The Salvat Collection
The Peris family, owners of Salvat Laboratories, are committed to contemporary art. This led to their purchasing a work in 1994 that would, in time, become the first in the Salvat Collection of contemporary art.
A new large-format work is acquired for the Collection every year. The work must have been painted by a Spanish artist that very same year. Over the years, the collection has become a clear representation of the most interesting Spanish artistic creations of recent decades.
In order to bring contemporary art closer to collaborators and friends, the work chosen for each year is reproduced on the Christmas card the company sends out around the world.
Albert Ràfols – Casamada
Envol // 1994
Mixed technique on canvas
114 x 146 cm
Albert Ràfols-Casamada was a painter, poet and art professor who was involved in avantgarde movements and is considered one of the most important and multifaceted Catalan artists of his time.
He was initiated into drawing and painting by his father, Albert Ràfols Cullerés and, after a few years studying architecture, he chose painting as his career path. He first exhibited in Barcelona in 1946 as part of Els Vuit group, and in 1950 he received a grant from the French government and moved to Paris where he lived until 1954 with his wife, the also painter Maria Girona i Benet.
His early pictorial work is figurative, although it soon evolved towards an abstraction in which colours and geometrical structures played an important part. As well as enjoying a long pictorial and poetic career, Ràfols-Casamada was dedicated to teaching art and design. In 1967, along with a group of intellectuals, professors and artists, he founded the Bauhaus-inspired EINA school, becoming its director for seventeen years.
During his long career, he won the Spanish National Award for Visual Arts in 1980, the Creu de Sant Jordi (highest civil distinction given by the Catalan government) in 1983, made member of the Legion d’Honneur in 1991 and received the Catalan National Award for Visual Arts in 2003.
Merlin // 1996
Mixed technique on plywood
114 x 121 cm
Josep Guinovart i Bertrán
Josep Guinovart i Bertran was a key artist in the Catalan avantgarde of the late 20th century.
Initially working for his family’s business painting walls, he later trained at the Escola de Mestres Pintors and the Escola d’Arts i Oficis de Barcelona. In 1953 he left for Paris, having received a grant from the French government.
In 1954 he returned to Catalonia and founded the Taüll group, alongside Antoni Tàpies and Joan-Josep Tharrats among others, whose members included the avantgarde artists of the time. Guinovart’s work is hugely diverse: it includes etching, drawing, posters, painting, sculpture, theatre sets and tapestries, among others. His initial work is figurative, but after 1957 he started working on large scale abstract works, with a clear matterist intention and using three-dimensional objects which do not belong to the world of conventional art.
Guinovart’s informalism incorporated the presence of the Mediterranean landscape, evoked by blue and ochre tones, as well as other elements that evoke the land, although he also made works with a clear social and political commitment. Since the late 1950s, his work has been extensively exhibited. In 1982 he received the Spanish National Award for Visual Arts and in 1990 the Catalan National Award for Visual Arts.
Since 1994, his work is on permanent display at the Fundació Espai Guinovart in Agramunt, a village 100km west of Barcelona to which the artist was always linked.
Bajo luces de neón // 1997
Oil paint and tempera on plywood
260 x 200 cm
Julio Vaquero graduated in Fine Arts and received the Joan Güell award from Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Faculty of Fine Arts.
His first exhibition was in 1986 in the Carlos de Sicart gallery in Cadaqués; the following year, he exhibited for the first time in Barcelona. He has had individual exhibitions in art galleries in Bolonia, New York, Madrid, Barcelona and Trieste. He has also taken part in many group exhibitions, both at a local and international level.
Among the most important are Visiones de realidad, CajaCanarias Foundation, Tenerife (2014); Contemporary Spanish Realism, Panorama Museum, Bad Frankenhausen, Germany (2007); Between Heaven and Earth, Ostende Museum of Modern Art, Belgium (2001); and Realisme a Catalunya, Santa Mònica Art Centre, Barcelona (1999). His work can be fundamentally categorised as realism and figurative painting based on observations of the natural world.
In the early 2000s, Vaquero started experimenting with manipulation and alteration of objects, in an ambiguous combination of realism and symbolism.
