Category Archives: 2017

Objects on the New Landscape Demanding of the Eye (part 3)

We are pleased to present Julião Sarmento’s fourth exhibition at Galeria Joan Prats, titled Objects on the New Landscape Demanding of the Eye (part 3), in which we will show his recent work, with installation, sculpture and painting.

 

The title of the exhibition recalls that of the first exhibition held at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles in 1957, which included paintings by various artists and in which the installation and assemblage pioneer, Edward Kienholz, participated.

 

In the exhibition, the installation Crash Dummy, 2016, and the sculpture Broken Alice, 2014, coexist with a series of paintings that show triangular shapes, delicately drawn, based on the fundamental principles of fractal geometry, and other works inspired by the Little Dancer Aged Fourteen of Degas. This diversity of supports and techniques present in the exhibition is characteristic of the artistic practice of Julião Sarmento and, on this occasion, stands out for the combination of materials that could be defined as poor with materials subject to advanced technological processes.

 

Julião Sarmento produces a work that adopts multiple forms with drawings, paintings, sculptures, performances and videos that speak of the artifices of seduction and the mechanisms of desire. From its beginnings, in the middle of the seventies, the work of Julião Sarmento has been characterized by its archival character. Thus, in his works, they can appear feminine silhouettes, architectural plans, literary fragments and objects.

 

Often, these coded iconographies explicitly present us with the signs needed to identify to the source of his imagery and its meanings. This constant oscillation between appearance and reality, fiction and documentation, invention and fact with which Sarmento confronts us is not at all a gratuitous game. The assemblages fashioned by the artist play on this dialectic of superficial interpretation, where many elements are perfectly identifiable, even banal or anodyne, and deeper interpretation that drives us to seek correspondences, links and relations without realizing that the very fact of carrying out this search is itself the meaning we are supposed to discover.

Paris Photo 2017

Galeria Joan Prats is presenting Hannah Collins (London, 1956) and Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona, 1942), for Paris Photo Fair.

 

The method used by Collins in The interior and the exterior, Noah Purifoy, 2015, pays tribute to Walker Evans, through documentation of the sculptures by African-American artist Purifoy (1917-2004) and also with voices recordings.

 

Muntadas, continues his research on the places of power with Architektur / Räume / Gesten II, 2017. In these 10 triptychs, Muntadas assembles archival images, connecting places of power with gestures. The artist thus highlights the way in which the architectural form crystallizes gestures and decisions of power.

 

PARIS PHOTO Booth D15.
Grand Palais. 09-12 NOV 2017

Godafoss (God's waterfall), 2016

Alicia Kopf | Cabello/Carceller

Lola Lasurt | Perejaume

Teresa Solar Abboud | Fernando Prats

 

Exhibition: 6-22 September, Tue-Fri 11-14h & 16-20h

 

On the occasion of the sixth edition of Artnou, Galeria Joan Prats presents Confluències, an exhibition that brings together works by the artists Alicia Kopf, Lola Lasurt and Teresa Solar Abboud, who establish a dialogue with works of other artists of the gallery, chosen by them: Cabello/Carceller, Perejaume and Fernando Prats. Thus emerge dynamics based on the exchange of views between artists of different generations, which lead to connections and new readings, sometimes direct, sometimes unexpected.

 

 

Alicia Kopf presents the photographic series Waterfall Chasers (2015), which symbolically alludes to the thaw as a moment of uncontrolled emotions, from representations of waterfalls. The idea of water fluidity links these works to a series of drawings by Cabello / Carceller, titled Autorretrato como fuente (Self-portrait as source) and Fuente (Source) (2005).

 

The work by Lola Lasurt Preparation for Wit Boven Zwar (2016), composed of oils on canvas and costumes, proposes a reconstitution of the Carnival of Aalst of 1946 from a 16mm film of that time. With a similar approach, Perejaume, in the series of drawings Ball de muntanyes (2007), associates the folkloric dances to the mountains, using, as is common in its practice, references to the Catalan culture that refer to universal preoccupations.

