SHAPE AND COLOUR IN ART MADRID

The abstraction is a style emerged in the 19th century that gained strength progressively until reaching a large presence in the art world. Figurative art follows its own evolution, but it does not always achieve that same expressive potential. As abstract art consolidates, the game of creators in the combination of shapes and colours becomes increasingly complex. The power of the stain, the communicative value of the void, the absence, the strokes or the contrasts serve to recreate a universe of thoughts and emotions more difficult to capture through material and tangible elements.

Many times abstraction is achieved with the combination of these two artistic tools: shape and colour, used with intention and consciousness to build a complete narrative. The history of art, however, has offered us examples in which both elements can live separately. Before the Renaissance, the form was the one that prevailed over the colour, which was just a simple complement. The contours, the volumes, acquired a presence of their own, with an autonomous and self-sufficient expressive load in which colour, rather, had no place. It is afterwards when colour begins to acquire relevance by itself. Caravaggio, with its chiaroscuros, will give it the importance it deserves, the figures will no longer be flat, they will highlight the volumes and textures that make their way between a rich and diverse palette.

Caravaggio, "Giuditta e Oloferne", 1597

Although during Realism, form and colour will be comparable, with the impressionists colour and shape no longer exist, only the air - light relation will be real for the painter. This way, the light will be the real subject of the painting. The quality and quantity of it, not the line or the colour, will be what will offer one or another visual configuration of the object. However, Post-impressionism, among other things, supposes a recovery of the importance of drawing and of the concern to capture not only the light but also the expressiveness of things and enlightened people.

Claude Monet, "La Promenade" 1875

Form and colour and their connection to abstract art will be the elements that stand out in the work of the nine artists of the exhibition "Shape and Colour in Art Madrid". Thus, for the sculptor Carlos Evangelista, everything maintains a perfect order. His style is based on geometry, on the purity of simple forms and the multiple possibilities offered by the combinatorial development of simple modular units. Candela Muniozguren, for her part, proposes an intimate communication between her creative developments where minimalist shapes dominate and the multiplicity of chromatic effects. "Senbazuru", alludes to the old Japanese legend in which health is promised to anyone who manages to build a thousand origami cranes. For this, the artist combines the use of a single colour with the abstraction of planes, curves and diagonals that come together to result in a dazzling work that recalls those traditional Japanese folds.

Candela Muniozguren

Acid Bang 02, 2018

Lacquered steel

39 x 16cm

Candela Muniozguren

Territorios Lindantes 1, 2018

Lacquered steel

32 x 25cm

Carlos Evangelista

Encuadrados, 2017

Wood

40 x 40cm

On the other hand, Rafael Barrios plays with shapes altering the laws of geometry, fabled volumes in space. His sculptures rise above themselves defying the rules of space, relieving bodies subject to gravity. "Hondos" or "Mural" are identified by their dynamics, by their lightness, by force and by the magnetism that they print with the purpose of each of them reaching the spirit. And we can not forget, the playful use of the shape and colour that Willi Siber performs or the exploration of pigments used by the Sevillian artist Isabelita Valdecasas in Cosmogonías.

Isabelita Valdecasas

Cosmogonia Deep Blue, 2016

Mixed media on canvas

100 x 100cm

Willi Siber

Tafelobjekt, 2016

Metal, polyurethane and epoxy

116 x 104cm

Rafael Barrios

Hondos, 2016

Lacquered steel

83 x 64cm

The lines, shapes and colours of the language of the artist from Elche Ramón Urbán are born of the abstract and the poetic. It stands out the coexistence between the rotundity of the clean space drawing, of certain coldness, and the intense or soft footprint of the painting that lends warmth and ornament to the elemental form. In "Secret Artifice" the circles melt to confuse, lines that play with verticality, spheres unimaginable for their composition... they make Urbán's play a game of life and tranquillity.

Ramón Urbán

Secreto artificio, 2017

Synthetic enamel and rust on wood

160 x 45cm

As for painting, we have chosen works such as those in the series "Flights II" by Nanda Botella, where light, colour and strength represent the elements of expression for this artist. However, the ethereal colour palette used by the abstract painter Sylvie Lei produces disconcerting paintings that relate to the problematic nature of virtual reality in the contemporary social context.

Nanda Botella

Vuelos II, 2017

Oil, acrylic, linen and methacrylate

162 x 130cm

Sylvie Lei

Dimensional Sequence, 2017

Oil on canvas

70 x 50cm

For his part, the Catalan painter Gerard Fernández Rico turns the line into the true protagonist in "Through the line". A diverse and complex path which the artist approaches in a millimetric way as if he were looking through a microscope. A line that together with the explosion of colour generates a vibrant sensation, a fresh and dynamic air in each of its pieces.

Gerard Fernández Rico

Lila 001, 2018

Mixed media on board

130 x 110cm

Gerard Fernández Rico

Azul 001, 2018

Mixed media on board

129 x 108cm

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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.