He lives and works in Barcelona and is also an artistic adviser to the Sorigué Foundation in Lleida.
Cuatrocento due-bis // 1998
Oil and wax on canvas
183 x 213 cm
Lluís Lleó is a painter and sculptor who has lived in New York since 1989, although he continues to spend time in his studio in Rupià in Girona.
His work, dominated by quasi-organic geometrical shapes, has been marked by the use of oil paints, watercolours and wax since the early 1990s. His has put on shows at Galeria Carles Taché in Barcelona, Sala Pelaires in Palma (Majorca), Galería Alfredo Viñas in Málaga and Kingsborough Community College in New York, among others.
His works is in national and international collections, such as Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, La Caixa Foundation in Barcelona, Sofía Imber Museum for Contemporary Art in Caracas and Nagoya Art Museum in Nagoya, Japan.
Pintura i representació: Delta de l’Ebre // 1989
Mixed technique on photograph
155 x 155 cm
(Sant Pol de Mar, Barcelona, 1957).
Perejaume is a difficult artist to classify, as he is constantly experimenting with expressive resources: painting, sculpture, drawing, text, action, photography, sound and video.
His training comes from the works of Joan Brossa, J.V. Foix and Jacint Verdaguer, who, along with the popular culture of the rural Maresme area, influenced his artistic outlook. His work moves between theory and practice, writing and images, the influence of historic avantgarde movements and interest in Catalan culture, all of which impregnate his poetic, essayistic and artistic production.
In 2005 he received the Catalan National Award for Visual Arts for his work Els cims pensamenters and in 2006 the Spanish National Award for Visual Arts for his “reformulation of the relationship between territory and art”. His most notable interventions include the medallion for the Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house (1999); retrospective exhibitions Deixar de fer una exposició at MACBA (1999) and Ai Perejaume, si veies la munió d’obres que t’envolten, no en faries cap de nova! at la Pedrera (2011); and the project of exhibitions Maniobra de Perejaume at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (2014). His most outstanding books are L’obra i la por (2007), Pagèsiques (2011, winner of the Ciutat de Barcelona Prize), Paraules locals (2015) and Treure una marededéu a ballar (2018).
He lives and works in Sant Pol de Mar.
Dream, desire, chaos… // 1999
Mixed technique on paper
204 x 187 cm
Jaume Plensa studied at the Escola de la Llotja and Sant Jordi Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona.
He started his sculpting career in the 1980s and has become a leading exponent of contemporary sculpture. His works are known worldwide and he has made public installations in cities such as Chicago, London, Montreal, Nice, Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver. Plensa has also experimented with other techniques, such as etching, drawing, sound, video and even theatre sets, collaborating with Catalan theatre company La Fura dels Baus.
His first solo exhibition was in 1980 in the Joan Miró foundation in Barcelona and, since, he has exhibited in museums all around the world: Jeu de Paume in Paris (1997), Malmö Konsthall in Sweden (1997), Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid (2000), Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, US (2010), Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, UK (2015), San Giorgio Maggiore basilica during the Venice biennale (2015) and MACBA in Barcelona (2018-2019). He has received numerous national and international prizes: the Medaille des Chevaliers des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture (1993), the Catalan National Award for Visual Arts (1997); the Spanish National Award for Visual Arts (2012); and Velázquez art award (2013).
He lives and works in Barcelona.
Hipnosis // 2000
Acrylic on canvas
226 x 180 cm
(Granollers, Barcelona, 1955).
Vicenç Viaplana is part of the generation of conceptual artists that renovated the Catalan avantgarde in the 1970s.
The installations and performances of his early career were followed by works with photography, videos and an extensive body of pictorial work. His technique involves using pigments and glue, making his paintings float between abstraction and figuration, and give a feeling of mystery that traps the viewer’s attention. Viaplana’s first solo show was in 1975 in Galería Ciento in Barcelona.
Since then, he has held exhibitions in Barcelona at Carles Taché and Marc Domenech’s galleries, as well as in Madrid, Ibiza, New York, Kyoto, Groningen and Basel. His work is part of public and private collections such as Granollers museum, Vila Casas foundation, Soriguè foundation and La Caixa collection.
