Ignasi Aballí – Textile Material (Matèria textil), 2007 & 7 Identical Paintings, 1990

Textile Material (Matèria textil), 2007
Pieces of textile, glass and iron
100 x 100 cm

aballi3

7 Identical Paintings, 1990
Painting | Oil on canvas
7ud  25×25

aballi2

One of the central themes in the work of Ignasi Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) is the impossibility of painting. The artist often links this research to the notion of footprints or traces and ceases to paint and intervene directly in the resulting object. In other words, he cedes his role to the sun, to a number of collaborators or to time and dirt, which leave their mark. Like Marcel Duchamp in Le Grand Verre (1915-1923), in Dust (10 Years in the Studio) Aballí let dust complete his work. In this instance, dust signals the passage of time, trace and memory footprint, the impossibility (but not the renunciation 7 identical paintings) of painting, the critical analysis of its discourses, the need to represent and the incorporation of found objects and materials.

The impossibility of representing occurs in the place where the artist creates, in his studio, which is also the space of experimentation and reflection. Probably, as the dust was forming Dust (10 Years in the Studio), Aballí would have been busy cutting out endless lists from newspapers or methodically covering the surface of a mirror with Tipp-Ex to ‘correct’ it (Correction), making endless colour charts, accumulating the scraps of fabric trapped in the drums of clothes dryers (Textile Material) or perhaps letting different types of paint dry.

Ignasi Aballí – Glass architecture, 2012 & I n v i s i b l e, 2012

Glass architecture, 2012
Installation | Acid etched glass 
Variable dimensions

I n v i s i b l e, 2012
Installation | Vinyl on glass
Variable dimensions

aballi

‘We all know the Bartlebys, they are those beings who dwell in a profound negation of the world. They take their name from the scrivener Bartleby, the clerk in the story by Herman Melville who has never been seen reading, not even a newspaper; who for long periods stands looking out of the pale window behind a screen in the direction of a brick wall on Wall Street; who never drinks beer or tea or coffee as others do; who has never gone anywhere, but lives in the office, even spending his Sundays there; who has never said who he is, or where he comes from, or whether he has relatives in this world; who, when asked where he was born or given a job to do or invited to say something about himself, always responds by saying: “I would prefer not to.”‘ With these words, the writer Enrique Vila-Matas, as the narrator of Bartleby y compañía, compiles a book of footnotes on an invisible text in which he does the rounds of the ‘Bartlebys of Literature’, the ‘Writers of No’ who let themselves be governed by the impulse of nothingness and never wrote, who kept their work hidden or who suddenly stopped writing. In short, the writers that, by way of their writing, questioned the purpose of writing or, in other words, whether it was worth continuing to write.

Ignasi Aballí is not a writer, but he belongs to that genealogy of ‘Bartlebys’ that, convinced of the impossibility of painting, questions pictorial practice and the possibility of representation. Like Bartleby, Dr. Pasavento and other characters from the books of Enrique Vila-Matas, Aballí tries to disappear from his work, to make nothing the object of his art and to approach reality from new perspectives. In each of the two subtle site-specific interventions in the display cases of the Ca la María gallery, Aballí reproduces an excerpt from Paul Scheerbart’s Glasarchitektur (1914), in such a way that certain characteristics of that book’s theoretical approach end up creating the effects described, by means of the application of the words directly onto the glass. The sliding and therefore movable doors of the display case mean that Aballí’s work can appear or disappear at any time. In Invisible, Aballí literally gives form to each one of the letters that make up the word INVISIBLE, creating a play of contradictions between the visibility/invisibility of the word itself. To be and not to be, being visible and invisible at the same time and being perceived or not can be understood as aspects of this ‘Bartleby’ attitude of ‘I would prefer not to’.

Natividad Bermejo – The White Queen, 1997

The White Queen, 1997
Drawing | Graphite and gouache on paper

bermejo

With her large works made ​​with graphite, Natividad Bermejo (Logroño, 1961) demonstrates outstanding technical expertise and a great capacity to bring out the qualities of the colour black from the aesthetic, technical and conceptual points of view. She magnifies insignificant details or elements to get us to reflect on the extraordinary in the everyday, the real and the imagined, the objective and the subjective.

Liam Gillick – Relieved Wall Structure, 2007

Liam Gillick – Relieved Wall Structure, 2007
Sculpture | Painted aluminium

gillick

The work of Liam Gillick (Aylesbury, UK, 1964) is linked to post- conceptual practices and the legacy of the minimal. He employs a wide variety of media (sculpture, writing, architecture and graphic design, film and music), as well as taking on critical and curatorial projects. Gillick analyses the aesthetics of social systems and the forms of social organization. He focuses on modes of production rather than those of consumption. His sculptures do not explore abstraction so much as the desire to change spaces and in so doing change social interaction.

