THE TOTAL WORK OF ART
Apr 16, 2018
Putting together the concepts "Hydroelectric power station" and "Work of art" in the same sentence can be certainly strange, even more, if finally, both elements come together in reality. This is the result of the work of Joaquín Vaquero Palacios, an architect, painter and sculptor who tackled some of the most ambitious projects on the Spanish scene.
The ICO Museum hosts the exhibition "The beauty of the extraordinary", dedicated to the work of this multifaceted and multidisciplinary creator through five of his largest projects: the Asturian hydroelectric power stations of Salime (1945-1955), Miranda (1956- 62), Proaza (1964-68), Aboño (1969-1980) and Tanes (1980). All of them are the result of a collaboration for more than thirty years with the Cantabrian Hydroelectric Plant.
But why do we talk about total work of art? Joaquín Vaquero was a prolific and ambitious author, obsessed with seeking and creating beauty with his work. His production is very extensive, and this was already the first obstacle to narrow the scope of the showing. Finally, a geographical criterion was chosen: bringing together the five projects developed in Asturias. Though, we are not only talking about an architectural approach to civil construction but a global conception of these structures, in which to combine various artistic disciplines and transform the space.
The Cantabrian Hydroelectric plant approached these projects from a completely innovative perspective for the time. It wanted to break the cold and exclusively functional idea associated with this type of constructions and turn them into a visible symbol of contemporary change, into a work of civil engineering that would bring together the best of artistic disciplines. This totalising effort gathered painting, sculpture, architecture, landscaping, sound, industrial design.
The exhibition recreates the artistic richness of these projects with an exhibition design that moves away from the purely architectural approach to emphasise the visual load of the projects. Do not forget that these huge constructions are today a testimony of the peninsular modernism, a style that is appreciated inside and outside every room and that nourished by an unstoppable creative pulse like that of Vaquero Palacios. The exhibition will be open to the public until May 6th.