Pep Agut

Galeria Estrany - de la Mota

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 four separate buildings, in fact they depict the sides of a single building under construction. On the northern facade, shown in the central part of one of the works, the words “inevitable” and “inhabitable” appear, accompanied by a cryptic phrase taken from the writings of the Catalan poet J. V. Foix: “The key is in the door and one of the blind men looks through the keyhole.” Three layers of methacrylate both protect and partly obscure the image, while on the left appears more text taken from Foix’s writings.

The image of the western façade is interrupted by a single strip of tape on which appear the words “my shadow is a wall,” while on the triptych that corresponds to the eastern facade appear numerous adjectives: “insatiable,” “indispensable,” “infinite,” “unfaithful,” and “impassive,” among others. Together, these words suggest possible stories that one might imagine taking place around this desolate site. The final triptych, which corresponds to the southern part of the building, is split into three unmatching parts placed one on top of the other, rather than side by side. Unlike the others, these images have been shot from an awkward angle, so that the building almost seems to tip backward toward the sky. Words do not appear here; instead, the strips of tape have been superimposed on the building’s structure in such a way that they appear to impose a fictitious geometric order on its fragmented form.

This skeletal structure, which occupies an urban wasteland that might exist at the margins of almost any large city, resembles a Minimalist sculpture, but Agut’s references to Minimalism and Neo-Plasticism go beyond formal interrogations. More than anything else, the building, which has yet to be inhabited, is an image of solitude.

Menene Gras Balaguer