MADRID: COLECTIVA “…Y ella guarda una piedra de cada lugar que ha visitado”

Curated by Ángel Calvo Ulloa, Galería Juan Silió in Madrid presents the exhibition “… y ella guarda una Piedra de cada lugar que ha visitado”, in which the artists represented by the gallery Belén Rodríguez and Ricardo Cavada join Fuentesal & Arenillas, Núria Fuster, Antonio González, Ana H. del Amo, João Marçal and André Ricardo.

Ángel Calvo Ulloa proposes a selection of works that focus on the subtlety of the gestures, those that generally go unnoticed but nevertheless preserve the essence. Once extracted from their context and placed under the focus, they have the powerful capacity to unconsciously remit and reactivate sensations that hibernate somewhere in the memory.

In his daily work, the curator also collects ideas and images that in the end, in one way or another, are connected to each other. Thus, even if he avoids forced narratives, he instinctively creates a path in which, just as the stones from different geographies and times are aligned, the works here presented defend art without excesses, that one who seeks the perfect synthesis with which to concentrate and quietly evoke latent feelings.


… and she keeps a stone from every place she has visited

On every trip my mother makes, far or near, without distinctions that give more importance to some destinations than others, she collects small stones that, because of their shape or texture, are suggestive to her. After this, back at home, she writes on each one the place and date where it was collected with a marker, and then she places them in the garden, next to others brought previously, tracing some lines that define the contours of some of the flowerpots in our garden. As time goes by, rain, sun and the wide range of weather conditions in Galicia, the data noted on each stone disappear, turning the collection into an indecipherable tangle that only her manages to remember. Walter Benjamin would say that the collector puts together what fits together; this way, he can reach a teaching about things through his affinities or through his succession in time.

Exactly one year ago, when we started working on this exhibition, I was surrounded by a series of thoughts about the small gestures we live with every day. Those flashes that, despite often going unnoticed, acquire a powerful presence when we manage to notice them, or when beyond notice, they manage to provoke in us an impression that will accompany us, if not always, at least for a long period of time.

Immersed in the memory of some of these experiences, I started a search whose aim was to detect a series of behaviors, or modus operandi, inserted in this policy of the minimum gesture. Concretion without ostentation, that would bring to this exhibition a series of instants based on some subtle memory, capable of seducing with a slight signal.

I now read in a text by Javier San Martín about the canvases of BELÉN RODRÍGUEZ that the most immediate references -sun yellow, orange sunset, green fruit, blue pool- are the testimony of a love for the world that does not exhaust itself in these equivalences, but makes them resounding as sources of desire. I quote his words because I could not express it better, and because they reflect, not the sensation, but the state of mind that has invaded me in the presence of some of those curtains, like the one that now crosses the room articulating the visit. Pool transmits the sensation of that amplified pool drip, of the smell of chlorine and wrinkled fingers.

There is a formal factor in the works of FUENTESAL & ARENILLAS that alleviates its weight by means of the playful component that crosses them. Now that the canvas is hanging from the wooden pivots, let’s imagine them playing and stopping at the moment when recreation risks become routine. It is then when the action is paralyzed and the result is shown before us almost wavy, with the warmth of the hands still printed in the labyrinthine disposition of the folds. It somehow refers to the compositions painted by RICARDO CAVADA between 2001 and 2002. Besides breaking at many levels with what had been his work for the previous two decades, his painting becomes protagonist by tangled planes that overlap, and the inks, although sometimes washed, flatten their tones simplifying the combinations. There is a lot of hidden painting on them, a lot of memory from many years of work, and it is perhaps in this pieces that one can guess the least the ballast that such a baggage could represent.

In an attempt to transform the immediacy and the personal and non-transferable character of the gesture into a mechanical process, JOÃO MARÇAL proposes an approaching to pictorial abstraction through the reproduction of patterns such as those used by the textile industry to make bedding or upholstery for buses. Thus, Marçal returns to basic themes in history of painting, never exempt of course from the great ironic charge of a discourse he poses from the field of painting.

Not far away, ANTONIO GONZÁLEZ‘s decision of painting on cardboard has an implicit charge that allows for doubting between the precarious solution or the purely aesthetic decision. From the series of sculptures and paintings that Gonzalez began to elaborate with this material in 2016, it likes the freshness with which they are treated, the reduced chromatic range and the false ease of the gesture that somehow connects with what João Marçal proposes. These factors are what make him a strong painter, who grows as he makes his hand disappear.

Something similar occurs in the painting of ANDRÉ RICARDO, in which, in addition to an exhaustive knowledge of the trade, there is also an interest in his culture, taken from popular architecture or from various images that have accompanied him since childhood. Although formally at the antipodes of what Antonio González proposes, André Ricardo’s painting is a painting of minima that can only be reached by following the longest way.

Also in the tense assemblages that NURIA FUSTER proposes from compiled materials, it can be seen a formal break that resignifies them by means of a simple movement, which manages to move them from their state of rest to another that highlights their potential and our disconcert. Her practice wins when her hand is only intuited, and appears in a precise and fleeting way, as it appears in the slight pictorial interventions that confirm the know-how of ANA H. DEL AMO. She starts from a maximum use of resources, giving the objects an almost full autonomy, which is manifested through those highly measured gestures that go over the surfaces and edges in a fleshy and staccato way. She, as Nuria Fuster, has the capacity to operate without complexes, which is something that in an artistic panorama like ours, weighs heavily.

I remember with a sharpness that makes my skin crawl when I discovered Ryan Gander’s fresh breeze that ran through the two first floor wings of the Fridericianum in Kasel, in Documenta 13. Wide halls with high ceilings and large windows, which isolated the movement and the summer heat outside in the week before the closing. The walk through that space was a revelation for me, whose only parenthesis was, in the middle of the east hall, a subtle pedestal with the same three sculptures by Julio Gonzalez showed there in 1959, on the second edition of this event.

I am not saying anything new if I affirm that that Gander’s breeze going through the museum provoked a greater awareness of the reparative nature of such a phenomenon. That breeze, far from a landscape that would make it another piece of an ideal situation, was perhaps more breeze there, in the middle of a crowded event that suddenly reserved a main space to emphasize its importance and to move us to another better place. …and she keeps a stone of each place that she has visited looks for exactly the same, to be an oasis in this instant that we are going through. That is why, now that each case has been detailed under a tenuous discourse, linking them as those fragile chains of stones that my mother gathers in her garden, by means of an order that surrounds them without limiting them, I observe them from the window of my studio, displayed as if they were in their original location, as if instead of small pieces of other geographies they were the perennial memory of this shore of the world. I then search in a notebook for some notes taken during the trip to Kasel in 2012 and, in relation to that experience, I read: Nothing more elusive than a simple breeze and, at the same time, nothing less. 

Ángel Calvo Ulloa



Curated by Ángel Calvo Ulloa
12 November, 2020 – 12 January, 2021
Ricardo Cavada
Antonio González
Fuentesal & Arenillas
Nuria Fuster
Ana H. del Amo
João Marçal
André Ricardo
Belén Rodríguez

Galería Juan Silió
C/ Doctor Fourquet, 18. 28012 Madrid

Opnening Hours:
Tuesday – Friday
11AM – 17PM
11AM – 14PM