‘S/T ( Los Diablos)’ – Santiago Ydanez, 2010. Oil on canvas, 400 x 200cm.
‘A Trace of Transition’ – Pepa Prieto, 2104. Acrylic on canvas, 183 x 155cm.
‘SATURATION’| New Spanish Painting
We live in an image-saturated era. Digital media, television, film, video and the internet surround us and entertain us, follow us every waking hour. Hand-held technologies have made us both incessant consumers, but also constant makers and editors of images. The artistic value of the painted image has arguably been in crisis for a century and, particularly in the last decades, relegated to the periphery of the contemporary art discourse. With numerous and expanding media and technologies available, what then is the role of painting in this age of visual saturation?
Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of Kazimir Malevich’ ‘Black Square’, ‘SATURATION’ examines the role of painting in the artistic production through the work of seventeen contemporary Spanish artists. Structured in three acts, ‘SATURATION’ explores the extents and means of painting production now through three exhibitions running parallel in London.
‘FIGURE|GROUND’ at The Fitzrovia Gallery
ROSANA ANTOLÍ, ANA BARRIGA, GLORIA CEBALLOS, VICTORIA IRANZO, KEKE VILABELDA, RUTH MORÁN, PEPA PRIETO, SANTIAGO YDAÑEZ
In this section, Saturation presents painting as it explores the reading of narrative and sub (or counter)-narrative on canvas and paper. Borrowing from photography and film, painting re-assembles appropriated imagery to overlay and complicate associations and meanings. ‘Cut and paste’, collages, scale distortions, transfers, animations and video-techniques are tools for destabilizing conventions in painting and introducing fluidity and ambiguity to the medium.
What is foreground (figure) and what is background (ground)? Are we ourselves witnesses to the depicted event or a party to the act of witnessing (painting) itself? This new figuration elides the very distinction, bearing witness to both and neither. These borrowed images are not stable or steal-able. The fact of oil or acrylic on canvas or paper is itself at stake