Critics’ Picks

View of “Miquel Mont: Deseos borrados, recoloreados,” 2021.

View of “Miquel Mont: Deseos borrados, recoloreados,” 2021.


Miquel Mont

Galería Formato Cómodo
Calle Lope de Vega 5
September 9–November 13, 2021

Miquel Mont is what one could call, in Spanish, a secreto a voces: literally, a well-known secret, a somehow elusive artist, curator, writer, and teacher whose work is nevertheless frequently mentioned with respect and interest in the art milieu. Born in Barcelona in 1963 and based in France since the late ’80s, Mont was among the painters included in the inaugural volume of the influential survey text Vitamin P, edited by Barry Schwabsky and published by Phaidon in 2002. His is an intellectually sophisticated kind of spatial, expanded painting that is, at the same time, very personal and rather poetic (in the best sense of the word).

In “Deseos borrados, recoloreados” (Erased, Recoloured Wishes), Mont displays the empty wrappers of food stuffs (brie, couscous, and so on) and other items that he bought at the Intermarché neighboring his tiny borrowed apartment outside Paris during the three months he spent in strict isolation under the Covid emergency measures of 2020. The artist polished and dismantled this packaging, then repainted it with whatever he could buy (bare-bones school and art supplies) at the same supermarket. Carefully arranged alone or in small groups with a canny scenographic instinct that attests to Mont’s eye for curation, these repainted scraps of consumerist refuse instill the entire gallery with that very recent common experience of confinement and all-but-obsessive domestic routines. This delicate yet powerful and evocative exhibition gives us room to reflect on the ongoing experience of pandemic capitalism—to stop for a second, catch our breath, and decide, while there´s still time, whether we are going in the right direction.