Figurations

Figurations

Despite not belonging to the same generation, their works could be catalogued within figurative art where symbolism and colour express the feeling of forms and whereby nature becomes the undisputed protagonist. Coexist in this exhibition: the carved representation of Balkenhol, the double dialectic of Chema Cobo, the mythological notes of Carlos Franco, the monumentality of Baldeweg, full of colour, the disruptive metaphors of Roig with the soft snapshots of Rubsamen and protest sculptures of Soler-Arpa.

Stephan Balkenhol (Hesse, Germany, 1957) German sculptor closely linked to minimalist canons, has been characterized by persevering in the reintroduction of figurative sculpture in the contemporary art scene, always respectful of the heritage of traditional and classical sculpture. He uses wood as the main material to create his everyday characters, keeping in his sculptures the marks of the process of direct carving, besides, the roughness of roughing contrasts especially in the textures game of his work. His work is part of museums and public collections such as the Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt, Germany), Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (Luxembourg), Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (Quebec, Canada), Nerman Museum (Kansas, USA), The National Museum of Art (Osaka, Japan) or Smithsonian Institution, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC, USA).

In Woman, as in most of his works, he uses Wawa wood material which remains visible in the work through chisel marks, cracks or knots in the wood, in essence, the mark of the creation process. It also achieves a game of contrast textures between the roughness and the fineness of the polishing and by polychrome this wood achieves the perfect delimitation of the forms, giving it realism and liveliness.

Chema Cobo (Tarifa, Cádiz, Spain, 1952) Essential painter of Spanish contemporary art whose work has always had the combination of two trends, the conceptual art that plays with the nature of representation and figurative painting that focuses on playing with what it represents, leading to a friction game which creates uncertainty and doubt. His work is in museums and public collections such as the CAAC Andalusian Center of Contemporary Art (Seville), the Los Bragales Collection (Santander), Kunstmuseum (Bern, Switzerland), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, USA), MNCARS Reina Sofia National Museum of Art (Madrid) or Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, USA).

In Idiots the artist starts from a distant scepticism to turn the canvas into an unpredictable and chaotic conclusion, creating contradictory perspectives that break the narrative order of the figurative elements. Elements represented with schematic and Picassian strokes that look at another work, just as the viewer does. In this way, the ultimate meaning of the work lies in the spectators who can colour the scene framed in black and white to their liking through the chromatic succession offered.

Carlos Franco (Madrid, Spain, 1951) Painter associated with the new Madrid figuration. His work is characterized by the recurrence of the topics that involve the individual unconscious and the study of collective unconscious symbols such as classicism, mythological motives and transculturality, creating pieces under the figurative tradition and always subject to colour. His work is part of museums and public collections such as Artium Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo (Vitoria), Los Bragales Collection (Santander), Contemporary Art Collection "La Caixa" (Barcelona) or MNCARS National Museum Reina Sofía Art Center (Madrid).

In Pandora y el oro Franco makes visible his attraction to the symbolic motives of the unconscious, experimenting with the juxtaposition of images and the voluptuousness of colour. As a result of this test, new media and pictorial techniques arise, in this case, the digital screen printing on methacrylate.

Juan Navarro Baldeweg (Santander, 1939) architect, painter and sculptor. His pictorial language, characterized by its great monumentality, always alternated between abstraction and figuration, which draws on into a certain classicism and geometry. The Cantabrian artist follows the tradition

of architects who address new challenges in two-dimensionality, shows a pictorial spirit independent of its architectural aspect indeed. His work is part of museums and public collections such as the BBVA Collection (Bilbao), Los Bragales Collection (Santander), Juan March Foundation (Madrid), Maxam Foundation (Madrid), IVAM Valencian Institute of Modern Art (Valencia), MNCARS Museum National Reina Sofía Art Center (Madrid) or Patio Herreriano Spanish Museum of Contemporary Art (Valladolid).

Copa azul y ventana II belongs to a series of paintings originated from English cups of the eighteenth century which showed pastoral scenes, like a classic bucolic representation. The artist tries to convey the energy of abstraction but subject it to the formal representation of the figurative factors and the multi-coloured palette, with dense and vibrant colours.

Bernardí Roig (Palma de Mallorca, 1965) is one of the most relevant Spanish sculptors of the current international scene. His work is an obsessive reflection on isolation and desire through a condensed language of minimalist and conceptual heritage where the representation of the human figure contains the tragic focus. Figures isolated and afflicted by an invisible evil that builds the loneliness of the spectator. His work is in public and private museums and collections such as the Reina Sofia Museum (Madrid), the IVAM (Valencia), the AENA Foundation (Madrid), the La Caixa Foundation (Barcelona), Jacobo Borges Museum and the Sofia Imber Museum (Caracas, Venezuela), the Ludwig Foundation (Havana, Cuba), the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation (Mallorca), the Saikade Museum of Art (Japan), the Gille Collection (Belgium) or The Phillips Collection (Washington D.C.), among others.

Redhead and Whitehead reflect "contemporary isolation" The expressions of the face - such as the jail of the body and the blindness of the gaze, emblem of the cognitive faculties - become metaphors of the loss of stability in the human principle which is meant to reflect the phantom of our tragic destiny. Disoriented, blinded, mutilated bodies upset by an unmentionable demon who remain in front of the viewer as the most accurate expression of degenerate identity.

Glen Rubsamen (Los Angeles, USA, 1959) is a visual artist and writer who works primarily with painting and photography. His work is based on the documentation and collection of certain nature moments all-powerful and dramatic, indeed empty places of memory.This is part of museums and public collections such as the British Airways Collection (London, United Kingdom), Peter Stuyvesant Collection (Amsterdam, Netherlands) or National Taiwan Museum (Taipei, China).

A sliding palpitating labyrinth that led to a bright center of absolute conviction shows a landscape and traditional painting but at the same time turns out to be the source of Rubsamen's alteration. Its invariable and artistic views play against an impressive blue-violet background that contrasts sharply and spectacularly with the black figures in the form of a silhouette arranged in the foreground. These objects cannot move, not only because they are painted, but also because they are mostly things rooted in the place, as trees and streetlights. Despite their immobility, they are players of the story, like the still images of films which exude an air of calm and drama.

Álvaro Soler-Arpa (Girona, 1974), after a professional career in advertising and cinema area, decides to work in plastic arts, specifically sculpture. In his work, Soler-Arpa combines his knowledge of anatomy and drawing with his interest in organic forms. His dynamic pieces refer to the prehistoric myth while are related to current art. This material retrieval and what Bourriaud would have called the "DIY of the cultural" connect to some environmental issues in XXI century society. He currently holds the title of ambassador of the international NGO Plastic Pollution Coalition (Berkeley, USA) and has presented, in collaboration with the institution, an exhibition composed of five installations at the Barcelona El Prat Airport.

Naturaleza corrompida resembles those of the cabinets of curiosités in which multitudes of unique objects were collected. They are sculptures immersed in the monstrosity and mystery that show a huge interest in anatomy and mythology and at the same time create a bestiary of impossible hybrids as fantastic as surreal. Through this experiment with materials - from the animal's piece to nails and threads - he reflects the ephemeral nature of life and defends the idea that design, an ally for consumption, is a weapon of nature mass destruction.

Figurations

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