He lives and works in Granollers, near Barcelona.
La ronda de noche // 2002
Oil on canvas
125 x 165 cm
Carlos García-Alix is a writer, painter and film maker, whose has been presented in solo and collective exhibitions since the late.
His interest in literature, cinema and history have accompanied him throughout his painting career and for many years he has been compiling archival documents, centring on 1930s Spain. This is reflected in his painting and graphic work, as well as his books and films, which he calls “painted novels”. This project has seen the adaptation of books such as Madrid-Moscú (runner-up in the Ministry of Culture’s Best-Edited Artbook award in 2003) or the canvas Regreso a casa (1999).
His novel – and later documentary – El honor de las injurias (2007) stands out, having received an award at Valladolid Cinema Festival in 2007. García-Alix has written for many newspapers and magazines, such as El Canto de la Tripulación, Refractor, El gato encerrado, El Europeo, Lars: Cultura y Ciudad and Sur Express. His work features in Valladolid’s Patio Herreriano Museum, La Caixa’s Testimoni Collection and Madrid’s Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art.
He lives and works in Madrid
Sin título // 2003
Acrylic on canvas
200 x 200 cm
(Villanueva de Arzobispo, Jaén, 1959).
Juan Sotomayor started painting after dropping out of medical school.
He trained in Zaragoza, where he lived between 1973 and 1988. He is a founding member of Zotall, a collective of painters active in Zaragoza in the 1980s. His early work was close to literary surrealism and then evolved towards neoexpressionist, gestural and matter painting. Towards the late 1980s he started using geometric stripes that alternated with sinuous lines and patches of changing shapes.
This became the base of his later pictorial language, which was characterised by horizontal and vertical stripes. In his work, Sotomayor makes movements that follow a horizontal trajectory, in a way that resembles writing: the painter applies paint organising a system of parallel horizontal stripes on which he acts softly, superposing different layers.
He lives and works in Zaragoza and Madrid.
Lactants // 2004
Paint on canvas
210 x 273 cm
Frederic Amat is a painter whose work defies any single method of categorisation.
Trained as an architect and later as a set designer under Fabià Puigserver, his open conception of painting has led him to use several artistic languages in his work. His painting, which started in the 1960s, creates a dialogue between object elements through matter painting that often remits to symbols and a context of mystery.
As well as his painted production, since the mid-1980s Amat has built sets for dance and theatre performances based on texts by Federico García Lorca, Samuel Beckett, Juan Goytisolo, Bernard-Marie Koltès and Octavio Paz, among others. He has also created sets for opera and oratorio, illustrated works such as the Arabian Nights or the Odyssey and directed films such as Viaje a la luna (1998) or Foc al càntir (2000). His intervention in architectonic spaces, both natural and urban, combine painting, sculpture and ceramics. Amat’s work has been exhibited and published around the world.
He lives and works in Barcelona.
Joan Hernández Pijuan
Pintura de la sèrie negra 5 // 2005
Oil on canvas
200 x 150 cm
Joan Hernández Pijuan
Joan Hernández Pijuan studied at the Escola de la Llotja and the Barcelona School of Fine Arts.
In 1956 he was one of the founders of Sílex, alongside Carles Planell, Eduard Alcoy i Lázaro and Josep Maria Rovira i Requesón. In 1957 he moved to Paris where he studied engraving and lithography at the École des Beaux-Arts. Although his first paintings were close to gestural expressionism, he would soon adapt geometric figuration dominated by flat fields of colour, the presence of solitary objects such as fruit, wine glasses, eggs or scissors, and the inclusion of mathematical elements and references, such as grids or measuring tape.
In the late 1980s he went back to informalism, and the characteristic trait of his work became the exclusive use of black and white. Since his first solo exhibition in Mataró Museum in 1955, he exhibited in many different venues around the world, among which the retrospectives at Tecla Sala Cultural Centre in Hospitalet de Llobregat (1992), Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid (1993). MACBA in Barcelona (2003) and Moscow Museum of Modern Art (2011) stand out. In 2004 he received the National Prize for Graphic Art. His work can be found in the collections of the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, the Guggenheim in New York, the National Gallery in Montreal, the Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and MACBA in Barcelona.
