FROM FIGURE TO ABSTRACTION: FREED NARRATIVES

Art Lounge, Aurora Vigil-Escalera and Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo Galleries

 

The future of creation is always to be discovered. Although when studying art we become obsessed with analysing the origins, relationships, links or transformations that characterize works or artists, with the consequent obsession to predict what the next art will bring, the reality is that on many occasions it is more pleasant to discover the stories without preconceived ideas, without frames, in their maximum freedom of expression and in their strictest current time.

Freed narratives that can exceed these frames, often devised based on oppositions, dichotomies. In this sense, the Art Lounge, Aurora Vigil-Escalera and Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo galleries will exhibit a very interesting set of works, in which the abstract and figurative languages appear within balanced and very varied selections.

Daniel Merlín

Bowie, 2018

Painting, collage

116 x 89cm

Thus, in the Art Lounge (Lisbon) proposal, you can enjoy the expressionist figuration of the Argentinian Daniel Merlin, as well as his technical domain. The author of portraits of iconic characters of our time, such as John F. Kennedy, Samuel Beckett, David Lynch or Arnold Schwarzenegger, habitual cover protagonists, seems to find their vital metaphor in the hundreds of wallpapers and superimposed glueing technique that the artist employed to compose their faces. Nurturing the portraiture genre through an innovative technique is something that he shares with Vinita Dasgupta, an artist who transports us to a vision of India's complex and unpredictable artistic scene. For Dasgupta, her personal way of painting acquires more volume and nuances using the technique called "rolled canvas technique", through the patient compositional work based on fragments of canvas rolled and painted. Also working throw a very particular technique and language is the Portuguese Joâo Noutel, creating his works from a strong style of graphic design as well as using materials such as porcelain. Like the young Brazilian Caio Bless, more interested in questioning the guidelines imposed in the public space.

Uiso Alemany

Unknown, 2018

Técnica mixta Zetex

189 x 147cm

Between figuration and abstraction lies the work of the Valencian Uiso Alemany, one of the founders of the BULT Group. Between the most gestural expressionism and the most critical figuration, and using the flexible Zetex as support material, Alemany is again viscerally breaking the limits of painting in order to introduce us in some intense, personal and somewhat unhinged stories; hermetic and fascinating at the same time. As critic Fernando Castro Flórez explained in a recent exhibition of Alemany, his work is "a chant to painting that, even committing suicide, continues to be alive." Art Lounge will also present a selection of the delicate bronze sculptures from the "Broken People", a series by the South African Dale Hellmann; and some of the last luminous pieces by the Argentinian Ángela Bassano, with which we are invited to enter into those more hidden realities, almost impenetrable, so peculiar to the esoteric.

Carmen Calvo

Los términos están claros, 2018

Mixed media on paper

49 x 34cm

Rudolf Burda

V-Victory, 2018

Glass

27 x 27cm

Another of the artists that present Art Lounge is Carmen Calvo from Valencia, the Guest Artist of the eleventh edition of Art Madrid. Calvo, who is one of the most outstanding creators of the national panorama, moves in always hybrid, bordering, and iconic territories. As Alfonso de la Torre points out, great expert on the work of the artist and member of the Art Madrid Committee, her current work continues to expand "that archaeology of the imaginary", on many occasions by means of the cumulative and poetic use of the fragment, of the memory, elevating the object to an epiphany or practicing the cannibalism of images –paraphrasing De la Torre-, in order to compose a sort of "extraterritorial realm, or perhaps an interregnum between heaven and earth, in a radical experience that places us in the presence of finitude itself. In an unknown land". Wonderful sleeplessness.

To close its proposal, the gallery includes in its selection the works by the Czech Rudolf Burda: Minimalist and obsessively made glass sculptures. Able to hypnotize from its simplicity, according to the artist, he finds his maximum inspiration in the forms of nature, the microcosm and the macrocosm, "the idea behind all my sculptures is to reduce everything to its most simplistic form and its barest minimum".

