Pablo Llorca

  • Antoni Tàpies

    Mortality is not a new subject for Antoni Tàpies: on several occasions, he has even remarked that he became an artist because of a serious illness he suffered when he was an adolescent. It is only over the past few years, however, that death has become a central theme in his work. Unlike the group of chiaroscuro pieces incorporating skull and shroud motifs he exhibited two years ago at New York’s PaceWildenstein gallery, the works (dating from 1994 to 1997) that appeared in his most recent show reflected a variety of approaches to the subject. Some of these canvases and objects seem to indicate

  • Isidro Blasco

    For his recent show, “Father’s House,” Isidro Blasco has turned to photography, and, like many Spanish artists of his generation, he approaches the medium in a highly subjective manner. As an artist known predominantly for his abstract sculptures (he last exhibited in Madrid six years ago), Blasco is something of a newcomer to working in a personal mode. The shift toward a more overtly subjective approach evidenced in his recent photographs and photocollages may have been triggered by the series of houselike constructions Blasco began creating in 1994—works that seemed to reflect his own inner

  • Joan Brossa

    For most of his career, the seventy-nine-year-old artist Joan Brossa was known in his native Catalonia only as a poet. Seven years ago, however, Madrid’s Reina Sofia museum dedicated a show to his Surrealist sculptures, which he calls “object-poems,” and since then his art has influenced the work of many young Spanish artists. Like that of Meret Oppenheim and Louise Bourgeois, two other artists working in a surrealist mode, the continuing vitality of Brossa’s work provides a source of inspiration. Whereas Brossa’s oeuvre was once little known outside a small group of friends, he is now receiving

  • Mayte Vieta

    In 1990, when Mayte Vieta was barely eighteen and still a student at the Massana Art School in Barcelona, she took part in an exhibition called “Al raso” (No shelter), which provided an interesting look at the art being created by young Spanish artists at the time. Of all the works that were exhibited (and many of the artists were already quite well known), Vieta’s three pieces were the most compelling. Simple but highly atmospheric, they suggested dramatic, even violent situations involving the occult.

    After that show, Vieta’s public exhibitions were few and far between. She left Barcelona,

  • Montserrat Soto

    Throughout her career, Montserrat Soto has tried to achieve a synthesis between photographic images and real spaces. For example, last year at the Sala Montcada, in her hometown of Barcelona, Soto installed a work that consisted of a semi-closed polygonal structure formed of photographic panels depicting claustrophobic images of hospital corridors. Resembling a labyrinth, this piece addressed themes that have appeared throughout her work: interior spaces and physical boundaries. In this suggestive installation, Soto also skillfully brought her expressive imagery into harmony with the photographic

  • Begoña Montalbán

    Begoña Montalbán began her artistic career rather later than most: until a few years ago she worked as a registered nurse in a hospital. It is perhaps because she entered art school at twenty-eight that she neatly avoided passage through an artistic adolescence. Instead, when she began her career, she already knew that her work would navigate the territory that divides social convention from sensual expression.

    Like many of her generation, Montalbán has fastened her gaze on the body. Rooted in wounds and corporeal functions, her work draws heavily from Surrealism—another movement for which the

  • Eulalia Valldosera

    Eulalia Valldosera’s art consists of light and shadow. Light becomes a metaphor for her efforts to establish her own identity; and shadow suggests how often her searches end in obscurity. In this way her work resembles that of other artists of her generation who mine an inner expressive terrain, such as Alicia Martín Villanueva, Bogoña Montalbán, Angela Nordenstedt, and Patricia Ecario.

    The fascination of Valldosera’s work derives from the disjunction between her anxious search for knowledge and the uncertain results she obtains, something that exposes the futility of pursuing art as a means to

  • Ramiro Fernández Saus

    Ramiro Fernández Saus’ recent exhibition “El jardín del Edén” (The garden of Eden) introduced an element that had previously been largely absent from his paintings, but was represented here both literally and metaphorically: the human figure. This was also the first of Saus’ exhibitions to focus on a particular thematic series. The work, however, continued the trajectory Fernández Saus initiated more than ten years ago, when he first established his peculiar approach to artmaking, rejecting contemporary artistic ideals and adopting eighteenth-century painting—the work of Fragonard in particular—as

  • Juan Muñoz

    Juan Muñoz’s recent retrospective, his first exhibition in Madrid in a number of years, contained numerous drawings, as well as sculpture. Muñoz’s central concerns, however—a tension between opposites, narrative ambiguity, and a scenographic quality—are most clearly articulated in his sculptural works.

    The work in the show followed an easily traceable trajectory. After creating more two-dimensional pieces during the ’80s, starting with Balcones (Balconies, 1984) Muñoz began to produce three-dimensional abstractions with dramatically juxtaposed elements. He later introduced human figures—perhaps

  • Mirades (Sobre El Museu)

    Mirades (sobre el Museu)” (Looking [at the museum]) seemed an attempt to examine the identity of Barcelona’s recently opened Museum of Contemporary Art. One should perhaps consider the peculiar conditions shaping the MACBA—a museum built in a city known for its architecture—in order to understand why, at its very inception, it seeks to affirm itself. In navigating the slippery terrain of contemporary art, especially that of recent decades, Barcelona lacks a strong tradition, and since the construction of this building in the Raval neighborhood was somewhat controversial, it is logical that the