José Manuel Ballester
Interior de Museo 1 // 2006
Acrylic on plywood and glued paper
160 x 258 cm
José Manuel Ballester
José Manuel Ballester is a painter and photographer.
He completed his studies in Fine Arts at Madrid’s Universidad Complutense in 1984. He was centred on painting in his early career and was especially interested in the techniques of the 15th and 18th century Flemish and Italian schools. After 1990 he started to combine painting and photography and, later, focused on architectural photography. He has been awarded the National Prize for Etching (1999), the Villa de Madrid Goya Painting Prize (2006) and the Madrid Photography Prize (2008).
In 2010 he received the National Photography Award for his “outstanding interpretation of architectural space and light, and for his noted contribution to the renewal of photographical techniques”. Some of his most notable exhibitions are Lugares de Paso, Valencia (2003); Setting Out, New York (2003); Habitación 523, Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid (2005); Fervor de Metrópolis, São Paulo state gallery (2010); and Bosques de Luz, in Madrid’s Tabacalera (2013) and Bancaja Foundation in Valencia (2018). Reina Sofia museum, Artium, Patio Herreriano museum, IVAM, Telefónica foundation, Würth Museum (Logroño), Pérez Art Museum and Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (Miami) all own work by Ballester.
He lives and works in Madrid.
Pasaje (Dos Años) // 2007
Mixed technique on wood
210 x 180 cm
Darío Urzay is one of the most important contemporary gestural abstract artists, a trend which was especially strong in Spain in the 1980s and 1990s.
His work stands out for its personal and recognisable poetics, in which order and disorder coexist. Colour also plays a very important role, creating complex hybridisations that, just like a counterpoint, complement each other perfectly. Urzay graduated in Fine Arts from the Universidad del País Vasco, where he became a lecturer between 1983 and 1988. In 1988 he lived in London for a year, as a resident artist at the Delfina Studio Trust, after which he moved to New York. He alternated New York and Bilbao for nine years.
In 1983 he received the Gure Artea painting award and in 2005 he received the National Prize for Graphic Arts and the Excellent Work Award at the Beijing biennale. He has had solo shows at ICO Foundation (Madrid), Galeria Estiarte and Distrito 4 (Madrid), Xippas gallery (Paris), Galería Juan Silió (Santander), Galería Tomás March (Valencia), Galeria Senda (Barcelona) and Christian Dam Gallery (Oslo), among others.
His work can be seen at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid or the Deutsche Bank collection in London.
Sin título // 2008
Mixed technique on wood
200 x 160 cm
(Pontejos, Santander, 1954).
Ricardo Cavada has given his work a personal and recognisable language. This organises his work in a clear and systematic manner, giving space to the lighting play created by superposition.
Throughout his career, Cavada’s painting has been described as expressionistic, gestural, synthetic, abstract, essential, silent, geometric, thoughtful, minimalist and reductionist. All of them are true, as they are all traits that in one way or another have found their own place in Cavada’s painting, along with a very personal use of colour, while the execution of his work is hidden by transparencies that add spontaneity and freshness. Having lived in Madrid, in 1981 he returned to Cantabria. In 1982 he had his first solo exhibition in Castro Urdiales’s Sala Municipal. Since then he has taken part in solo and collective exhibitions in galleries in Santander, Santillana del Mar, San Sebastián, Porto, Barcelona and Valencia, among others.
His work is part of national collections such as La Caixa collection, Coca Cola Foundation, CAC Málaga, Unicaja Foundation and the Santander Museum of Contemporary and Modern Art (MAS). He lives and works in his hometown, Pontejos.
Cut 0707 // 2009
Cut strips of foam
200 x 122 cm
Eduard Arbós centred his work around a reflection on space and representation.
Using architecture as a backdrop and essential related concepts such as building, limiting or inhabiting, his work questions the limits that separate physical and experienced space from mental, imaginary and abstract space. It is a constructive and relational code, which seeks to create a contextual dialogue, a constructive syntax which allows us to analyse forms and represent space through the codes of art. Arbós moves effortlessly between sculpture, painting, models, spatial interventions, photography or even publications. His artistic creations are closely linked to his work as a graphic designer, an activity he has been carrying out in different design and advertising studios until 1990. Since 1990, he has had regular exhibitions in Spain and Portugal. His work features in important private and public collections, among which are La Caixa Contemporary Art Collection, Caja Madrid Collection, CAB Burgos, Col·lecció Chirivella Soriano (Valencia) and Otten Kunst Raum (Austria).
