FROM GEOMETRY TO THE CONCEPT

Kreisler, Schmalfuss, Sâo Mamede, Shiras and Kur Art Galleries

 

Since the beginning of the last century, especially after the important Russian Constructivism movement and the mythical Bauhaus School, there have been many creators who have continued working on geometric patterns either by their infinite combinations and artistic, although sometimes purely aesthetic, social or conceptual potential. In this new edition of Art Madrid you can enjoy a very particular scene of the most modern geometric abstract art.

Carmen Otero, "Reconstrucción 7", cedar wood and polychrome, 2018. Galería Kreisler.

In this sense, the works of five artists stand out within the selection presented by the Kreisler Gallery (Madrid). The work of Ramón Urbán is marked by a pure and resounding formal synthesis, essentiality always impregnated by a strong emotional character that pieces like “Sigo en la sombra lleno de luz” (2018) shows, presented in an accurate dialogue with the sculptures of the series "Reconstructión" (2018) by Carmen Otero. Sculpted in some of the most beautiful woods, they are works in which the designs of the Bauhaus School resonate -now more than ever in consonance with Alma Siedhoff-Buscher's famous designs- here embodied in modular portraits that the artist composes and decomposes delicately.

Juan Gerstl, "La alcachofa", aluminium with direct UV printing, 2018. Galería Kreisler.

Very different are the formal investigations of Miki (Guillermo Gutiérrez), oriented towards the dominance of the spatial properties of the void: his monochromatic bronzes are rhythmic, whimsical and present twisting forms. Also geometrical and apparently volumetric are the works of Juan Gerstl, while the paintings by Gerard Fernández Rico capture fluid evoking. Kreisler also includes in its proposal personal works, very characterized by a narrative component, of two artists: on the one hand, the daily dreamed stories of Liliana Golubinsky, and on the other, the more colourful and amusing, made by the versatile Sawe.

Willi Siber, "Wall object", lacquered multiple pieces, 2016. Galería Schmalfuss.

More geometric creations are presented with Schmalfuss (Berlin), a gallery that presents some of the celebrated “objects” and more recent works by Willi Siber, always lacquered and bright. Equally radiant are the steel sculptures by Carlo Borer, with rounded, sensual, even sometimes voluptuous shapes, in which the spectator will be able to find his distorted reflection, similar to those presented by Jörg Bach, works composed from energy centres to which their volumetric termination always return.

Thomas Röthel, "Drehung", steel, 2015. Galería Schmalfuss.

A very different way of working industrial materials is that of sculptor Thomas Röthel, more interested in the rectilinear profiles, most of the times interrupted by distorted and curved elements that question the rational logic. In addition, in the Schmalfuss space you can see the expressionist paintings of the painter Cristina Canale; and the latest sculptures by Oliver Czarnetta, mysterious stories encapsulated in resin in which he reflects once more on the passing of time and our ways of perception.

Georg Scheele

Rose, 2018

Marble

153 x 70cm

Susana Chasse

No Land. No Thing #04, 2018

Acrylic and graphite on MDF

140 x 140cm

The São Mamede Gallery (Lisbon / Oporto) arrives at Art Madrid with a wide abstract and geometric languages proposal. Some of these are sculptures in marble by Georg Scheele and Matthias Contzen, minimalist abstractions of nature by Scheele and more organic and meticulous works by Contzen. Thousands of either steel rods or piano strings make up the structural pieces of David Moreno that, although volumetric as the artist himself affirms, are pieces made “in the purpose of drawing sculptures”. The pictorial commitment of the Portuguese gallery is also led by abstraction: recent works such as Susana Chasse or Rui Tavares, centered in the line, the layout and the possibilities of a small color palette, together with the paintings of Gil Maia, where the palette is extended and the textures become leading roles. São Mamede Gallery proposal is closed with two more symbolic and very different authors: the gestural González Bravo and the more dreamlike Ana Maria.

Nanda Botella, "Grietas, franjas y color", mix media, 2018. Shiras Galería.

Shiras Galería (Valencia) also offers quite a broad exhibit that consists of the works of six artists from Valencia. In its space, you will see the iron pieces of one of the pioneers of the so-called New Spanish Sculpture, Miquel Navarro. An artist undoubtedly connected with the creators of the Avant-garde. Through their work, we can delve into their personal and distinctive vertical geometrical precision. The latest works by Nanda Botella are also determined by vertical compositions; while the expressive brushstroke of Juan Olivares appears to disrupt all this order. The pictorial gesture, the brushing or scraping, passionate “emotional traces” dominate his colourful paintings, more recently also decomposed and framed in methacrylate.

Juan Olivares, "Sin Título", vinyl paint on heavyweight paper, 2018. Shiras Galería.

The diverse proposal of Shiras is completed with three very different painters. On the one hand, the essentiality of the round shapes, dominated by flat colours, which continue to distinguish the oils made by the great painter Rosa Torres.On the other hand, we have the oil paintings of José Saborit, landscapes of essential horizons where the painter demonstrates his excellent ability to capture atmospheres. And finally, the gallery presents Horacio Silva’s paintings on sheet metal, a symbolic approach in which the author highlights the sensitive qualities of this cold material.

Íñigo Arregi, "Sin Título", weathering steel, 2018. Kur Art Gallery.

Perhaps the most absolute geometric proposal is that of Kur Art Gallery (Guipúzcoa), featuring only local artists, great followers of the unique Basque creation of the twentieth century. We will see the volumetric collages, works in weathering steel, of Íñigo Arregi, canvases in which he continues to investigate the ways in which geometric forms are interconnected and interwoven. Likewise, the zinc pieces of Iñaki Olazaba are presented, absolute in their presence as in their contours; also part of the sculptural work of the landscape painter Aitor Etxeberría. Kur closes its exhibit for Art Madrid with two painters: J. Ramón Elorza, of which they present some of the more expressive works, featuring floating geometric objects; and Bingen de Pedro, who will surprise us again with his architectural trompe l'oeil. As the artist explained, when working on several canvases at the same time, contaminations arise between them, revealing relationships born from the way in which he orders and places the canvases, a random method that provides the final paintings with an impressive volume.

In short, an extensive group of artists that work from geometry and that we can enjoy in this unique occasion in the new Art Madrid edition.

 

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.