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

|354:150

The cultural agenda gradually recovers after the health-crisis halt and art lovers are eager to enjoy the rich cultural offer that the different spaces and museums throughout our geography have to offer. In addition, one must remember that these centres have made an enormous effort to adapt to the demands that the new situation imposes and have created abundant online-accessible content to overcome confinement. We bring you a selection of content that can be visited both in person and through the web. There is no excuse for not enjoying contemporary art again.

Olafur Eliasson, “En la vida real (In real life)”, 2019

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao continues with its exhibition dedicated to Olafur Eliasson and offers numerous resources to understand not only the exhibition but also the work of the centre in the assembly and installation process. The website allows us to expand content with interviews with the artist, the download of the audio guide and the vision of the curator Lucía Aguirre, who offers us different video-pills on the pieces in the exhibition.

"Olafur Eliasson: in real life" brings together a part of this artist's work since 1990 through sculptures, photographs, paintings and installations that play with reflections and colours. Likewise, the integration of elements such as moss, water, ice, fog... put the visitor in a situation that confuses the senses and tries to challenge the way we perceive our environment and move in it.

Regina de Miguel, “Isla Decepción”, 2017

The Botín Centre in Santander hosts the exhibition "Collecting processes: 25 years of Itineraries" which brings together the work of 25 of the 210 scholarship recipients who, to date, have enjoyed the Botín Foundation Plastic Arts Scholarship, started in 1993. With the works Lara Almárcegui, Basma Alsharif, Leonor Antunes, Javier Arce, Erick Beltrán, David Bestué, Bleda and Rosa, Nuno Cera, Patricia Dauder, Patricia Esquivias, Karlos Gil, Carlos Irijalba, Adrià Julià, Juan López, Rogelio López Cuenca, Renata Lucas, Mateo Maté, Jorge Méndez Blake, Regina de Miguel, Leticia Ramos, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Teresa Solar Abboud, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Jorge Yeregui, David Zink-Yi, the exhibition is a good example of up-to-date and young contemporary art contributed by artists with very diverse profiles.

Clemente Bernad. Series “Ante el umbral”, Madrid, 2020

The Reina Sofía Museum wanted to create a visual chronicle of what the confinement and the tragic numbers of infected and deceased have meant for the lives of many of us: a tale of pain, nostalgia and uncertainty made by the photographer Clemente Bernad. This exhibition, curated by Jorge Moreno Andrés, is entitled “Before the threshold”, a title that expresses the strange sensation that occurs when faced with something new and unknown, something that we cannot control or avoid, and that we all must go through. The alteration imposed on our lives unexpectedly is reflected in the streets, transformed into places of solitude and abandonment where life has been paralysed.

Mario Merz / No title, Triplo Igloo, 1984 MAXXI Collection

At the IVAM, the exhibition "What is our home?" brings together works from the IVAM collection and the MAXXI centre in Rome to propose a reflection on the space we inhabit seen from a personal and social perspective. It is about investigating the value that these spaces have as a home or refuge, as well as part of a city or community.

The exhibition, curated by José Miguel G. Cortés, also wants to delve into the feeling of those who feel like foreigners anywhere, because they do not identify with the habits or customs of the society, they do not fit into these social patterns, and home becomes the only shelter space that can adapt to their identity needs.

Martha Rosler, frame from “Backyard Economy I-II”, 1974 © Courtesy of Martha Rosler, 2020

Es Baluard Museu is committed to video creation and performance and hosts the monographic exhibition “Martha Rosler. How do we get there from here?” dedicated to this New York artist who pioneered the use of video as a mechanism for social and political analysis. This exhibition includes various works, from video to photography and several publications, which synthesise her main lines of discourse. Her concern for public policies and the social equality of women has led her to actively participate in numerous social movements in La Havana, New York, Mexico DC or Barcelona, and these experiences are present in one way or another in her work.

With the curatorship of Inma Prieto, a selection has been made within the abundant production of this artist, which presents one of the most coherent careers in towards-the-new-Millenium contemporary art.

Image from file, via meiac.es/turbulence/archive/acceso.html

The MEIAC - Museo Extremeño e Iberoamericano de Arte Contemporáneo, host the works of the prestigious international digital art archive "Turbulence", a platform dedicated to network and hybrid art. In view of the inevitable closure of this institution, the MEIAC has offered to host all this valuable content collected since 1996. The uploading of the file also served as an opportunity to restore numerous pieces and convert formats so that files that had become obsolete remain readable by new systems. A huge job of conservation and updating that can be enjoyed online today. The archive is made up of hundreds of digital works from around the world that can now be visited remotely.