perspective than from social consideration. Small-format works, graphic work or serial photography are of great help for this, whose price range, generally more affordable, allows a closer comparison to the daily basis expenses. In this way, the purchase of art falls within the range of feasible activities and becomes something close and possible.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Marc Cisneros

At that moment, a different relationship with art begins, based on pure experience and coexistence with the acquired piece. Perhaps it can be seen as an act of daring, but on many occasions, it is more a matter of necessity and transformation. Collectors also agree that the acquisition of an artwork is an exercise on personal analysis and opening up to a new field of knowledge that was previously alien to us. Alicia Aza explains that the reason she acquired her first piece of video art, by Sergio Prego, is because she did not understand it and because she saw it as a challenge and an opportunity to self-improve. This open window to knowledge creates new connections and bonds with creators, as one of the most fascinating parts of the process. Candela Álvarez Soldevilla explains that

"I think the most interesting thing in the art world is talking to artists. They are people with a special sensitivity to listen and understand.”

And Alicia Aza also says:

"I can share the satisfaction of being able to count on many artists in my circle of close friends today, and that is a long way to go."

Thus, with works that seem acceptable within the horizon of expenses that each one considers affordable, it is easy to find a piece that catches us. Since then, our home also evolves into a space in which art has a permanent place and presence, and there is no doubt that this transforms us inside.

Art Madrid'20, photo by Henar Herguera

Jaime Sordo, owner of Los Bragales collection and founder of the 9915 Contemporary Art Collectors Association, has always defined his relationship with art as a true passion and a vital necessity. For buyers who start on this path, he has the following recommendation:

“It is an essential condition that they feel the need to live with their passion to enjoy the works. Another very important aspect is that before making decisions for purchases, they are informed, so it is necessary to read specialised newspapers and books, visit exhibitions and museums and a lot of contact with galleries, which is an important and very specific source of information of the artists they represent. Finally, the presence in national and international art fairs. All this generates information and training.”

Indeed, fairs have become a good place for discovery because they condense a wide offer and allow diverse and global contact in a concentrated way. For this reason, many new generation buyers start in the context of an event such as Art Madrid, whose closeness and quality constitute a unique opportunity to meet, soak up and feed the passion for art.

(*) quotes taken from various interviews published in public media between 2013 and 2019.