LUIS LÓPEZ LEJARDI “Formas vehiculares”


The work of one of Cantabria’s most brilliant sculptors, Luis López Lejardi, is presented for the first time in our space. Although his presence on the art scene has been intermittent, since he began exhibiting in the late eighties, he has maintained a line of work of great coherence and originality, creating his own style. With clear influences of conceptual art, povera, minimal and pop, his work, always emphatic and essential, has as its protagonists the materials and their industrial treatment. In particular, the theme of the automobile – all the parts of cars and different transport machines – is central to his works, in which he combines the forms acquired by raw materials on assembly lines with the inevitable denunciation of the effects of the pollution that this entails; a very fashionable theme now, but not so much when he began to deal with it 30 years ago. Since then, he has also made elegant use of found, poor and waste materials, a regular visitor to scrap yards, junkyards, low-cost and second-hand shops.

From the beginning, their favourite materials have been rubber, glass, sheet metal and clamps, with which they assemble the different parts of the pieces, generating audacious compositions of lyrical evocation. These initial elements are now joined by copper, cardboard and plastic bottles, as can be seen in Formas vehiculares, this exhibition in which he shows his most recent works together with some historical pieces such as Bolsillo. With a magical alchemical gesture, the materials are transformed into beautiful objects that generate metaphors thanks to the sculptor’s action, which is almost always simple but very effective. Elements of everyday life (water bottles or floor mats) or elements that are no longer useful (cable reels or cardboard boxes) acquire an unusual expressive value in their new life as artistic objects.

La exposición se abre con Ojo testigo eterno de lo bello, un tótem de pared con poético y significativo título, realizado con alfombrillas de coche, fragmentos de cartón con símbolos encontrados que aquí se resignifican, cobre y botellas de agua. Se muestran marcas publicitarias, siguiendo ese enfoque pop en un mundo tan publicitario como el nuestro, en el que el plástico es un problema eterno y la huella de carbono una espada de Damocles.

De todo ello nos alerta la pieza de caucho con máscara antigás, que recuerda la fabulosa instalación que realizara en 2001 en Espacio C. Además de estos elementos industriales, recorren la exposición referencias a los elementos naturales básicos como el aire y el agua o la lana de vellón y las piñas que se muestran en Ofrendas, una nueva versión de una obra previa elaborada el 2011.

The exhibition opens with Ojo testigo eterno de lo bello, a poetically and meaningfully titled wall totem made from car mats, fragments of cardboard with found symbols that are here re-signified, copper and water bottles. Advertising brands are shown, following this pop approach in a world as advertising-driven as ours, in which plastic is an eternal problem and the carbon footprint a sword of Damocles.

We are alerted to all this by the rubber piece with a gas mask, which recalls the fabulous installation he made in 2001 in Espacio C. In addition to these industrial elements, the exhibition includes references to basic natural elements such as air and water or fleece wool and pine cones shown in Ofrendas, a new version of a previous work produced in 2011.

In the Project Room there are three powerful wooden pieces made with boat propeller moulds that allude to another means of transport in conflict today. Underlying the compositions with modular copper piping is the theme of gas and war, such as the beautiful piece Paloma con rama de olivo, or Pico y ola, which recalls the graphism that measures our pulses and the balance necessary for life. The aerial compositions made from pieces of glass from different vehicles, the badges, signs and number plates, and the labyrinths of mirrors and presses, complete an exhibition that reminds us that the objects that surround us speak to us of our reality. A reality that we may be able to change if we rearrange its parts; if, as López Lejardi does, we look for its most aesthetic side and rework the game. If, by making use of its vehicular forms, we creatively propose a better world.


Luis López Lejardi (1957, Torrelavega, Cantabria)

A self-taught artist, from a very young age he was already a great fan of drawing, selling portraits and designing posters for different types of events. In the mid-eighties he began to make sculptures from recycled materials, visited as many exhibitions as possible and kept up to date with what was happening in the art world. In 1987 he made a trip to Documenta in Kassel and to Münster, the city of sculpture, which proved to be an initiation and definitive for him. His vocation as a sculptor was reaffirmed and from then on he never stopped transforming and making artistic objects, sculptures and installations with an impetuous need to create, a great love of beauty and a remarkable natural and intuitive talent. An artist convinced that art can change the world, he is a self-confessed debtor of Beuys, Warhol and Mario Merz, and joins with his practice the fruitful revival of the ready-made (and its drift towards assemblage) that took place from the seventies onwards.

His work has been presented in various solo exhibitions throughout the region, such as the exhibitions in the nineties at the Centro Cultural La Vidriera in Camargo, Galería Zoom and Galería Siboney in Santander, Pub Mínimal in Maliaño or in recent years in his return to La Vidriera with Área de Servicio and Las reglas del juego. Otra piel at Inder Espacio in Santander.

Collectively, he has shown his work in the late eighties and nineties in exhibitions such as Sculptor 27 at the Museo de BB.AA. de Santander, Palacio La Torre, Muriedas; La Casona, Reinosa; Galería Índice, Torrelavega; Una Mirada parcial at the Centro Cultural Caja Cantabria; El puente de la visión 3, Museo de BB. AA. of Santander; Jesús Otero Sculpture Awards, Sala Luz Norte; Palacio de Sobrellano, Comillas; Jesús Otero Foundation, Santillana del Mar; Artists of a century, Sala Mauro Muriedas, Torrelavega; Without limits, Museo de BB.AA. of Santander. And in the two thousand years Memoria de un fin de Siglo, Palacete del Embarcadero; Agresiones, Espacio C, Camargo; Espacio C Collection, La Granja, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Centro de Arte la Regenta, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Colectiva de Navidad, Galería Siboney, Santander; 3 años en Sol Inder Espacio, Santander or Doble T. Open your eyes and see a single image with his nephew, the artista Juan López, again in the Palacete del Embarcadero.

Luis López Lejardi was awarded the second Jesús Otero Sculpture Prize by the Regional Ministry of Cantabria in 1993 and 1998.



March 2nd – April 15th, 2023

Luis López Lejardi

Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.

Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday,
10:30AM – 1:30PM
6PM – 9PM