Joaquín Jesús Sánchez

  • Eulàlia Rovira, Esmorteir l’esmorteït (Deaden the Deadened), 2020, wooden beams, nylon ratchet straps. Installation view.

    Eulàlia Rovira

    In his famous 1967 lecture “Des espaces autres” (Of Other Spaces), Michel Foucault stated, “Heterotopia is capable of juxtaposing in a single real place several spaces, several sites that are in themselves incompatible.” I was reminded of this definition when I read the introductory text to Eulàlia Rovira’s exhibition “Esmorteir l’esmorteït” (Deaden the Deadened), which recounts a story at once macabre and funny. In mid-nineteenth-century London, a dance hall was created in a former chapel with a burial vault beneath the floor. The owners advertised “Dancing on the Dead—Admission Threepence.”

  • Carles Congost, Simply the Best, 2016, video, color, sound, 15 minutes.
    picks December 24, 2020

    Carles Congost

    Music is the most obvious connector between the different videos. Wonders, 2016, and ¿Para qué sirven las canciones?, 2020, reflect on the phenomenon of the hit song. The mockumentary Simply the Best, 2016, considers a Swiss firefighter’s

  • Ángel Ferrant, Maternidad (Maternity), 1949, cork, 12 5⁄8 × 9 1⁄2 × 11".

    Antonio Ballester Moreno and Ángel Ferrant

    The contemporary art world’s interest in education may seem a constant, but it’s one that varies in intensity. At times, an accent on pedagogy can dominate, while in other moments it can come across as condescending or, worse, futile. But beyond the flux of fashion, the art of our time is inextricably linked to questions of accessibility and the relationship of creative production to its historical context beyond close-knit clubs of specialists and connoisseurs.

    The Museo Patio Herreriano took up such questions by inviting Antonio Ballester Moreno to work with the archives of the avant-garde

  • Ana Mendieta, Weather Balloon, Feathered Balloon, 1974, Super-8 transferred to high-definition digital media, color, silent, 3 minutes 42 seconds.
    picks March 28, 2020

    Ana Mendieta

    This intimate exhibition of Ana Mendieta’s work, curated by Cuban compatriot Wilfredo Prieto on the thirty-fifth anniversary of the artist’s death, revolves around three short films that intertwine absence with presence. Perhaps the most distinctive of the three, X-Ray, ca. 1975, records the artist’s X-radiated skull, her jaw moving up and down to rehearse a speech test. The work’s clinical imagery contrasts with the closeness of Mendieta’s voice, here somewhat childlike. Flower Person, Flower Body, made the same year, deepens the idea of understanding the body through its lack. If in X-Ray we

  • Ludovica Carbotta, Severe UD 01, 2019, wood, iron, paint, plastic. Installation view.

    Ludovica Carbotta

    Fortresses are generally designed to protect against external threats. A less common (though perhaps more poetic) reason to build a fort is to confine something dangerous within it, protecting those outside. This was the purpose of the gunpowder storehouse at Forte Marghera, a nineteenth-century fortification on the Venice Lagoon that is now an art space. Known as the Austrian Polveriera, this building last year, in the context of the 2019 Venice Biennale, housed the works from Ludovica Carbotta’s ongoing series “Monowe,” 2016–, that were reconfigured (along with drawings for other sculptures

  • Ana Laura Aláez, Tigras y felinas (Tigresses and Felines), 1995, metal and textiles, dimensions variable.
    picks January 03, 2020

    Ana Laura Aláez

    By no means chronologically rigorous, this retrospective skips entire periods and sutures together assorted bodies of work. But its heterodoxy is useful to understanding the artistic obsessions of Ana Laura Aláez, as well as the puckish tensions between her “emotional architecture” and the New Basque sculpture. See, for instance, Culito (Bottom, 1996–2008), a smooth iron butt plugged with a cork. Tigras y felinas (Tigresses and Felines, 1995) consists of two shamanic columns of suspended skirts, undergarments, and kilts that get at Alaéz’s interest in how fashion shapes identity through concealment

  • View of “André Romão,” 2019. From left: Pierna izquierda (Left Leg), 2019; Cabeza (el hambre del monstruo) (Head [The Monster’s Hunger]), 2019.

    André Romão

    One need only turn to Ovid to confirm that hybrid forms are nothing new in art. States of in-betweenness have always aroused fascination because they unsettle the categories we use to comprehend the world, throwing taxonomies of human, animal, and plant into flux. And while our ideas about the natural and the artificial have changed a great deal since the Roman poet’s Metamorphoses, the Lisbon-born artist André Romão’s latest exhibition, “Flores” (Flowers), proved that it is still possible to trouble the taxonomical waters.

    The exhibition staged a selection of interspecies assemblages on a white

  • View of “Christe o chapa,” 2019.
    picks October 07, 2019

    Jacobo Castellano

    Over the past couple of years, sculptor Jacobo Castellano has made a compelling motif out of the torno, an enclosed revolving door or window found in Spanish and Latin American cloistered convents that is used to transfer goods, missives, and people through the sacred and profane realms. Based on the idea of this bygone contraption, which is as much a threshold between public and private as between secular and holy, Castellano has built a static and corpulent piece that appears to float on a carved wooden base with golden reflections at the bottom edge. From TORNO, 2019, hang worn tapestries in

  • View of “The Last Fifty Years, 1968 / 2019,” 2019.
    picks June 04, 2019

    Ulrich Rückriem

    With its eight sculptures and two series on paper, “The Last Fifty Years, 1968 / 2019” demonstrates the archetypes that have run through Ulrich Rückriem’s oeuvre with assured concision and a poise at once mysterious and upfront. The oldest of the pieces—all of which have been remade for the exhibition—is the iconic dolomite Column, 1968/2019, a rectangular prism sawed in half and then wedged together. This early work sprang from the artist’s experience as a quarrier for the reconstruction of the Cologne Cathedral. With its simple but resolute gesture, great concern for process, warm rather than

  • José Díaz, Signal, 2018, oil on linen, 77 x 60”.
    picks December 14, 2018

    José Díaz

    In his previous exhibitions, José Díaz’s main inspirations were the night and the city. This was because while he was painting, he moonlighted as a bartender at night. The city appeared in his work as a series of automated roads that spanned the canvases. Now, in “La mañana,” Díaz repositions the theme around awakening: His new large-scale abstractions, all from 2018, are composed and hued groggily, their associations drifting toward bleary eyes, the scrape of a toothbrush against teeth, a half-remembered dream.

    In this show, Díaz has enriched his palette with blues and grays as well as widened

  • Alfredo Rodriguez, Body Building B01, 2018, mixed media, 75 x 48".
    picks October 12, 2018

    Alfredo Rodríguez

    With “Body Building,” Alfredo Rodríguez continues his long-standing photographic exploration of the human form. This exhibition contains two types of work. First, torn photographs of what look like limbs, muscles, and joints are adhered to panels of wood and coated in a highly protective, hard matte resin to create large-scale collages. The delicate, crystal-like reflective surfaces from previous exhibitions, such as “Limbo” (2016), are nowhere to be found here. Instead, one observes the artist’s investigation into how fragile materials such as paper and processes such as silver gelatin can be