Santiago Picatoste

Atlas Turquoise, 2018

Mixed media on methacrylate

170 x 150cm

Juan Genovés

Acorde, 2018

Obra gráfica muy intervenida a mano por el artista. Ed de 10

74 x 100cm

The freed narratives will be spread in a special way in the stand of the gallery directed by Aurora Vigil-Escalera (Gijón). In its wide selection you will be able to appreciate the work of Ismael Lagares, an authentic declaration of free gestures, vertiginous and vibrant; together with the experimental work by Santiago Picatoste, spontaneous explosions of colour sophisticated because of the methacrylate. The most gestural pictorial interventions made by the great artist Juan Genovés may also seem something spontaneous –as we said, also present in Lola & the Unicorn’s booth–, then moved to impressions in Glicée, and where issues like the social behaviour, collectivity and individuality return to being pivotal within their recognized and infinite narratives.

Pablo Armesto

Nexus Aérea, 2018

DMF lacado y aluminio, fibra óptica y fuentes de alimentación LED

96 x 60cm

David Rodríguez Caballero

5 de enero de 2018, 2018

Steel and brass

160 x 195cm

A deep interest in formal purification and light games unite two other artists presented by Vigil-Escalera: Pablo Armesto and his sculptures, as precise as astonishing, made in DMF lacquered, optic fibre and LED power supplies; and David Rodríguez Caballero –whom we will also find at the booth of Marita Segovia–, a specialist in steel and brass work, so delicate and neat that it incites the eye as well as the touch. Also, the widespread of formal and spatial investigation revealed by the sculptures by Herminio (Álvarez) is obvious: pieces that stand out for their precision, balance and harmony, but paradoxically used to reflect on the distribution of the power, tension or instability.

Rafa Macarrón

Él, 2018

Mixed media on canvas

50 x 50cm

Rafael Macarrón is one of those artists whose work is very difficult to classify. With a strong personal and oneiric character, some of his most recent paintings on aluminium will be presented, thus being able to attend to the ambiguous worlds of this creator, full of disfigured and exaggerated characters, so often obsessed with the multiplicity of fingers. The Asturian Gallery closes its proposal with two more creators: on the one hand, a selection of paintings by Marcela Lobo who, with a Matisse’s reminiscent, introduces us to colourful domestic spaces where objects acquire an unsuspected lightness; and on the other hand, the urban and architectonic painting of Gorka García, continuator of the new realism movement, this artist tends to portray a city or a specific space, usually in a certain state of decrepitude, but giving the feeling of standing before something that in reality is more indeterminate, faraway and even fictitious.

Patrik Grijalvo

Musée du Louvre I (Serie Gravitación Visual), 2018

Photograph on Hahnemühle paper

150 x 150cm

Kepa Garraza

Napoleón, 2018

Pastel sobre papel

170 x 140cm

Last but not least, Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo gallery (Barcelona) will present the work of four of its artists. The works by Kepa Garraza must be observed very carefully because although at first glance may seem anachronistic, they contain a discourse that refers to a firm declaration of intent; Garraza, in fact, incites us to question the speeches of power, and does this just by appropriating of the iconography and official languages. Patrick Grijalvo is also far beyond the image, an artist who works from photography and photo collage to reflect on the multiplicity of reality. His research focuses on the possibilities of the variable depth of spaces, finally offering beautiful and abstract compositions.

Dirk Salz

#2364, 2018

Pigments and resin on multiplex

140 x 100cm

Jacinto Moros

FMK100, 2017

Maple wood and formica

132 x 70cm

In the most geometric abstraction is where the work by Dirk Salz is located, a work that also plays with depth and requires looking and re-looking to completely achieve understanding. The classic glazes or varnishes are replaced in his pieces by layers of epoxy resin enriched with paint pigments on multiplex plates. Finally, Víctor Lope closes his selection with the "cult of the curve" developed by Jacinto Moros, a creator of which will be exposed some of his amazing sculptures and embossings: voluptuous and winding forms in which to entangle and lose ourselves, so amazing that seem to continue to expand, as if they were vital forms.

 

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.