 

Teresa Solar Abboud, with Doble Mordido (Double Bite, 2013), investigates the tools and photographic processes that intervened in the experiments of Harold Edgerton, questioning concepts such as protection, concealment or overexposure. In the same way, Fernando Prats, in Sismograma Chuquicamata (2008), uses para-photographic techniques, such as smoked paper, in order to fix moments or traces of an action in a landscape.

Exhibition view

The artist proposes an itinerary in which the dialogue that takes place between the works and the spectator becomes fundamental. A dialogue that often moves away from words to give way to admiration, contemplation and interest in understanding the subtle, silent and dreamlike atmosphere that surrounds his universe. Self-presentation takes on new importance from materials and also through the titles of works, as Autoretrat (Self-portrait) or Autoretrat al taller (Self-portrait in the studio).

 

The artistic practice of Jordi Alcaraz transcends the traditional categories of painting, sculpture and drawing to approach the assemblage and installation, reflecting on the notion of volume, language as an idea and the passage of time. According to J. F. Yvars, “the works of art are organisms created from living materials, subjected to the alchemy of the elements and expressive techniques, which impose their verisimilitude over time. They breathe, moan, ring, crack up, and readjust in the required harmony that will sketch out the unfinished symphony of his plastic art”. The combination of materials as diverse as mirrors, books or methacrylate makes the elements interact by learning how to breathe, moan or sound together.

 

The text Plastic, which Joaquim Sala-Sanahuja dedicates to Jordi Alcaraz, focuses his attention on the plastic, on the methacrylate more concretely, and concludes as follows: “For some time the transparent “crystal” plastic has appeared to display a quality that has no name. This quality, somewhere between watery and airy, but in essence rhetorical, has been grudgingly described as something secret that cannot be divulged since its limits are still not known. Experts proclaim it as a shiny but also extremely unctuous material. It can be used for anything. It is the material that substitutes all others. The fact it shines is not a shortcoming. And it is a substitute for everything”.

Exhibition views Galeria Joan Prats

 

Through ceramic sculptures, videos and photographs, the artist outlines a discontinuous narration, starting from her own body and linked to space exploration. Precisely, the works of the exhibition revolve around the relationship of the artist’s body with her work materials, essentially the ceramics. Through the performative link and the double meaning between subject and material, between structure and mass, Teresa Solar reflects on concepts such as control, resistance, a definitely precarious balance of sense and accident.

 

The title of the exhibition, Ground Control, has a double meaning. On one hand it is a direct reference to the material, ground or clay, and the pressure exerted on it when working on the potter’s wheel. The body of the artist adopts a position of resistance to control the material, which is plastic and dynamic, this effort makes the body operate as a static structure, as an object, as matter. Through the title, this minimal experience of communication and conflicting balance between subject and matter increases in scale, linking with space travel: “Ground Control” is the center of operations from which the operation of the flight of a spacecraft is monitored. Serving the two for the purpose of a successful expedition, one cannot exist without the other and vice versa, they are part of the same mechanism, a single subject divided into two bodies.

 

The idea of tense balance between oneself and the world is present in the videos of the exhibition. In Being a person you did not know you were, we see a puppet that adopts the role of the divided adult, of an unknown entity who is born in us and who looks at us from the outside, who turns us in foreigners inside our body. Continuing with the idea of the divided subject, in the video Ground control, the artist is transformed into the clay ball that turns on the potter’s wheel. The image of the turning body is accompanied with fragmented stories that connect the accident of the space shuttle Columbia, exploding into pieces due to a failure in its protective shield, with the personal injuries suffered by the artist herself.

 

This double relationship is also present in the sculptures of the series Crushed by pressure. The pressure of the metal bars and cords repeats the process of creation of the ceramics, remembering the pile of rubble of an accident, in which the ceramic becomes the body of the subject, controlled and stabilized through structures that deform it. Ceramics allow us to emphasize the contrast between the primitivism of a material and a millenary technique, with the technological sophistication of the ceramic skins that cover the rockets.

