Javier Hontoria

  • Paloma Polo, Action at a Distance, 2012, still from a color film in 16 mm transferred to HD video, 19 minutes 
35 seconds.

    Paloma Polo

    Posición aparente” (Apparent Position), Paloma Polo’s first institutional solo show in Spain, comprised an approximately twenty-minute 16-mm film transferred to HD video, a series of fourteen photographs, and a book, which together reflected the artist’s interest in twentieth-century scientific expeditions. The topic is not a new concern for Polo, who was born in Madrid in 1983, and now lives and works in Amsterdam. Last year she presented another film, The Path of Totality—Concepts of Simultaneity, 2011, a bustling stream of images, collected from various sources, depicting members of

  • View of “La bandera en la cima” (A Flag on the Summit), 2012.
    picks May 15, 2012

    Rafel G. Bianchi

    The fourteen highest mountains in the world, known collectively as the eight-thousanders (peaks over 8,000 meters above sea level) and located in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges, stand as a challenge and an aspiration that beckons to many mountain climbers. The most ambitious adventurers dream of summiting all fourteen—a feat that takes many years to accomplish, often with considerable risk to the climber’s life. This risk is the subject of Rafel G. Bianchi’s current exhibition, “La bandera en la cima” (A Flag on the Summit). Here Bianchi creates a parallel between the tremendous

  • Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Azor, 2012, compacted yacht, 15' 5“ x 14' 9” x 6' 2 3/4".

    Fernando Sánchez Castillo

    Fernando Sánchez Castillo, one of Spain’s leading midcareer artists, takes a multifaceted approach to the representation of power structures. Much of his work, typically sculpture and video, is based on the country’s shady twentieth-century history, but its resonance is more than merely local, since the implications he draws out from his material are so wide-ranging. His sculpture typically addresses the monumentality of official memorials glorifying leaders, while his videos often engage with motifs related to classical inability such as the horse—a universal image of power in Western

  • Maria Loboda, Perilous seat with a rabbit trap. Perilous seat with a pheasant trap, 2011, wood, water color, acrylic, rabbit trap, pheasant trap, 39 3/8 x 117 3/4".

    Maria Loboda

    Polish-born artist Maria Loboda, who now lives in London, retraces modernity’s footsteps and delves into history, art, and literature by bringing her personal experiences into dialogue with a somewhat eccentric approach to science: She assumes that art can accept what empirical research rejects. The project may not sound unfamiliar, but Loboda gives it a fresh twist by blending these mainstream interests with something more unusual in contemporary art—a profound fascination with transcendental perceptions of temporality. Loboda’s personal universe is stuffed with references to the paranormal.

  • Perejaume, Exvotos (detail), 2011, wax; twelve elements, depicted, from left: 13 3/4 x 13 3/4 x 13 3/4“, 7 7/8 x 25 1/2 x 7 7/8”, 26 5/8 x 7 x 5 1/2“, 9 3/4 x 9 3/4 x 9 3/4”.

    Perejaume

    Born not far from Barcelona in 1957, Perejaume is by now considered one of Spain’s living legends. And yet both the artist and his work are located in a realm of withdrawal, hidden in some corner of nature far beyond reach. This sense of remoteness constitutes the thread that ties his oeuvre together. Over the course of what is now a nearly thirty-year career, this rara avis of contemporary artmaking has whetted his solitary fascination with the understated poetry of the ties that bind nature to culture. His artistic identity is deeply rooted in the soil of his homeland, Catalonia, and in the

  • Diego Santomé, Vidriera #1 (Stained Glass #1), 2011, lead, glass, 33 1/2 x 23 5/8".

    Diego Santomé

    Two years ago Diego Santomé curated an exhibition at Parra & Romero titled “La Importancia del Pez Cebra” (The Importance of Zebrafish), a group show exploring the pertinence of a potential connection between the art of the 1960s and contemporary sculptures based on austere and everyday materials with human scale and down-to-earth ambitions. What was particularly striking then, as it is now in his recent solo exhibition, “Nuevas visiones desde el Congo” (New Visions from Congo), was the exoticism of its title. What’s all that about? Santomé has never seemed much interested in geopolitical or

  • David Hall, TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces), 1971, still from a black-and-white video, 22 minutes 6 seconds. From “Are You Ready for TV?”

    “Are You Ready for TV?”

    “Are You Ready for TV?” is not the same old exhibition devoted to television. It is a complex, ambitious, and time-consuming experiment that critically explores the nature of an exhausted medium. If you expect this show to demonize TV as a mind-numbing device, you will be disappointed. It rests rather on the will to trace a connection between television’s artistic and philosophical roots. Curator Chus Martínez’s approach cleverly dodges indulgent commonplaces by returning to the fundamental core of the concept of television. The exhibition, which is now on view at another Spanish venue, the