Menene Gras Balaguer

  • Pep Agut

    Pep Agut’s recent show “Monocrom: N.S.E.W.” (Monochrome: N.S.E.W.) contained two apparently divergent groups of work: four large photographic triptychs and three large abstract works on paper. Strips of green, red, blue, and black colored tape, however, were a unifying element, criss-crossing the pictorial space in each work both horizontally and vertically, leaving small apertures. In the abstractions, the names of primary colors were also written with colored tape, underlining Agut’s affinity for the work of Piet Mondrian.

    While at first glance the photographs in the triptychs appear to represent

  • Paloma Navares

    Paloma Navares’ recent exhibition, “Del jardin de la memoria” (Of the garden of memory), presented images of women taken from famous paintings of the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, by artists including Cranach (both elder and younger), Botticelli, Titian, Dürer, Rubens, Goya, and Ingres. Inevitably, the sixty-eight female nudes Navares selected—many of them Venuses or Eves—reflected standards of “beauty” defined by the male artists who painted them.

    The most arresting piece in the show was a video installation entitled Sombras del un sueño profundo (Shadows of deep sleep, 1984–85), in which

  • Pedro Mora

    For his recent installation entitled “El objeto sin cuerpo o el cuerpo invisible” (The bodiless object or the invisible body, 1996), Pedro Mora constructed four large rooms out of sheets of foam, plastic, wood, and fiberglass. Inside these structures—which he compares to a living room, a bedroom, a corridor, and a storage space—he hung objects and clothing that had been formed from futuristic materials, turning the otherwise eerily antiseptic boxes into living spaces, and suggesting the presence of a mysterious inhabitant.

    These four structures were somewhat bland in character, suggesting prefab

  • José María Sicilia

    Early in his career José María Sicilia painted several series of monochrome paintings, as well as numerous canvases in which isolated images floated on backgrounds spotted with white. Later he started using wax as well as paint, and he has continued to use both materials, never abandoning traditional pictorial techniques though at times he may seem to want to conceal them, burying oil paint and watercolor beneath layers of wax that act like translucent curtains through which one can only glimpse the underlying imagery.

    In this exhibition, four different series of works were grouped together in

  • Mikel Bergara

    Mikel Bergara’s installation Savannah, 1995, consisted of four constructions resembling allegorical ruins, based on a group of log cabins that during the 17th century formed the original urban center of the American city that now bears this name. His project viewed the original log cabins as a model of utopian architecture that existed prior to the more familiar 18th-century projects of Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude Nicolas Ledoux in Europe. By distributing what resembled scaffolding throughout the exhibition space, Bergara attempted to suggest the “ruins” of these cabins, rather than their

  • Francisco Ruiz de Infante

    For this exhibition, entitled “Los Huesos blandos” (The bland bones), Francisco Ruiz occupied the entire gallery as well as the patio that it shares with its neighbor, so that from the street entrance one proceeded directly into the artist’s intervention. Eight interdependent installations provided an overview of his current work and also suggested possible new directions.

    The pieces that he created for this occasion, independent of thematic references, engaged their immediate surroundings; Ruiz allowed the space to act on him before imposing any limits on it, before circumscribing it. In this

  • Lucía Onzaín

    Three yellow roses seem to lie at the source of Lucia Onzaín’s structures. The roses allude to the title of a Raymond Carver story, in which Chekhov awaits death in a room at a spa decorated with a vase containing three yellow roses. Each rose marks a grave—Carver’s, Chekhov’s, and that of the artist’s own father. Onzaín links the three deaths to give meaning to her own loss.

    The dominant effect of Onzaín’s work is one of transparency—sheets of glass encase amorphous substances that look as if they could have given life to the objects of which they are a part. She often uses a light iron frame

  • Xavier Grau

    Xavier Grau literally needs to lose himself in the canvas, yielding to the vertigo the blankness produces at the very moment he mars it with the first brushstroke. The work takes shape as he paints; its mystery stems from the complexity of superpositions that from an irregular network of spiderlike webs which seem to hold each element in place. For all his apparent spontaneity, Grau is an extremely self-conscious painter; he is cautious in his approach to the forms that derive from colors that have expanded on the canvas and which he unites with the contiguous figures that are also born from

  • Susanna Solano

    Recently, Susana Solano mounted two solo exhibitions, one in Barcelona and another in Madrid, that ran concurrenlty. In Barcelona, at the Galeria Senda, Solano placed a single piece in each room. The verticality of one iron piece was deliberately countered by the horizontality of the other. As part of the show in Barcelona, Meditaciones n. 10 (Meditations n. 10, 1993)—a closed catwalk set on wooden balls—was installed in an old shed. This circular pathway contrasted with the angular geometry of the structure in which it was placed. This installation, and her En busca de un paisaje (In search of

  • Victoria Civera

    Over the past few years, Victoria Civera has explored space and volume through the objects she constructs, and experimented with form by going from painting to objects and back to painting. In her recent exhibition, Civera integrated painting with her delicate structures, painting on rubber, canvas, paper, dyed or plastic-coated cotton, scagliola, wood, etc. She builds three-dimensional objects out of materials as different as jute, modeling clay, crystal, mirrors, foam, or methacrylate, and uses “found objects” such as steel flatware, plastic dolls, photographs, empty cans, wigs, gloves. This

