ONE PROJECT’19: THE TRIUMPH OF COLOUR

Contour Art Gallery, DDR Art Gallery, Granada Gallery, About Art, Flux Zone, RV Cultura e Arte and Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo

 

Colour becomes the main theme of the new One Project program. It is the guiding thread that unites the artworks in different conceptual and formal dialogues. Lucid narratives in which you can lose yourself entering a beginning that takes us to another new beginning and in which reality is camouflaged, transcended or subverted.

Once again Art Madrid presents the One Project program, conceived to support and promote young artists whose careers are in an initial or intermediate state. The project takes place in a curated proposal within the fair in which the works of the creators are presented in a solo show format while maintaining a unitary vision.

Alejandra Atarés

Jardin con fondo rosa, 2018

Oil and acrylic on linen

150 x 150cm

This year, one of the great updates of the program is the incorporation of Nerea Ubieto, art critic and curator who presents a new proposal led only by female artists. This choice, as stated by Ubieto, is based “on the eagerness to level an unstable balance in which female participation in art fairs is still today unfair”. Under the title "Ficciones, máscaras y paisajes: el color como telón de fondo", 7 artists feature specific proposals for the fair in which the international presence stands out and specifically, highlighting Latin American participation.

As the curator explains, the works invite us to build our own universes, because "through creation, we can get rid of the burdens that slow down the development of society, dissolve stereotypes, invent new ones, own what we want to change and, effectively, transform it. No limits are worth having, just more or less believable masks; only colour with a more or less positive charge”.

Rūta Vadlugaitė

A Place for Bird Nests, 2015

Oil on canvas

73.7 x 101.5cm

Rūta Vadlugaitė

Hepatica, 2017

Oil on canvas

80 x 60cm

The worlds of Rūta Vadlugaitė, an artist represented by the Lithuanian Contour Art Gallery (Vilnius), are characterized by huge colour spots within a reduced palette. Her works are characterized by being compositions of resounding and minimal shapes because colour dominates everything. With a clear tendency towards blue tones, Vadlugaitė’s landscapes describe spaces that have a lot of abstraction, autobiography, intuition and rigour as Ubieto points out, defining them as "catapults of multiple psychological ideas" in which the artist’s states of mind are reflected as metaphors.

Virginia Rivas

Jugando al escondite, 2016

Acrylic, graphite and bodybuilder tape on canvas

20 x 20cm

Virginia Rivas

Oh, la mía pena, 2016

Acrylic, graphite and bodybuilder tape on canvas

40 x 40cm

A deep interest in the large colour spots mark the paintings of the most abstract and gestural Virginia Rivas, artist who is represented by the online gallery DDR Art Gallery (Madrid). Rivas' emotional abstraction is characterized by expanded stories, by small revelations about experiences or personal thoughts that interrupt her compositions. Altogether, her paintings are like traces of interior worlds now exteriorized and exposed in a beautiful "letting go" manner. As the curator points out, Rivas invites us to travel through perhaps more intimate places, but possible even in the framework of a fair.

Mara Caffarone

Sin título, 2018

Pastel óleo sobre papel

70 x 50cm

Mara Caffarone

Selfie portrait, 2015

Aerosol sobre polietileno

150 x 60cm

Also, Mara Caffarone’s work moves between the abstract and the gestural brushstroke, to which a marked sensory character is included. Represented by the Argentine Granada Gallery (Comuna), her work reflects on "the limits of perception and the need to identify what we observe”, explains Ubieto. From purely painting, Caffarone quickly jumps to the incorporation of extra-pictorial materials -especially plastics and air spray-, to video or installation. In fact, the proposal that will be presented at Art Madrid will include video, installation and painting in an artistic experience that will go far beyond the traditional and contemplative exhibition ways.

Nuria Mora

Sin título, 2018

Acrylic on paper

110 x 75cm

Nuria Mora

Sin título (Placas tectónicas I), 2018

Acrylic on paper

181.5 x 146cm

On the other hand, "the playful factor and the indomitable flexibility of the paintings" by Nuria Mora come to overflow any support, "as if the geometrized pigment were born from the bottom of the walls and collapsed by its cracks generating epidermal and cumulative layers", the curator explains. Represented by About Art Gallery (Lugo), Mora is one of the most outstanding artists of the so-called Post-Graffiti movement who, some time ago, has transferred her seductive organic and geometric shapes from the wall to the paper. However, as it could not be otherwise, these colourful shapes will again be insurgent and will exceed the limits of the imposed exhibition space boundaries.

Sofía Echeverri

Juegos prohibidos III, 2014

Acrílico y óleo sobre lienzo

120 x 160cm

Sofía Echeverri

Trampland con olas, 2015

Acrylic on canvas

180 x 220cm

Sofia Echeverri , who exhibits her works with the Flux Zone gallery (Mexico City), has a very particular way of expressing her stories. Echeverri begins with narratives in black and white, with a figurative and geometric tendency, which are updated and transcended through the introduction of the contrast of vivid colours such as magenta, green and blue. In general, behind this formal strategy, there is a conceptual criticism: "the colour contrast questions what we lose for what we prefer to keep says the artist". Art Madrid presents a selection of three of its most outstanding series: "Juegos prohibidos", "Trampland" and "Pedir la lluvia", series in which seduction, mystery and discomfort -even the sinister side, as Freud would say- compose stories that serve Echeverri to divide the reality.

Manuela Eichner

Bruja, 2018

Collage on wood

60 x 45cm

Also, the subversive masks of Manuela Eichner are presented at One Project program. They are creations with which the artist reinterprets female prototypes and myths using collage as a fundamental technique in order to alter their meanings. Represented by the Brazilian gallery RV Cultura e Arte (Salvador), Eichner will introduce us to Art Madrid in a unique tropical jungle in which a catalogue of perturbations of the traditional female role is described. It is a visual rewriting work of with which it creates new paradigms, proposes new iconographies, where the provocation brings together icons of the mythological tradition with pornographic stereotypes and vegetable motives to reflect on "the domestication of the wild". Plants and women as main characters because, as Ubieto says, in both cases one can speak about "tamed bodies, subdued, reduced to mere decoration".

Alejandra Atarés

Japonesa con palmeras nevadas, 2017

Oil and acrylic on linen

114 x 146cm

Alejandra Atarés also shares these claims who, represented by the gallery Víctor Lope Arte Contemporáneo (Barcelona), closes the One Project proposal with two of her main lines of work. On the one hand, she invites us to star in other people's lives looking through the colourful representation of women who turn their backs to us: they usually hide their face, absorbed by blurred horizons. On the other, also from her characteristic figurative shapes and full of colour motifs, she takes us to dreamlike landscapes in which "she breaks the rules of perspective and real space introducing us to fictitious paradises in which the inside and the outside are confused”. As the curator concurs, “colour expands, contaminates the environment and connects the seven proposals in a wave of freshness and vigour”.

 

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.