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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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.