Abraham Lacalle (Almería, 1962) returns to Galería Juan Silió with landscape as the focus of his exhibition entitled Ir al paisaje. The exhibition combines oil canvases and medium and large format watercolours created in recent months.
They are raw landscapes, unconventional, without putting the focus – although it exists – on beauty or an idealised vision. The undergrowth, the mud in rivers and roads, the broken or dry trees, the waste elements that nobody wants to appear in his images of natural landscapes in this society of appearance, play a preponderant role in these works.
Always seeking social criticism, in this case, with the environment in the spotlight as in his latest exhibitions in Barcelona and Seville, we find scenes of a nature as close as it is imagined with a bucolic atmosphere that is clouded by the more or less evident presence of the human being. Even without being seen with the naked eye, the changes produced artificially can be sensed, elements which unconsciously distort the image of the landscape and lead us to look for what it is that disturbs us.
The strong colours in both the oils and the watercolours break the supposed tranquillity of a landscape scene, which becomes violent through the powerful brushstrokes of the canvases, which Lacalle neither hides nor conceals. It is not in vain that these meta-painting details hide his homage to the history of art, technical annotations in the maniera of the classics, especially the pre-avant-garde painters. Returning to the works, this uneasiness does not escape the watercolours either, which do not allow for mistakes and correct the decisions made, whose contrasts of colour create a sombre atmosphere, especially in the open field scenes.
As a modifier of the environment in which it lives from the moment it acquires constructive capacity, the human species has moulded nature in such a way that, while at times we are aware of its intervention, at others it is carried out in such a way that it is assumed as an inherent part of the natural environment. The use of technology in the service of quality of life to the detriment of the environment to such an extent that it has led to a false position of superiority, of being able to modify at will when and how it wishes. In the end, nature takes its course, and ends up revolting in the face of human intervention. The attempt to take control of a truly uncontrollable element, such as man’s impact on nature, is a metaphor for how society, the economy and our own existence work. Lacalle invites us to reflect, to think about where we are now, where we are heading; what relationship we have and should or want to have with our planet and with ourselves.
Abraham Lacalle is one of the most outstanding artists on the national scene, with an extensive career. Since his first major solo exhibition Abraham Lacalle, Un lugar donde nunca sucede nada, at Espacio Uno of the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía in 2005, he has exhibited in the most prominent cultural institutions and galleries, such as his current retrospective Experimentos con el paisaje at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC) or the recent En el paisaje, Galería Marlborough, Barcelona. Other highlights include Una isla dentro de otra, Fundación Canaria para el Desarrollo de la Pintura, Las Palmas (2020); Forests, We Collect, London (2019); Recent Works, Marlborough Gallery, New York (2019); El despertar, Landscapes after the battle, Nova Invaliden Galerie, Berlin (2016); Pintura bélica, CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (2015); Tríptico de Málaga, CAC Málaga (2015); Campos de Batalla at the Juan Silió Gallery (2014); Bandini Baker, The Spanish Sindicate, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, California (2011). His work also forms part of prominent collections such as those of the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía, the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (Seville), Es Baluard. Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo (Palma de Mallorca), the Coca-Cola Foundation (Madrid), the Santander Central Hispano Foundation (Madrid) and the Consejo Superior de Deportes Collection.
IR AL PAISAJE
19 June – 14 August, 2021
Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.
Monday – Saturday,
10:30AM – 1:30PM
6PM – 9PM