PAINTING: THE LEADING DISCIPLINE

Painting has been present since the origin of the plastic expression as one of the most natural, most intuitive and stable manifestations throughout the history of art. However, its two-dimensionality has questioned its communicative capacity in the last century and has given rise to new creative trends focused on overcoming the limitations of the canvas through the search for movement, the decomposition of objects or multiple perspectives. At the same time, painting has been associated with classicism and testimonial representations of history as a technique that served the dictates of the sociopolitical pulse of the moment, so many contemporary authors have neglected it and opted for other disciplines more versatile.

Georg Baselitz, "Motiv kaputt", 1991. "La Caixa" Contemporary Art Collection

However, painting has always made its way again and has demonstrated its ability to reinvent itself and host countless messages according to the new times. For this reason, this discipline always resurfaces, accommodates new concerns and allows a more critical approach that expands the limits of art and the plasticity of the canvas itself. When it seemed that everything was said, we see that the painting can overcome its apparent limitations and host new speeches in the hands of today's creators.

Ángela de la Cruz, "Clutter VII (Yellow)", 2004. "La Caixa" Contemporary Art Collection

With this intention of revaluing oil on canvas, CaixaForum Madrid opens to the public the exhibition "The painting, a permanent challenge" where you can visit more than forty works from the La Caixa Foundation collection, started in 1985. When there were hardly any centres dedicated to contemporary creation in Spain, this institution opened the doors of its venues in Barcelona and Madrid in 1980 to become a reference to the latest art in our country. Since then, the collection has continued to grow and incorporate new names to its list.

Sean Scully, “Gabriel”, 1993. "La Caixa" Contemporary Art Collection

Nimfa Bisbe, head of the "la Caixa" collections, has curated the exhibition by making a selection of works that deal with the abstraction and plasticity of painting from an open conception, not limited to classical standards or traditional representation. With artworks by Robert Ryman, Sigmar Polke, Gerhard Richter, Wolfgang Tillmans, Robert Mangold, Ángela de la Cruz, Ruben Guerrero, Günther Förg, Jessica Stockholder, Juan Uslé and Richard Tuttle, among others, the tour proposes a material approach to the painting and the use of the elements that exceed their expected dimension and reach some extent of corporeality.

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.