 

In the pieces Pie de foto: Masa and Chamber, Breath, the artist in the potter’s Wheel sign language on White clay balls, creating words that are then compacted and deformed by their own weight, forming a language that exists in the phisical space. In Pie de foto: Masa, ceramic columns hold the photograph of a bone while the engraved stretch marks themselves mean “mass”; the missing body is completed trough the text that supports it.

 

 

Teresa Solar Abboud (Madrid, 1985) lives and works in Madrid. She has been a resident and visiting professor at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart (2016), she was a finalist of the Rolex Mentorship Program (2016), she received the production grant Fundación Botín (2014), the production grant CAM (2011) and the prize Generaciones (2012). She has individually exhibited at La Panera Lleida (2016), Matadero Madrid (2014) & CA2M Móstoles (2012). Recently she has been selected as finalist for the Prize Cervezas Alhambra of Emergent Art during ARCOmadrid 2017. She will show soon at Haus der Kunst and at Kunstverein München.

 

Alfons Borrell

We are pleased to announce Alfons Borrell’s new exhibition at Galeria Joan Prats, next Thursday December 15th.

 

After the exhibition dedicated to him by Fundació Miró, which gathered sixty years of artistic practice, we present the most recent work of this exceptional creator, who conceives painting as a space of relationship with the world and, at the same time, as an impulse, an emotion and that has stayed away of the tendencies and the prevailing movements throughout his trajectory.

 

His work is characterized by the importance of color and debate between subtlety and intensity, between openness to nature and introspective recollection. Bound since 1955 to the language of abstraction, he has been influenced in different moments of his life by Anglada Camarasa and Brossa, two artists who, beyond an aesthetic, provided him a vital and ethical attitude towards art. Borrell’s work has been and is currently intense and constant, always moving in parameters that he repeats with rigor and dedication.

 

The color in Alfons Borrell’s work is an invading agent that moves and fluctuates; the artist defines it as an extension of the person, which blends you with the environment, “if you walk through a forest full of fir trees you turn green, if you could immerse yourself in the sea you would get out blue… ” He says” I would like to be painting “. It is a vision of color and painting, linked to the concept, to the thought, and also to the experience. Borrell uses only five pigments extracted from the earth, green, blue, orange, ocher and gray; while white, from the surface of the canvas, emerges as an apparition of light.

 

To this work of color, which he has been using repeatedly for its symbolic connotations, the perception of presences and absences, from a particular experience of limits, is added. In his paintings, vertical lines cross the surface symbolically designating a presence, horizontal lines refer to the horizon, and the inability to contain color matter, which sometimes overflows marked margins, shows us the experience of the unlimited.

 

Borrell’s work needs an active contemplation on the part of the viewer, who establishes a relation of tension with the works. Their experimentation does not depend on codes of interpretation or previous knowledge, but his painting seems to go directly to the observers, interpellating them, but always leaving a space of freedom as a possibility to inhabit its language.

 

Alfons Borrell (Barcelona, 1931) lives and works in Sabadell. After an initial stage of formation in figurative painting, he got started in abstraction in 1955, with works close to informalism. Far removed from the academic art, he was part of Grup Gallot, an iconoclast and revolutionary group linked to gestural abstraction. This radical experience allowed him to find his own way, of sobriety and silence, throughout the 60’s. From 1976, he began to title his works with the exact date of its completion, like a journal, the same year that he participated in the group show Pintura 1, in the recently inaugurated Fundació Joan Miró of Barcelona, where he would return with a solo show two years later and, in 2015, with a great retrospective. Among the recent years’ exhibitions, stand the one held in 2006 at Centre Cultural Santa Tecla, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, which traveled to Museu de Sabadell, the one about work on paper held in 2011 at Fundació Palau de Caldes d’Estrac and the one held the same year at Fundació Vila Casas. He has participated in group shows at MNAC, Centre Cultural Tecla Sala, MACBA, CCCB and Centre d’Art Santa Mònica, Barcelona, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Flanders Contemporary Art, Minneapolis, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. In 2014 he received the GAC prize, an honorary award in recognition of his long career.