Pablo Llorca

  • Juan Zamora

    In looking at the drawings of the young Spanish artist Juan Zamora, one could easily think that comics are a major source of inspiration for his schemes of figures, forms, and situations. Yet on the occasion of this exhibition, Zamora has stated that he is neither drawn to nor an avid reader of comic books. If comics are not a direct influence for him, one must conclude that the language of that medium has become so pervasive that, for many artists, it is not even necessary to pay any serious attention to them to undergo their influence. In any case, Zamora’s earlier drawings, often composed

  • Lara Almarcegui

    Broadly speaking, Lara Almarcegui’s work can be divided into two areas: her public actions (often performed under the umbrella of a biennial or other event), which involve situations or tasks that take place in a common space, sometimes before or even in collaboration with an audience; and her photographic and written archive-related work, which is usually exhibited in galleries or released in publications.

    The actions Almarcegui has carried out in her fifteen-year career include digging a hole in an empty lot in Amsterdam (Digging, 1996), painting several huts in Turin, Italy different colors

  • José Manuel Ballester

    For José Manuel Ballester, the relationship between painting and photography has always been ambivalent yet intimate. Early in his career, the artist formulated two different and largely unrelated bodies of work. His paintings demonstrated a desire to connect to the great European pictorial tradition (that, thanks to the Prado Museum, is so accessible in Madrid), and they betrayed a certain romanticism that has remained with Ballester to this day. In addition to the paintings, however, he also undertook photographic projects, which concerned specific sites in Madrid, including the Royal Theater

  • Guillermo Pérez Villalta

    Though he has faithfully practiced painting for thirty-five years, Guillermo Pérez Villalta considers himself a conceptual artist. Painting is, for him, the simplest and most direct way to convey ideas about art, representation, and the task of the artist. Often involving sophisticated references and allusions that are difficult to unravel, his work has always attempted to balance intellectual games with sensuality; his paintings, one might say, possess a thoughtful beauty. Pérez Villalta often writes incisive texts to accompany his shows, and in his essay for this most recent exhibition, he

  • Irene van de Mheen

    Irene van de Mheen is a Dutch artist who has lived in Spain since 1992. Since she graduated from art school, her work has been connected to the Dutch Neo-Plasticist legacy and to its formulation, which was concerned with the oppositions found in the most basic elements of painting—color, line, and space. Van de Mheen has added another element to this formulation, one fundamental to her work: an emphasis on the manual nature of the artist’s work (especially drawing), as opposed to perfection. Another component that many Neo-Plasticists toyed with and that van de Mheen also uses frequently is the

  • Agustí Centelles

    The Spanish Civil War was a major event for photography. The widespread use of newly invented lightweight cameras meant that war in general, and especially the Spanish one, was covered daily on the front pages of newspapers around the world by figures such as Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, Gerda Taro, Joris Ivens, Tina Modotti, Hans Namuth, and many others. Naturally, many of the photographers covering the war were Spanish, and of those, Agustí Centelles is the one most closely associated with it. This exhibition, organized by the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona and the Area

  • Carlos Pazos

    The career of Carlos Pazos has always thrived on contradiction. A veteran Barcelona artist, he has long tried to distance himself from what his Catalan peers were doing. Although his name is widely known among artists, he is not well known to the public. Three years ago he was awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas—the most important prize given by a Spanish institution—but little of his work is owned by museums.

    Organized in conjunction with MACBA in Barcelona (its director, Manuel Borja-Villel, is the show’s curator), “No me digas nada” (Don’t Tell Me Anything), the enormous exhibition

  • Pierre Gonnord

    Historically, Spanish portraiture—first in painting and more recently in photography—has put forth a sentimental and stereotyped view of poverty. From Murillo to Zuloaga, this tendency has long been present. There is, however, another Spanish tradition, more deeply marked by naturalism; Andalusia has always been one of the centers of this style of art. This is clear in the early work of Velázquez, when he worked in Seville, painting precisely detailed faces and objects. The direct, nonfalsifying gaze that characterizes these works is maintained in the court portraits he painted later in Madrid.

  • Miguel Lorente

    If one looks at Miguel Lorente’s oeuvre—he has been making work, at a slow pace, for almost twenty years now—it is clear that he has always been interested in connecting art and science. In the early ’90s, he participated in the group Colectivo Colectivo, where he investigated such themes as the theory of relativity. His solo work is based on making molds of the human body and disassembling different types of machines. The core issue of the relationship between art and science has remained constant.

