Luis Gordillo, pictorial and visceral

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo, 'Head with stripes', (1964)

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo (1934), Seville-born artist, painter of reference within the Spanish art scene and a symbol of painting’s vitality, goes through different artistic periods that are chronology shown in this exhibition. His artworks travel from a first Informalism to public interventions like the one in the Alsacia Metro station in Madrid.

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo, 'American couple' (1974)

 

 

 

There is always a reference to the visceral body in his paintings. There are brains, intestines, cells and viscera, represented in a non-figurative way close to abstraction. Although the artist refuses to consider his work fully abstract. Gordillo has been always linked to technology developments, above all the ones related to photography, which he considers a main source in his creative process. He uses photography to experiment with colours and compositions. He paints, photographs, reinterprets his photographs and so on.

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo, 'Gallbladder' (1986)

 

 

 

The exhibition shows his first works in the mid-sixties, related to the British pop: heads, pedestrians and drivers. In the 80's, it can be highlighted his ‘meandering’ series, that reflects a scientific vision of the organic and of the body as a fragment. The nineties are synthesised in paintings with a scenographic and spectacular meaning. the 2000s are characterised by experiments with media and techniques as well as by the incorporation of digital elements. The tour of his work ends with a new series of heads painted in 2015.

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo, 'White Snow and the bad Pollock' (1996)

 

 

 

The exhibition is curated by Juan Antonio Álvarez Reyes, director of the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville and Santiago Olmo, director of the CGAC, and can be visited until the 17th of September. 

 

 

 

Luis Gordillo, Intervention in the Alsacia Metro station in Madrid

 

 

 

Among the specialised professional profiles that we find in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the field of visual arts, one of the most recent occupations is that of the curator. The ‘80s put attention on the role of the artist, with its innovative character and the enhancement of its figure as an essential articulator of creative proposals, while the end of the century moved the interest towards the exhibition centres themselves and their work as custodians of current production and as spaces to accommodate all proposals. The change of millennium strongly introduced in this panorama the role of the curator. Perhaps together with a social identity crisis, perhaps with the complexity that contemporary projects are currently acquiring, the need for building, articulating and delving into artistic discourses became evident.

Although the functions entrusted to this profession are not entirely new, since previously they belonged to conservatives, critics or experts according to the themes, the role has gained solidity because it combines all these purposes while allowing the specialisation of other professionals in their fields of competence. Now, as some curators themselves point out, the genuine spirit of this figure, who was born to facilitate the understanding of the discourse, create narratives within a sometimes chaotic and scattered context, mediate between the works and the spectator and create bridges between contemporary art and society.

The art of our day raises a multitude of unknowns for the visitor who must face proposals many times away from the aesthetic standards, which gives way to uncertainty and confusion; but, in turn, these works employ a closer language, materials and even compositions detached from the sophistication and the technical display of yesteryear, something that, far from favouring proximity to the message, generates some distancing. What we have just described is part of the very essence of current art. The questioning of the formalist guidelines and the recourse to tangible elements that are more utilitarian than embellishing are the new criteria of creation, where, above all, the message to be conveyed stands out.

Likewise, another inherent characteristic of the work of our time is the artists' concern for more immediate themes, for social, political and economic issues that seek to create a narrative and conceptual revulsion, leaving behind the aesthetic priority or, rather, making of the message its own aesthetic. In this context, strange as it may seem, contemporary creation encounters a linguistic barrier hindering the viewer's understanding. And to this circumstance, the abundant current production is added, covering a wide range of themes that are nothing more than a transcript of our diverse and globalised society.

The curator helps to facilitate this understanding by articulating a coherent discourse that allows the grouping of related ideas to set up the message. This requires to have an in-depth knowledge of the current state of the art, the lines of work of the creators, the most recent aesthetic proposals and the real demands of society to bridge the dialogue and allow the approach to art. If art deals with the same issues that concern us all, how can we not share its postulates? Cultural mediation requires the work of the curators to open a small window for reflection and to enable a space for exchange and idea generation. We share the thought that José Guirao expressed in a recent interview: "The curator is someone who reveals something new, and it would be a mistake for curators to become managers."

Understood this way curator’s role, many institutions have joined the trend of creating specific calls for new professionals to give light to their proposals. Let us remember, as an example, the call "Unpublished" of La Casa Encendida, or "Curator wanted", of the Community of Madrid or the call of Curating of La Caixa.