Irma Álvarez-Laviada’s work is based on the connection between painting and sculpture, questioning the void through the artist’s ways of working, the work space, the space the works take up and cease to take up, the materials used and leftovers. It is a work that is indisputably linked to its process, in many occasions seeking that terms such as “the work”, “the study”, “the exhibition space” and the “material” are mixed up or change their place of enunciation.
Álvarez-Laviada’s exhibitions give you a feeling of being halfway, between the beginning and the end of something that is happening, an evident void that is presented to the audience to be filled. There have been many theories about the emptiness in art. In this case, it is used as an element of construction and a means for dialogue with the space. It also represents a statement of intents around her plastic work in which painting oversteps its own limits, approaching the ways of doing and thinking that are typical of sculpture and installation.
From a formal perspective, Irma Álvarez-Laviada’s works are characterized by a compositional simplicity, by a use of raw materials that are acquired and taken to the studio, where they enter a “waiting state” and are observed for long periods. The artist observes them, changes their locations, agglomerates them with others and that is when, she says, they begin to speak to her or to talk to each other. These first decisions of selecting materials and observation in the study are part of the first stratum of the work, since it is in this process that this connections between spaces become evident: the studio, the exhibition space and the space of the material, which, as the artist tells us, “creates the space of the image and finally the space of the work.”
The works are created from this assembly of materials: a sheet of compressed foam bonds with another at its side, both with different thickness and tonality- “The foam is used to protect the artworks, the architects also use it so that it is hidden”, says the artist. A series of paper pieces that accumulate and suggest a playful interaction, pieces of MDF come together to form a cube, a bench or a pedestal, “the MDF is susceptible to assume layers”, tells Álvarez-Laviada, almost as if she would be speaking with metaphors, with a tone that suggests that she is talking about what cannot be seen.
Circunstancias Materiales presents this distant dialogue between the intimacy of the studio and the exhibition space, this arrangement of encounters between spaces and materials that question the place where the artwork is created.