He lives and works in Barcelona and Lisbon.
Exercicis de desaparició // 2010
Paint on cardboard and acrylic glass
152 x 202 cm
(Calella, Barcelona, 1963).
Jordi Alcaraz started his artistic career sculpting and etching, and only later started painting, too.
In time, he developed a unique, unmistakable body of work, which is characterised by the fusion of different techniques and materials, such as water, glass, mirrors, pigments, books or stone. His artistic language is dominated by black and white, and the interrelation of transparency and holes. These allow viewers to glimpse hidden magical spaces that transcend optical exclusivity.
Alcaraz has had many exhibitions, both in Spain and abroad, in countries such as Belgium, Germany, Italy, Canada or Switzerland, among others. One of his most notable recent solo shows was Esborradís, held at Vila Casas-Can Framis foundation in Barcelona in 2017. His works feature in private and public collections, such as Ella Cisneros’s in Miami, Emanuela Barilla’s in Parma, Giorgio Frasca’s in Paris, MACBA’s in Barcelona, the Biedermann Museum in Donaueschingen in Germany or Williams’s in New York.
He lives and works in Calella, near Barcelona.
Imágenes Bastardas (Maurizio Cattelan) // 2010
Engraved plexiglass, dyed with oil paints
148 x 223 cm
Javier Arce graduated in Printing Techniques at Oviedo School of Applied Arts, and in Fine Arts at Universidad del País Vasco.
He later completed a master’s course in sculpture at Wimbledon College of Arts in London. Since 2007 he has received many awards: the Marcelino Botín scholarship, Hangar scholarship, and an honourable mention in the ABC prize and Caja Madrid’s Generation of 2007 award. In 2008 he won the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) grant in New York and the Arte y Derecho scholarship. In 2018 he was awarded BBVA’s Leonardo grant for researchers and creators. Some of his most significant recent exhibitions include Kill lies all, at Santander Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (2018); Primera exposición prestada, at CAB in Burgos (2010); This could be a show of historical importace, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana (2010); and interventions at Espai 13 at the Miró Museum in Barcelona and at Espai Quatre at the Casal Solleric in Mallorca. His work features in many Spanish collections, such as the CAB in Burgos, the MUSAC in León, Caja Madrid foundation, Marcelino Botín foundation or La Caixa Collection of Modern Art.
He lives and works in Santander.
Clasificados. Azul cerúleo // 2012
Acrylic paint and digital printing on canvas
200 x 190 cm
Ignasi Aballí Sanmartí is an artist that is close to conceptual art and since the early 1980s has produced work through different formalisations, techniques and materials.
His work puts forward a conceptual reflexion on representation and the perception of media such as painting, object, photography, fiction, cinema or video. His work invents and reorganises texts, images, materials and processes, confronting presence and absence, the material and immaterial, the visible and invisible, transparency and opacity, appropriation and creation.
Aballí studied Fine Arts at Barcelona University and graduated in 1981. His work has been well received internationally and shown at the Joan Miró foundation (Barcelona), MACBA (Barcelona), Reina Sofía Museum (Madrid), Serralves Museum (Porto), Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Drawing Center (New York), ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), the 2007 Venice Biennale and art galleries and spaces in Madrid, Barcelona, Mexico, Belgium, Brasil and China.
In 2015 he won the Joan Miró prize for his “successful reflection on the limits of painting and representation, his meticulous attention to the meaningful consequences the smallest change can make in a strategy of resignifying, as well as his work mentoring younger artists”.
He lives and works in Barcelona.
Las Lanzas // 2012 – 2013
157 x 214 cm
Jaume Pitarch graduated in fine arts from Chelsea College of Art in London, going on to complete a master’s at London Royal College of Art.
