RUFO CRIADO: “Laberíntico”

Laberíntico, Rufo Criado‘s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery space in Santander, brings together a selection of light boxes, acrylics on canvas and works on paper. These pieces, which have been produced over the last four years, are grouped under the generic title En el laberinto (In the Labyrinth).

In this latest creative stage, his paintings have gained in geometry and consistency, as well as in complexity, which has also increased, giving rise to intricate structures in which colour plays a main role and through which the spectator moves along the “paths” formed by the chromatic contrasts. In his last exhibition at the gallery, the artist combined ornamental elements based on the decorative motifs of Islamic tradition with “controlled drifts” from previous compositional patterns, with great weight on colour and form. Now, the latter have gained ground, becoming the central axis of his current work.

Part of the power generated by these works lies in their research process. As can be seen in the light boxes, Criado uses digital tools as a compositional technique which he then transfers, in this case to vinyl, and which also serves as a guideline for his acrylics. Just as Renaissance painters used strips of string as references to fix perspectives, Criado makes use of current computer design techniques, which, as in the former, disappear when the paint is applied.

In Laberíntico we might think that the artist has shifted the focus to the interior of the human being, of himself. In a society with greater instability and an increasingly short-sighted outlook on the future, inner conflicts and mental health are becoming increasingly important in contemporary creation. And this, is a form of escape for the mind and soul, while at the same time reflecting the collective feeling of today’s society.

Rufo himself comments:

“The space through which we move increasingly resembles a labyrinthine path where doubts, incoherence and decisions conditioned by social structures that generate misplaced individuals are mixed together. In the painted space – my own labyrinth – I propose new routes, unknown itineraries through which I propose to the spectator to travel in freedom, attracting him by the chromatic intensity. The lines that define the surface of the painting transform this labyrinth into a strange musical score, visual reflections, constructed emotions, a starting point towards a possible way out of so much uncertainty and uneasiness”.


Rufo Criado (Aranda de Duero, 1952) is a founding member of A UA CRAG Colectivo de Acción Artística (1985-1996), of which he was a member until 1994. He directed the Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, CAB, from its opening in 2003 until the end of 2006. His work appears in the publication “100 Spanish artists” by EXIT Publicaciones, and in the Archivo Documental de Artistas de Castilla y León (ADACYL) of the MUSAC in León.

As an artist with an extensive exhibition career, Rufo Criado’s works are part of several museums and public collections such as IVAM in Valencia, ARTIUM in Vitoria, MUSAC in León, Calcografía Nacional in Madrid, Museo de Santander (MAS), Museo de Burgos, MAC in La Coruña, Centro de Arte Alcobendas-Madrid, Fundación Coca-Cola, Colección Caixabank and Colección Caja Madrid, among others. All about his work can be found at



7th April – 11th June, 2022

Rufo Criado

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

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sturday,
10.30AM – 13.30PM
6 – 9 PM