NEW HORIZONS: GALLERIES BEYOND EUROPE

Yiri Arts, Oda Gallery, Collage Habana, O-Art Project y Lola & Unicorn Galleries

  The fourteenth edition of Art Madrid stands out for its marked international character. Actually, the origin of the participating galleries cross oceans and go far beyond the European continent. Among the foreign participating galleries from the General Program, stand out the Taiwanese Yiri Arts (Taipei), the South African ODA Gallery (Franschhoek), the Cuban Collage Havana (Havana), the Peruvian artistic collective O-Art Project (Lima) and the North American Lola & Unicorn (New York). Galleries also beyond Europe are some of the ones that partake the One Project program: Flux Zone (Mexico City, Mexico), Granada Gallery (Comuna, Argentina) and RV Cultura e Arte (Salvador, Brazil).

Chen Yun, "The past is like the dust on the plants I collected before", acrylic on canvas, 2018. Yiri Arts.

From Taiwan, they come the proposals of Yiri Arts, works as intimate as vitalist. Chen Yun, the most mysterious of the three artists presented, features some of his latest paintings: compositions organised in a format of diptychs or triptychs in which the states of the inner worlds are revealed. Both human figures, most of them in meditative attitudes, as well as the symbols or the objects that accompany them, reflect veiled narratives. In these stories, it is expressed much more without telling everything because you can feel the inherent tension that underlies in titles such as “Companion. Smeared faces comforting one another, leaning upon each other” (2017) or “The past is like the dust on the plants I collected before” (2018).

Guim Tió Zarraluki, "Campament", oil on linen, 2018. Yiri Arts.

On the other hand, the most extreme tensions are completely explicit in the works by Lai Wei-Yu, as shown his furious and monstrous figures entwined in eager fights. The contrast reappears in these works through the introduction of vivid and almost playful colours, especially in works like "The Fight" (2018) or "My Family" (2018), where a kind of confetti hides the traces of violence. Yiri closes his proposal for Art Madrid with works by Guim Tió Zarraluki: paintings of large stains of spot colours that offer us a place to stop to reflect; a new space where we can be able to cleanse our corrupted vision by the visual tyranny imposed by the mass media.

Andy Llanes Bultó

Serie Cuerpo Celeste (II), 2018

Oil on canvas

150 x 150cm

Daniel R. Collazo

De la serie 'Ciudades infinitas', 2018

Charcoal on canvas

100 x 130cm

The proposals of the Collage Habana’s artists stand out for their mastery of pictorial techniques and drawing over colour. It is enough to contemplate the round-format-painting that articulates the series "Celestial Body" or "Levitaciones" (2018) of Andy Llanes Bultó, intimate exercises of anatomy; the charcoal drawings of infinite cities, always exponential, always dystopian, of Daniel R. Collazo; the female, provocative and idealised portraits of Roldán Lauzán Eiras; or the more mature, hybrid investigations of Ernesto Rancaño, games of lights and shadows, dreams and nightmares, which leave a sense of suspicion when contemplating its details.

Alessandra Rebagliati

Donut Wheel, 2018

Photography

20 x 70cm

Rocío Gómez

Extrañamiento, 2017

Óleo, collage y foto sobre cartulina

75 x 110cm

In this edition, the interesting Peruvian collective O-Art Project participates for the first time, a project lead by Alessandra Rebagliati, Jessica Schneider, Carolina Bazo and Gianna Pollarolo. The four artists have been carrying out projects for more than two decades. They aim to make visible the different practices and discourses that exist in the Peruvian art scene, managing to transcend and spreading "its roots from a globalised and contemporary perspective". Together with three other artists, they present in Art Madrid a suggestive selection of works, with very different imaginaries and concerns but under a collective vision. The works of these artists stand out for their hybrid and vindictive character, as seen in the works Carolina Bazo or Alessandra Rebagliati, focused on the reconfiguration of the stereotypes associated with women or the power exerted by the patriarchy and capitalist logic in our daily work.

Jessica Schneider

Yellow Capsule, 2017

Photography

35 x 45cm

We will also see the installations of metallic fibres and the transparencies of Cristina Colichón; the attractive works of Jessica Schneider, with her mysterious capsules adrift; or the photographic distortions of Jacques Custer. On the other hand, Gianna Pollarolo works around concepts such as energy, mysticism or the origins of the collective imagination; while Rocío Gómez is more interested in semiotic issues, as shown by the use of multi-vision in her impressive audiovisual works or the enigmatic stagings of painting, collage and photography, as we see in "Extrañamiento" (2017).

Samson Mnisi

Untitled, 2018

Oil on paper

107 x 78cm

Layziehound Coka

Bring Back The Power, 2018

Mixed media on canvas

250 x 200cm

Also for the first time, ODA Gallery participates in Art Madrid, a proposal that will allow us to enter a unique artistic scene of the African continent. We must highlight the oils on paper by Samson Mnisi (Lesotho), a creator whose language of patterns, lines, symbols and colours is as personal as inspiring; the reviews, and updates, of the local shapes and icons made by Jean-Baptiste Djeka (Ivory Coast), in which he combines painting, collage and photo-assembling; and the most critical readings of the sociopolitical state of the African citizen provided by Layziehound Coka (South Africa). ODA Gallery will also present the most traditional and magical paintings of Silas Adelanke Adeoye (Nigeria), geometric figures, flat and colourful, whose masks can lead us to the fascination that so many artists of the Avant-guards felt for the ancient African art.

Fernando Daza

Círculo naranja, 2018

Paper torn by hand and glued on fabric

80 x 80cm

Finally, from the heart of New York, comes the wide selection of Lola & the Unicorn. In his space, one can enjoy the abstract explorations of three artists: Bosco Sodi, a great connoisseur of Mexican muralism, whose paintings reflect the connections between the qualities of matter, textures and their echoes in spirituality; and the latest works by the Sevillians Isabelita Valdecasas and Fernando Daza, more material and textural in the paintings of the first one, more geometric and subtle in the fabrics of the latter.

Miguel Vallinas

Raiz 37, 2015

Photography

100 x 70cm

Juan Genovés

Analogía, 2016

Giclee on Hahnemühle paper

74 x 55.5cm

The gallery will also exhibit recent works by one of the great Spanish painters, Juan Genovés - also present in the Aurora Vigil Escalera space. From his characteristic figurative style, so close to the most gestural expressionist abstraction, and using his usual zenith perspectives, one can enjoy the endless crowd scenes which obsess the indefatigable painter that much. In addition, the selection of Lola & Unicorn will include the photographs of Miguel Vallinas, portraits with a marked surrealist character in which he reflects on contemporary identity: "what man wants to be, what he thinks he is, what others think of him and what we really are."

 

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.