He was initially interested in painting but has gradually shifted his research area towards the uses and abuses of images in the contemporary world. Wholly integrated in the tradition of conceptual Catalan art, Pitarch manipulates objects in a way that reminds us of Joan Brossa and the surrealists and influences our existence. He often works with pre-made or inhabited objects, which he deconstructs and rebuilds to create works with new meanings.
Pitarch has exhibited extensively nationally and internationally. Some of his most important solo exhibitions were at Tecla Sala in L’Hospitalet (2017); àngels barcelona (2013, 2009, 2004, 1997); Galería Fúcares, Madrid (2013, 2008); Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York (2013, 2009, 2006); and Galerija Vartai, Lithuania (2011). His works are part of public and private collections such as MACBA, La Caixa Collection of Contemporary Art, Artium, Bergé Collection, Patio Herreriano Museum and the Royal College of Art in London, among others.
He lives and works in Barcelona.
Ensamblaje en azul // 2013 – 2014
210 x 210 cm
(Torre Alháquime, Cádiz, 1940).
Cristóbal Toral Ruiz is considered one of the most significant exponents of Spanish magical realism in the 20th century.
Known for his precocious talent and unusual ability for drawing, Toral started his training in 1958 in Antequera School of Arts, later continuing in Seville School of Fine Arts and then in San Fernando School of Fine Arts in Madrid, where in 1964 he obtained the national graduation prize. Between 1968 and 1969, he was awarded a grant from the Juan March foundation to continue his studies, first in Spain and later in New York, where he came into contact with American painters’ new realism.
He took part in the Florence biennale twice (1973 and 1977), obtaining a gold medal, and in the São Paulo biennale (1975), obtaining the grand prize, which earnt him an international reputation. He has had important individual exhibitions in cities such as Madrid, New York, Buenos Aires, México, Paris and Tokyo, among others. In 2018, he had one of his biggest retrospectives in Antequera, a town he was linked to for a large part of his life. His work can be found at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in Brussels, Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid and the Guggenheim in New York.
He lives and works in Madrid and Toledo.
Gorka García Herrera
En la penumbra (Elogio de la luz) // 2015
Oil on wood
250 x 187 cm
Gorka García Herrera
(Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz, 1982).
Gorka García Herrera graduated in Fine Arts at Universidad del País Vasco in 2005.
He studied for a year in Ravenna’s Accademia di Belle Arti thanks to an Erasmus grant. After finishing university, he continued his training with Alejandro Quincoces and received grants from the Palacio Quintanar in Segovia and the Antonio Gala Foundation in Córdoba in 2007. He has shown his works both in solo and collective exhibitions. Among his most recent projects, the collective exhibition Ciudades líquidas at Sala Parés in Barcelona (2018) is especially noteworthy.
He lives and works in Madrid.
Florida // 2016
Mixed technique on canvas
250 x 300 cm
(Grado, Asturias, 1986).
Hugo Fontela started his training as a painter at Avilés School of Arts, and later at Oviedo School of Art.
In 2005, aged 18, he moved to New York where he continued his studies at The Art Students League, and set up his studio. He has won the following prizes: 20th BMW Painting Prize (2005); Best Artist at Estampa Graphic Art Fair (2007); and Princess of Girona Prize for the Arts (2014), for his precocious but intense artistic career. Among his most outstanding exhibitions are the solo show at Montserrat Abbey (2011) and Niemeyer by Fontela in the Niemeyer Centre in Avilés (2011), which is the result of two stays in Rio de Janeiro with Oscar Niemeyer. Since 2014, he is represented by Marlborough gallery. His work is part of private and public collections in Spain, such as the Spanish National Library in Madrid; the Zamora Town Council collection; The Cajastur-Liberbank collection in Asturias; the DKV collection in Barcelona; the Prince of Asturias collection in Oviedo; and the Oviedo Museum of Fine Arts, among others.
He lives and works in Manhattan, alternating between his studios in Madrid and New York.
Paisaje uniformado 24 // 2013-2017
(Joaquín Sorolla: Cueva de San Javea).
Print on framed canvas
135 x 196 cm
Mateo Maté is a prominent representative of the conceptual tradition in a Spanish context.