    Visión, etc” is Lorente’s first solo exhibition in eight years. Raised up as if to preside over

  • “Trial Balloons”

    As its three curators (Yuko Hasegawa, Agustín Pérez Rubio, and Octavio Zaya) repeat tirelessly in the texts that introduce the show, the intention of “Globos Sonda” (Trial Balloons) was to offer a global perspective on international art. On young international art, that is, given the age of most of the creators presented and despite all the doubts that the term “international art” entails. The curators themselves add that, as a result of this, the exhibition had to be heterogeneous and slippery, imbued with an eclecticism inseparable from the ambition to reflect such a broad terrain. Or perhaps

  • Fernando Renes

    Fernando Renes is the only Spanish artist in Vitamin D, Phaidon’s new book on drawing (unless one also counts Ernesto Caivano, who was born in Spain but grew up in Argentina and the United States). Though not widely known before the publication of this book, Renes’s drawings, in which he lays out what might be called visual aphorisms, are often quite powerful. His drawings seem to relate to little stories that are suggested but never fully developed. In these stories, he balances opposing elements: personal concerns and public ones, images of reality and spaces of the imagination, and so on. As

  • Alicia Martín

    Alicia Martín belongs to the generation of Spanish artists that began exhibiting in the early ’90s. Initially, this generation was known for a metaphorical use of objects and materials, and for the importance of subjectivity in their work. Even sometimes in relation to seemingly neutral themes, these artists often made themselves into the substance of their art. That was a long time ago, however, and those early years were difficult; the economic crisis of the time meant that many galleries and collectors were resistant to anything that seemed new. Yet the absolute freedom with which these

  • Luis Salaberría

    Though not widely known outside Madrid, Luis Salaberría is hardly a newcomer; he has been exhibiting for fifteen years, albeit erratically. Throughout this period, his work has been consistent in its use of a personal imagery even while undergoing a noticeable evolution. For years the artist has deployed an array of childlike personages, which he calls “Pepitos”—figures from an iconography somewhere between innocence and perversion. As his work has developed, however, the sense of innocence has receded, and he has gradually placed more emphasis on the perverse dimension of his work. Not one of

  • Curro González

    The evocation of symbolic physical space is an essential part of the painting tradition in Seville, a Baroque city where images carry enormous weight. This highly significant use of space goes back as far as the renowned Sevillean Tenebrists of the seventeenth century and must now be expanded with the arrival of Guillermo Pérez Villalta, a powerful and heterodox Andalusian painter who recently moved to the city.

    There might seem to be little relation between Pérez Villalta and Curro González, a Sevillean artist a generation younger who began his career at the height of the Transavanguardia

  • Javier Codesal

    A pioneer in the use of video in Spanish art, Javier Codesal could be considered a multimedia artist but for the dubious connotations that term has acquired. He is a creator who uses words and images with the same degree of intensity, without differentiating between them. He expresses himself through films, poetry, installations involving video and sculpture, and other media. At times he combines them, at times he doesn’t. Although not one of those artists who makes the medium an end in itself, neither does Codesal simply dabble; instead, he uses his various media rigorously, displaying wide

  • Francesc Català-Roca

    Spanish culture grew lethargic after the civil war. Economic hardship, the absence of great figures such as Buñuel, García Lorca, and Dalí, among others, who were either in exile or dead, and an oppressive social environment constituted a fertile terrain for cultural mediocrity. That’s why the fresh and energetic contribution of Francesc Català-Roca (1922–98) was so unusual; his direct way of making images had few immediate precedents in the country’s culture. He was the first of a brilliant generation of photographers that emerged in the ’50s. Until recently denied any real public recognition,

  • Isidoro Valcárcel Medina

    Although he has been producing since the early ’60s, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina was, until recently, unknown, even in Spain, outside a small group of followers. He works in a variety of registers, and his oeuvre runs the gamut from sociologically oriented proposals for public spaces, which he calls “Arquitectura premature” (Premature architecture), 1984–92, to works with a more poetic tone; and he is one of the few figures from the heyday of Conceptual art still working and putting forth coherent ideas. Valcárcel Medina has held tight to his convictions, and this has kept the institutions of

  • Alberto García Alix

    Alberto García Alix is a veteran photographer whom the art world had thought little about up until a few years ago. Now that our sense of the medium has expanded, his work, strongly tied to a specific time and place—Madrid in the ’80s—has succeeded in moving beyond this context and can be seen simply as one of the best oeuvres in contemporary Spanish photography. His work is consistently documentary in approach, although on occasion what’s documented is quite personal. García Alix’s work employs a straightforward vocabulary in capturing images from reality, even if he sometimes

  • Los Torreznos

    Los Torreznos is a name sometimes used by a duo who have been working together, though not exclusively so, for ten years—Jaime Vallaure and Rafael Lamata also work individually. Despite their youth, both are veterans of performance and video, and they have developed a very distinct collaborative personality based on a sense of the spectacle—which is not to say frivolity but rather an awareness that theirs are works developed over time—along with a desire to investigate or reflect on contemporary issues both social and artistic.

    Such interests persisted in La noche electoral (Election

  • Charles Congost

    Although in Spain his name is associated with video, Carles Congost's work is not tied to a single medium but rather takes advantage of diverse resources. Over the last year he has shown this flexibility in two exhibitions that—though they shared works in common—represented distinct yet complementary projects. The first, in Barcelona, consisted of a single installation (Country Girls, 2000) using heterogeneous elements; a collage as much of media (objects, photography, video, drawings, songs) as of intentions.

    Conveyed by means of a nonlinear narrative about three girls living in a