ARCOlisboa 2019. JUAN LÓPEZ

Cordoaria Nacional
Avda. da Índia s/n.

16-19 May, 2019
Booth: P05



15 may. Collectors visit: 16:00h.  VIP Access: 17:30h. Opening: 18:00h.
16-17 de may: 12PM – 9PM
18 may: 12PM – 9PM
19  may: 12PM – 6PM


Juan Silió Gallery is participating in ARCOlisboa international fair, by showing a Juan López’s solo project (Alto Maliaño, Spain, 1979). In this fourth edition, the fair, which has an international profile, is getting consolidated as one of the most important artistic events in Portugal by broadening the exhibitions area and disseminating the Portuguese artistic scene. The fair will be taking place, at the 18th Century historical building of Cordoaria Nacional.

These last works by Juan López (Cantabria, Spain, 1979) continue the conceptual line of the creations he has been working at for the last years. He splits shape, counter-shape and typo itself to make a new piece and language by creating visual plays in which he approaches letter, sculpture and architecture in order to make us feel that they are merged together. Juan López disassembles the established common language and he encrypts it, or maybe he decrypts it? giving it a new shape different from the conventional one.  His idea is assuming typography as image, establishing a new, more direct, relation among letter, shape and space. This way, he uses the counter-shape of the typos used in the title of his pieces to create illegible drawings o visual texts. By joining and splitting those strokes, López starts up the codification mechanisms as well as he compares the typographer’s work with the figure construction.  When the order of each word is modified, the message difficulty is higher, but it also gives another kind of visual communications through its new form.

These cement bas-reliefs continue this interest of the artist in marking out connections between architecture and writing; between sign and sculpture.

The letters of a signature found at an undetermined place in the city are separated, and afterwards, re-used as lines of the drawings he creates a new composition with. The linguistic component and its original context are made disappeared in favour of shape and counter-shape. In an illusion game, we could imagine that the wall that held the original urban graffiti has been moved to the exhibitions space and the letters still remain floating somewhere in the city’s urban context.

Juan López has a BA degree at University of Castilla La Mancha. From 1999 he has taken part in different solo and group exhibitions. In 2005, he was granted by Fundación Botín, at Centro de Producción y Artes Visuales HANGAR in Barcelona and between 2010-2011 he enjoyed of another residence program about international artistic creation at Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan. His works are present in art collections such as Gobierno de Cantabria, or INJUVE and Fundación Altadis, same institution that awarded him with Premio Altadis de Artes Plásticas (2006). In 2008, he was awarded with Cantabria Award as part of Concurso de Artes Plásticas del Gobierno de Cantabria and in 2011 he received the Art Situation Award of La Garriga and a visual arts grant of CAM Collection.

His artworks have been exhibited in galleries, art centres, art fairs and national and international museums like: Matadero Madrid; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Galería Juan Silió, Santander; Art Basel, Miami; Galería La Fábrica, Madrid; MUSAC, León; Laboral Centro de Arte, Gijón; MARCO Vigo; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid; Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona; Artium, Vitoria; Liste Art Fair, Basilea; O.K. Centrum Linz, Austria; National Museum of the Republic. Brasilia; Tokyo Wonder Site, Japón.