José Gabriel Fernández

Lombard-Fried Projects

For the last three years José Gabriel Fernández has been investigating the rituals and conventions of bullfighting, drawing his inspiration in part from writings on the subject by Georges Bataille, André Masson, and Michel Leiris. One’s impression on entering Fernandez’s recent show was that the artist had converted the gallery into a museum exhibition space divided into three areas. The partitioning served to guide the visitor around in a deliberate progression through the complex installation that takes the sport as myth and metaphor.

The first area is dominated by Anatomía de la suerte (Anatomy of fate, 1998), a pair of toreador’s pants made of steel mesh displayed on a blonde-wood table with a matching jacket hanging from the wall. A seemingly decorative red motif printed on the wall picks up the patterning on the shiny fabric. In the next area, a second “suit of lights,” as the costume

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