Mislata (Valencia), 1945
Lives and works in Mislata
The work by Valencian sculptor Miquel Navarro is characterized by its persistent exploration of the urban landscape. Initially trained as a painter, Navarro produced two-dimensional images featuring geometric, structural and architectural forms—segments of landscapes or imaginary cities. In the seventies Navarro shifted his focus to sculpture and began working on his so-called Cities; sculptural installations set directly on the floor, containing many separate geometric components of varying shapes and materials; terracotta, iron, zinc and aluminum shaping fictional urban industrial landscapes.
Navarro’s work is about time and place, originating in his native environment, in the Valencian suburb Mislata, where he continues to live. His sculptures reflect the artists personal experience of the changeability of the man-made landscape; “My work, based on my experience, ranges from rural to urban, from nature to industry. This can be explained by the characteristics of the town where I was born. In the fifties this town had large stretches of fertile land (completely taken over now by Valencia), and a fair amount of industry, which has expanded over the years”.
In Navarro’s sculptural worlds we are confronted with our own body, in his works with scale and miniaturization. The beholder is invited to physically circumnavigate his works in real space but also to simultaneously, mentally project oneself into the space on an imagined scale. In Navarro’s words; “when you define a city, you define a body”. Navarro invites us to navigate these urban installations and to think about the notion of human scale and the difference between the real and the cerebral. Hereby his works represent a philosophical view on reality, in which one must go beyond logic to experience what is large in what is small.
Navarro’s works carry a certain abstraction in which he uses geometric figures to transform art into a system. He channels his work toward a system of infinite units, sometimes hundreds of small pieces, prisms, pyramids, cylinders, cones placed next to each other. The expression becomes almost timeless and the viewer is challenged to look beneath and beyond the apparent in the suggestive architectonic metaphorical urban spaces presented in the work.