Curator: David Barro
Artist: Álvaro Negro
29 September 2017 - 4 February 2018
Some artists arrive at a theme through research; others do so by inclination. Álvaro Negro clearly belongs to the former. An attentive look at his career discovers many reinterpretations, the result of acting unhurriedly and of a continuous dialogue with painting and with a series of elective affinities, in many cases, artists, but also writers, poets, architects… The exhibition prepared for the CGAC is a retrospective look at his work that stresses a fundamental question: the gradual discovery of a personal and recognisable language already inherent in his early series and which in the last decade is consolidated and maximised in a single atmosphere.
And so, works from some of his series from the mid nineteen-nineties will coincide, as is the case of Item Perspectiva (Perspective Item) or Symmetrĭa (Symmetry); some of his early video works during his London phase; the Monteagudo video series; his particular Mont Sainte-Victoire in Galicia’s inner heart; his Penumbrosos (Shadowy) series of paintings, as well as a meticulous selection of works carried out in the last years in different materials such as the mirror—as is the case of the paradigmatic Cadro-Tumba (Tomb-Painting), stone, sackcloth or paper, the majority of them not seen before.
In all of the above lies a detailed analysis of the painting genre which has not lost sight of historical questions that, by comparison or by contrast, are pertinent in respect of their contemporary status. In his work, we find references to the light in Renaissance painting, to an awareness of colour with respect to its historical connotations, a formal deployment beyond the painting itself—in a type of reincarnation of the painting into other media such as photography or video-, and a constant concern for the modulation of space and architecture. With regard to the latter, it should be pointed out that the narrative of this evolution has been considered in parallel with the study of the very architecture of the rooms designed by Álvaro Siza, so much so that both the downward light modulated by the skylights as well as the succession of perspectives between the different rooms —with the final vacuum of the Double Space— have served as a starting point from which to develop the exhibition’s space-time rhythm. In the end, it is about building a time in which space and work converge as a threshold.
The exhibition takes place within a two-fold exhibitory and editorial project directed by Santiago Olmo, in charge of the CGAC’s programming, and curated by David Barro.