  • Javier Baldéon

    Attracted by photography and the potential it affords for manipulating the real, Javier Baldéon has recently favored this medium in his efforts to disrupt the systems that institutionalize the individual’s submission to societal codes. The way he advertised the exhibition recalled the publicity that announces end-of-season sales, but with a twist. Slogans like “Get rid of your money and everything once and for all,” “Spend beyond your limit,” “Last Days,” and “Huge Liquidation,” were printed on backgrounds in shocking colors. Baldéon has taken advantage of the least sophisticated means of

  • Perejaume

    In his recently published book, La pintura i la boca (Painting and the mouth, 1994), Perejaume established the theoretical parameters of his work, while showing the need for an interdisciplinary approach. His bent for comparative analysis has even led him to join opposites, as when he affirms that “painting” (pintura) and “erasure” (despintura) are nearly equal terms that merely indicate different directions; or that the world has become a simulacrum of the world. “The erosion of the image is constant, from the painting to the postcard, and from the postcard to the decal, to the screen and to

  • Jordi Benito

    De Vinaròs a Berlin (From Vinaròs to Berlin) is the title of Jordi Benito’s most recent installation. He covered the floor of the gallery with a lead coating, forcing the viewer to slow down and making him feel strangely imprisoned. Through this metallic bed he forged a path through the gallery, one delineated by nine granite stones of approximately one-and-a-half tons each. The pentagrams containing Carlos Santos’ musical score had already been etched into these stones. (Benito has collaborated with this contemporary composer, author of the opera Asdrúbila, 1992, since they met in 1973. They

  • Ulrich Rückriem

    Ulrich Rückriem’s installation in the exhibition hall of this Foundation follows those of Jannis Kounellis (who opened it with a historic installation in 1989), Jan Dibbets, Mario Merz, John Cage, Bruce Naumann, Rebeca Horn, Richard Long, and even that of two young artists, the Spaniards José Maldonado and Aureli Ruiz. Rückriem was invited to work on the infrastructure of this naked space. Adopting stone as the primary raw material of his installation, his response to the space reflected his esthetic concerns. For Rückriem, stone represents the state prior to being and to life, and the irreducible

  • Ángeles Marco

    Out of a half-open aluminum suitcase comes a captive voice that penetrates the three exhibition rooms. The voice is that of the artist whose physical absence is thus negated. From the heights of a strategically placed iron beam, the voice appropriates the surrounding space. Its fragile materiality consists of an insistent stammering, barely recognizable as a phrase, broken by laughter that hampers its progress, forcing it to repeat the first and middle syllables of each word. The voice becomes a machine that creates “time,” each syllable representing an unequal fraction of time measured in words.

  • Chema Cobo

    Attracted by the possibility of showing the innumerable paradoxes of perception and vision, Chema Cobo’s recent work takes the figure of the joker and turns it into the protagonist of all his works. Before beginning a painting, Cobo writes fragments of phrases in one of the corners. The joker’s smile is the expression of the arbitrariness of the apparent. “Everything we see could be different,” and therefore, “absolutely everything we might have described could also have been different,” Ludwig Wittgenstein pointed out in his Philosophical Investigations, 1914–16. And Cobo assimilates the

  • Pep Duran

    Four years after his last one-person show, Pep Duran again becomes a collector who searches, like a ragpicker, for objects or remains that respond to his demands. This time, the type of object accumulated is usually related to the world of textile production: hat moldings, tools used for weaving, patterns, stools, boxes, clothespins, pieces of leather boots, actual tools of textile machinery in disuse, sheathed shoe trees, and even cardboard cutouts from boxes of bottled mineral water, room fans, and other household products. The principal materials used are austere: wood and cork predominate.

  • Juan Uslé

    Juan Uslé has gathered his recent pictorial work under the title “Bisiesto” (“Bissextile”), insisting on the continuity of his artistic direction, which is all the more difficult to maintain in a fragmented and discontinuous world like our own. All the questions concerning the validity of painting and its practice continue to hound him. The survival of painting helps him prove to himself that, through painting itself, he has broadened his cognitive universe. For him, the defense of painting assumes an incessant reflection on the pictorial act because its strength depends on this gesture. Uslé

  • Antoni Abad

    Antoni Abad’s recent pieces exhibit the same concern for movement as his preceding work. Indeed, his exploration into the essence of movement predates his abandonment of painting for sculpture and informed his “plaited paintings,” 1983, which marked the transition from one medium to the other. The meeting of material and form provokes syntactic reconstruction of the combinatory process; in this respect, the viewer can contemplate and observe movement’s ability to change or transform passive material into active material. As is the case with the conjugation of time and space, or movement and

  • Gabriel

    It is useful to reflect upon the reciprocal nature of the relationship of the work of art to the artist when one confronts the enigma evoked by the production of Gabriel, whose theoretical discourse is inseparable from his artistic practice. The artist necessarily asserts the autonomy of “form,” through every physical occupation of space that shapes and objectifies the flux of appearances. So, under these conditions, and in order to rule out any finality other than his own, he tolerates only “formless” form. Interest in Gabriel’s work resides precisely in his resistance to imitation, under