Hans-Peter Feldmann – Old Painting (naked woman laying, with black barrel over the eyes), 2005

Old Painting (naked woman laying, with black barrel over the eyes), 2005
Painting | Oil and acrylic on canvas

Hans-Peter Feldman | Old painting..., 2005 | Pintura

The work of Hans-Peter Feldmann (Dusseldorf, 1941) spans a great diversity of media: painting, sculpture, installation, photography, collage, books, archives and collections of images, objects and so on. What interests him most are the forms of art we construct in our everyday lives, especially the uses and meanings we give to photographs. His work, full of humour, interrogates the symbolic space that opens up between what things are and what they mean to us, making visible the dreams and desires we project onto images and objects, loading them with meaning.

Andreas Gursky – Singapore II, 1997

Singapore II, 1997
Fotografía | C-Print

Andreas Gursky | Singapore II, 1997 | Fotografía

Andreas Gursky (Leipzig, 1955) is one of the artists who have most successfully captured the structures and forms of organization of late capitalist societies. The stock exchange is one of the recurring themes in his work. If in Singapore Stock Exchange (1997) Gursky did a tableau in which he portrayed the human environment of the Singapore Stock Exchange, in Singapore II, from the same year, the artist pointed his camera at the upper part of the inside of the building to centre on the ornamentation hanging from the ceiling. The stock-market context is relegated to the background in order to emphasize with precision the more oriental aspects and ultimately to arrive at a photographic composition of great pictorial richness.

Hiroshi Sugimoto – Fagus Schulheistenfabrik – W. Gropius and A. Meyer, 1998

Fagus Schulheistenfabrik – W. Gropius and A. Meyer, 1998
Photograph | Silver bromide gelatin print

Hiroshi Sugimoto | Fagus Schuhleistenfabrik - W. Gropius and A. Meyer, 1998 | Fotografía

 In 1997 Sugimoto (Tokyo, 1948) began to portray works of contemporary architecture that had achieved the status of classics, of note among these being landmarks of the Modern Movement of the early twentieth century. In the present case, the building has been photographed from a viewpoint far enough away to be contemplated in its entirety, but at the same time it occupies the entire surface of the photographic paper, so that the magnificence of the architectural canon is not lost in the end result of the photographic image.

The Fagus shoe-last factory, in Alfeld an der Leine (Germany), was constructed between 1911 and 1913, and is the first large building by the young architect Walter Gropius. It is also one of the first Modernist buildings, in brick, glass and steel; a synthesis of art and a pioneering example of corporate identity, it has been classified as a historical monument since 1946.

 

Hiroshi Sugimoto – Signal Box – Herzog & De Meuron, 1998

Signal Box — Herzog & De Meuron, 1998
Photograph | Silver bromide gelatin print

Hiroshi Sugimoto | Signal Box- Herzog & De Meuron, 1998 | Fotografía

 Sugimoto (Tokyo, 1948) photographed the railway signals and points centre built in Basel (Switzerland) in 1994 by Herzog & de Meuron to house the engineering department’s electronic equipment and work stations. The characteristic out-of-focus blur adopted by Sugimoto for all of the architecture portrayed in this series dematerializes the forms, capturing only the essence of the building and not its exact representation. The photographer effectively isolates the subject from its context, providing a man-made construction with an aura of immortality and magnificence that sets it on a par with the grandeur of the manifestations of nature.

Dora García – Golden Phrases, 2003: Reality Is a Very Persistent Illusion, 2003

Golden Phrases, 2003: Reality Is a Very Persistent Illusion, 2003
Installation | Letters painted with gold leaf on wall

DoraGarcia

 Dora García (Valladolid, 1965) commenced the series Golden Phrases in 2001, and it consists of a number of sentences written in letters of gold leaf applied directly on the wall. The phrase shown here is attributed to Albert Einstein, but separated from his scientific and didactic language it is as effectively ambiguous as if it were a piece of anonymous graffiti on a city wall. These truisms are not quotes; even if someone has actually spoken the words, they are presented to the reader as simply potential tricks of thinking.

 

Javier Codesal – El Monte Perdido 2, 2003

El Monte Perdido 2, 2003
Photograph | C-Print
90 x 160 cm

JavierCodesal

 

How to state disappearance? How to relate absence? How to reflect abandonment? In El Monte Perdido (2003), Javier Codesal (Sabiñánigo, Huesca, 1958) pulled off a difficult feat that makes him a notary of what is hard to grasp. The narration of the video El Monte Perdido (which these still images are taken) alternates the screening of fixed and moving images. The contrast between the different definitions of the two media is used to produce different degrees of presence: the lost mountain confronts the feeling of absence. Disappearance goes hand in hand with the demarcation of a terrain that defines the subject, both the artist and the viewer, in the very act of looking, in some way summoning up its own end.