These uncertain times we are currently experiencing led Luna Miguel to ask herself what will remain of us when we are no longer here. And her answer is categorical: the flaking blue walls of Carlos Pérez Siquier. As an example of the passing of time and life, the Almeria-born photographer has for decades recorded the cracks and fissures in flaking walls as if they were chunks of leather. Cracks that are the symbol of humble neighborhoods, of humble homes; humility in the fractured color, modesty in the blue oxide tone, like an inevitable invitation to the end of the world. Because if the world is coming to an end, what else will remain of us beyond a fading, discolored wall?
A space where we can return to our exhibitions guided by the proposals that critics, art historians and photography experts, curators and writers offer us thanks to their collaborations in our newsletter.
And, above all, a space that is also an index (ultimately, a series of indices) which, based on these proposals, will bring us closer to other works, other artists and other experiences in order to enrich our cultural knowledge.
The activities we organize around our exhibition program, exhibitions in other exhibition halls around Spain and overseas as well as the value of our drawing and photography collections and other cultural news will form a regular part of this section.
The photographer captures a precise, unique and unrepeatable moment. Two realities run parallel to each other: what the camera captures and what the mirror reflects: the reality behind the photographer. Eight eyes look out at you from the image, and the photographer serves as your eyes when framing the beautiful altarpiece, immortalizing the group procession hauling along the huge oak display cabinet, bodies bent under the weight of the cross on their shoulders. For Edda Armas, the photographer’s clairvoyance does not entail ‘looking’ but rather ‘finding’ himself there, according to Barthes. These are ‘times of silence’ in a post-war Spain laboring under a dictatorship, and the young photographer, camera in hand, is seduced by the light, the landscape and the humility of the people of La Chanca in his native Almeria.
At first glance, this is a beautiful image of sumptuous textures, but when we realize that it is a dead whale, stranded on a beach, the meaning of the image becomes rather more complex. Nobody knows the exact reason for the stranding of whales, but this particular event happened in Pacífica, a town very close to San Francisco, from whose beaches sightings of different cetaceans are common. Enrique Juncosa analyzes this photograph by Richard Learoyd, which not only reflects the sense of gravity caused by the monumental weight of the creature, but also the fragility and vulnerability of its body and its life, something that not even the most powerful of animals can escape.
Antonio Gamoneda shares with us his experience and the feelings aroused in him on viewing the work Personnage et oiseaux (Character and Bird, 1969) by Joan Miró. The poet observes and perceives the painting, rather than trying to understand it, simply experiencing a sense of pleasure and, at the same time, a vision of violence. The colors are turbulent and violent, capsizing into catastrophe, expressing shattered joy, witnessing defeat. All of Miró's works, even if on a different level or direction, portray reality, yet in this painting it is particularly important that it is a reality that can be experienced and shared.
Giacometti always wanted to portray life just as he saw it, although he himself would acknowledge this idea as an impossible project, since his perception of the world was always in constant motion.
It was with Figure debout [Standing Woman, 1958], a figure made after years of studying how to draw the human head and express soul and feeling, that Giacometti started to portray human gestures and the depth of their gaze and soul. Carla Calparsoro helps to explain the moment the artist had reached in his life when he created this piece, which would mark a turning point in his development, highlighting the nature of a quiescent and inspiring feminine universe.
Two men walking: Rodin's and Giacometti's. Rodin's sculpture is a trunk with powerful legs: firm thighs, sculpted calves, a runner's feet. The head and arms are missing. In contrast, Giacometti's sculpture is astonishingly fragile. A painfully thin man, ethereal, whose body seems barely capable of holding him upright.
Inés París Bouza delves into the creative universe of both artists to remind us that the body is what defines us as profoundly human. Humanity, whether imagined as sturdy and eternal, or portrayed with all its fragility, neuroses and ultimate mortality, is always the image of a body. A body that walks. Or at least tries to.
Giacometti is not an embraceable artist. If we look, for example, at The Walking Man II, we see a silhouette fading away, shedding body mass, consciousness. In a photograph you can see Giacometti crossing the street near his studio in Montparnasse, in the rain, covering his head with his gabardine. His figure fades away, without an umbrella, sheltering under his own raincoat. He could easily pass for one of his figures.
What is culture for? The writer and journalist Alfonso Armada provides us with some clues to walking in the darkness, understanding the meaning of art, the meaning of life.
The girl’s left arm is resting on the doorjamb and she’s gathered up her little skirt in her right hand. One of her feet is still inside the darkness of the room; her hair has just been brushed, and the sun is shining on part of her face. In La Chanca, a fishing shanty town in Almería, Pérez Siquier was captivated by the dignity of the poor. Between 1956 and 1965 he photographed its architecture of shacks and caves, of dazzling light, of blacks and whites, creating a poetic space that was overwhelming in its beauty yet devastating in terms of its material deprivation.
The photographer Carmela García invites us to take a humble and eye-opening journey on which Pérez Siquier documents the harsh living conditions of post-war Spain.
In Pérez Siquier’s beach scenes you’ll find a whole nation avid for freedom, recreation and sex. There are women who put on a full face of makeup to go the beach and sleep in the sun, liberated creatures and vulgarized bodies, apathy, erotic arousal, the body language of relaxation. During the Sixties and Seventies, the photographer travelled the beaches of Spain, bringing beach photography into color.
Novelist Andrés Barba invites us to discover the wonderful world of real-life bodies by the Almeria-born photographer.
The women portrayed by Richard Learoyd seem not entirely of this world, but rather trapped in a painful event from the past, suspended in an instant of introspection and, occasionally, perplexity. The women who inhabit his photographs are as vulnerable as they are resolute, as fragile as they are strong, and as captivated by the shadows of the past as they are eager to leave them behind. The novelist Patricio Pron accompanies them on their journey from the shadows to the light.
In Madrid, touring the Espacio Miró (Recoletos Exhibition hall) permanent collection is to allow oneself to become infused with the vitality and the thoughtful reflection that define this Catalan artist's work. A text by Estrella de Diego helps us gets to the heart of Paysage, one of the works from the collection and an example of Miro's exercise in refining his painting.
Explore the suspended universe in the images of this photographer, where times stands still before the completely motionless models. Discussing his work, in an extract from the catalog, the exhibition's curator, Sandra Phillips, offers us some insight into the close relationship between his unique technique (the camera obscura) and the psychological profundity of his portraits.
The New York Skyscrapers form an artificial canyon. Their powerful vertical walls make up a dense network in which architecture rises up into the sky and where stories intertwine. It is so delightful to lose oneself in these photographs where the density of the image is not only down to the buildings, but also due to the signs: signs that clutter up the sidewalks, windows displays and stores full of posters and products...Buildings in construction and scenes of daily life fill the frames with stories that depict a key city in the cultural landscape of the 20th century.
Guided by Javier Rodríguez Barberán, tenured professor of the E.T.S de Arquitectura de Sevilla (Seville School of Architecture), we will immerse ourselves in the fascinating kaleidoscope of the metropolis that Berenice Abbott's lens offers us.