Entitling the exhibition as “Trashumante (a cuestas)” Jacobo Castellano presents his latest works in his first solo exhibition in Santander’s Gallery. The exhibition is held in collaboration with the Swiss gallery Mai 36 Galerie in Zurich. On this occasion, a conjunction of sculptures and oil paintings are shown, which take us back to tradition and the past.
To get to this, he reuses and recontextualizes materials, such as old beams or objects that he incessantly looks for in antique shops, flea-markets and other places. These objects, which emanate their own history, collect the artist’s own memories in his assemblages, giving place to works of great intensity and personal meaning. However, on many occasions that personal motive, that trip to the past, connects with the observer’s own past, thus linking artist, work and visitor.
As a Andalusian settled in Madrid, Castellano performs his particular transhumance several times a year. Two constants can be found in the exhibition: on the one hand, the walking sticks, which lead us to identify the act of the long journey, the accumulation of experiences and, on the other, the use of the olive tree, through which he takes us to his native Jaén. This regular and periodic round trip that shepherds still make in the province of Jaén, is remembered in two of the larger pieces: Campano and Pastor. In the first one, a structure is remembering the remains of a construction, such as a small cabin or shelter that were used during breaks from long days on foot, cane in hand. In the second one, the most prominent material is the olive tree, inevitably identified with the Andalusian landscape and the shade in which ranchers and farmers have rested for centuries. Accompanying this peculiar recreation of the Andalusian transhumance elements are two Trébedes, now almost in disuse and which can be seen almost exclusively in ethnographic museums, and a Hoguera, elements not only characteristic of these long seasonal trips, but also of many summer nights in rural areas by starlight. Those starry skies, difficult to see nowadays even in areas close to population centres due to light pollution, are also present in the exhibition: it is the Constelaciones series, linens with numerous layers of oil intervened with tools more typical of sculpture than painting, which surround us to recreate those nocturnal landscapes that can still be enjoyed in the countryside.
As it has already been deduced in some of the previous pieces, in Castellano’s work, memory, his own childhood memories, has a special relevance, which is especially reflected in this exhibition. It was an important moment when he was diagnosed with a strong allergy to milk that has greatly influenced his life. A memory of this is Licor de leche, on which he has written a recipe for this drink on a stick. In Puerta, he takes us back to his summers in the village of Villargordo, to the cinema that his grandfather had and that did not need any signage because it was the only one in the area. Opening a cinema in rural areas in Spanish mid twentieth century, represented a revolution for the people in the area (it is inevitably thinking of Cinema Paradiso), who discovered not only a new way of entertainment, but also a window to imagination, adventures and the discovery of places, stories and lives totally different from theirs.
Jacobo Castellano is graduated in Fine Arts by University of Granada and currently lives and works in Madrid. His works focus on sculptural experimentation by exploring the concept of memory, reusing objects both his own and collected in stores and flea-markets, giving them a new context, in order to generate images that make an identification both from a personal point of view as well as a collective one, oscillating from the historical to the most immediate present.
Among his individual works, the recent installation of a public sculpture at the Kartoffelmarkt in Zurich stands out, and the exhibitions at Mai 36 Galerie de Zurich (2020), riflepistolacañon at Artium (2019), Sobre burlas, juegos y brechas, at Centro José Guerrero ( 2017), Aprendiendo del Albaicín at Kunsthalle Sao Paulo (2015), Malos tiempos at Casal Solleric (2010) or Jacobo Castellano. The Solo Project in Basel (2009). He has also been part of collectives at Centro Botín, CA2M, MUSAC, Patio Herreriano, Kunst- und Kulturstiftung Opelvillen Rüsselsheim, DA2Artium, Appleton Square Lisboa, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts or the Gabarrón Foundation. His work is part of collections such as ARTIUM, CAAC, Olor Visual Collection, Pilar Citoler Collection, Sorigué Foundation, Montenmedio Contemporary Art Foundation, Kunstsammlung der Schweizerischen Mobiliar Genossenschaft, DV Foundation, Botín Foundation or in the Collection of the Superior Sports Council.
TRASHUMANTE (A CUESTAS)
10th August – 29th September, 2020
Jacobo Castellano (Jaén, 1976)
Galería Juan Silió
C/ Sol 45, bajo. 39003 Santander.
Monday – Saturday,
10.30AM – 1.30PM
18PM – 21PM