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.

 

One of the proposals included in the calendar of the “Art Madrid-Proyector'20” program was the organisation of several meetings with artists within the fair. This gave visitors the opportunity to get to know their work better and open a personal dialogue with them after the presentation of their last lines of work. From Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th of February, we had the participation of Abelardo Gil-Fournier, Fernando Baena, Mario Santamaría and Maia Navas, a group of creators who work with the moving image, but also with the installation, technological art, performance and video art.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier's work revolves around the hybridization between the real and the sensible. This artist and researcher approaches this question in his works from a perspective in which perception, image and material production merge. Both his artistic and research practice deal with issues related to land use and plant growth without losing sight of these three points of interest. This results in works that incorporate the presence of nature from various perspectives, sometimes as a space of experimentation in which to reflect on the connection between art and politics, the relationship of the human being with the environment or the criteria for landscape intervention.

During his presentation on Wednesday 26th, Abelardo told us about some of his latest projects, in which the presence of technology is key to offering an artistic interpretation of the individual's impact into the territory. All this affects issues such as agricultural techniques, the progressive deforestation or the exploitation of land resources. The result is colour-coded pattern drawings that break down the analyzed landscape and offer a more visual and technology-based reinterpretation of these human behaviours. In addition, in this meeting, the artist explained his work “The Quivering of the Reed”, an installation that mixes video image, sound and material elements, and that plays the role of mixing the sensory with the real.

Abelardo Gil-Fournier

Fernando Baena shared a talk with us on the afternoon of Thursday 27th. This artist has focused a large part of his work on performance, happening and video pieces, many of them designed to capture the result of the action and give the work a second life in a new format. The main subjects that monopolize his work range from the treatment of sexuality and gender issues, to migratory movements and the drama of refugees, the exercise of political freedom and thought ... all of them are far-reaching issues that Fernando addresses from a familiar approach, with the use of common materials and recognizable environments. Another of the characteristics of his work is the presence of Marianela León in many of his pieces, a performer who has been collaborating with Fernando for many years until becoming almost an alter ego of himself and starring in most actions that take place in public spaces.

In this meeting, Fernando was able to explain part of his creative processes and to highlight a key aspect to the performance artist: to understand the reaction of the public. In this way, the impact of a work conceived from the theoretical plane is also analyzed, the meaning of which can completely change depending on the viewer's perception. As he himself explained in the talk regarding his piece "Balsa":

"What started out as a performance with an established script ended up being a happening in which the public participated with sometimes unusual reactions".

For his part, Mario Santamaría, who was with us on February 28th, shared with us a completely different work from Fernando's. This artist is focused on the analysis of the use of data, the feeling of manipulation and lack of control over our information that is produced in the digital medium and the desire to transform into something real some ideas as ethereal and commonplace today as the use of virtual storage clouds, the location of web pages or the data flow over the Internet. Much of his work, documented on video or transformed into technological facilities, is a form of research on the impact of the digital medium on our daily lives. His desire to bring these terms to the material plane, which we handle in our language today without really understanding their meaning, has led him to visit server bunkers, storage warehouses, in addition to tracking the exact location of the servers that host his own website to find isolated places far away from humanity.

Mario proposed a material trip to this reality to demonstrate that we are facing a very fragile system, whose durability is sensitive to natural phenomena, as evidenced by some of the documentation work carried out, where he rescued images of wild animals entering these data centres and endangering the livelihood of the digital world.

Mario Santamaría

Finally, Maia Navas, recently arrived from Argentina, shared with us the afternoon of Saturday 29th in a chat in which she told us about her creative work as well as her experience at the head of Play-Videoarte, a festival entirely dedicated to this discipline that she co-founded in 2012, and that in these six editions has combined an annual exhibition with a program of activities that take place in the City of Corrientes (Argentina), at the Cultural Centre of the University Extension that depends on the National University of the Northeast (UNNE).

Maia has a degree in psychology, as well as a degree in arts and technology, and combine her artistic career with teaching. The impact of psychology among her work topics is evident, and some of her video works try to delve into disturbing and perplexing aspects of human behaviour, such as the series "Procedures" that we could watch during the presentation. In it, the artist portrays the daily lives of people affected by OCD syndrome with an excellent visual narrative that puts the accent, almost with a cinematographic vision, on the personal experience of this phenomenon.

Maia Navas, foto de Marc Cisneros

From Art Madrid, we want to thank all these artists for sharing their creative experience with us and giving us the opportunity to dialogue with them about their present and future projects.