He uses common objects, often linked to his own domestic routine. He is interested in the symbolic potential of cartographic metaphor and creates sculptural and performative spaces that are familiar whilst also being deeply disconcerting. His work asks us to rethink and reinvent the notion of inhabiting, to be capable of going beyond looking and to give back specificness to the spaces and objects that surround us. He often uses irony and seeks the critical involvement of the viewer, as well as allowing chance to be present.
Maté has exhibited extensively in national and international art centres. Among his most recent projects are El eterno retorno, Museo del Romanticismo, Cerralbo, Artes Decorativas, Lázaro Galdiano and National Library, Madrid (2013-2014); Delimitations, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Israel (2012); Área restringida, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico City (2011); and The Real Royal Trip, MoMA PS1, New York (2003). His work features in numerous public and private Spanish and international collections.
He lives and works in Madrid.
N 3 STRANGERS THINGS T1-E3 // 2018
Luces navideñas 38’ 17” Versión
Oil on linen
97 x 195 cm
Guillermo Oyágüez studied Fine Arts at Complutense University in Madrid, where he graduated in 1992.
He has opted for figurative painting from the beginning of his career, evolving from a milder chromatic scale to a much more colourful palette, influenced by his trips to North and Central America, especially to the Mexican island of Holbox. The use of colour is possibly one of the strongest points of his work. He has exhibited internationally in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Miami, London or Singapore, and received prizes such as the best under-25 artist award at the Parque del Retiro open-air painting competition (1994); Taylor foundation prize, Grand Palais, Paris (2008); Madrid Autumn Salon and Madrid City Council Prize (2010), among others.
He lives and works in Madrid.
Untitled // 2019
Mixed technique on linen
179 x 176 cm
Secundino Hernández graduated in fine arts from Madrid’s Complutense University in 2000.
He started exhibiting in 2002 and he has become one of the most international Spanish artists of his generation. His diverse and energetic painting is hard to classify: his work skilfully combines representation and abstraction, line drawing and colour, minimalism and gesturalism. Over the course of his career Hernández has mixed diverse references: a physicality that reminds us of action painting, the shorthand figuration of cartoons, and passages evoking painterly precedents. This stylistic multiplicity stems from Hernández’s detailed and informed knowledge of art history. Hernández has exhibited in museums such as CAC Málaga (2018); Taidehalli, Helsinki (2018); Royal Academy of Arts, London (2017); YUZ Museum, Shanghai (2015); National Sculpture Museum, Valladolid (2013); Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2013); and Patio Herreriano Museum, Valladolid (2013).
His work features in collections such as the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, Auckland Art Gallery in New Zealand, the Patio Herreriano Museum in Valladolid, the Helga de Alvear foundation in Cáceres, the Rubell Family Collection in Miami and Kunsdepot Göschenen in Switzerland.
He lives and works in Berlin and Madrid.
Concierto para el Bioceno #4 // 2020
150 x 220 cm
His work investigates, with a critical attitude, artistic processes, the artist as a manager of ideas, the political role of creators, the meaning of the work of art, the strategies that allow it to be put up, its mechanisms of production, promotion and consumption, the efficacy of the spaces assigned to art, as well as the analysis and experience of those who contemplate and interpret works of art.
His works have been exhibited internationally in places such as ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico; Boston Center for the Arts, Boston (MA), USA; Ayala Museum, Manila, Philippines; the Whitechapel in London; the Royal Academy of Spain in Rome; in Biennials such as Singapore, Havana, the Biennial of the End of the World. His work forms part of collections such as MNCARS, MUSAC, ARTIUM, IVAM, La Caixa, among others. In 2020, in the midst of the pandemic caused by Covid-19, he performed the Concert for the Biocene at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, with worldwide media coverage.
Anima Mundi // 2021
Mixed technique on plastic sheeting.
200 x 200 cm
Marina Vargas is a Spanish multidisciplinary artist. Her artistic language is focused on classical iconography, the sacred and mythology, creating replicas made in large formats through an engaged feminist perspective, which infuses all her work.
She has a degree in Fine Arts (2003) and a Master in Art Production and Research (2011) from the University of Granada. To carry out her projects she spends long periods in her studio, researching the historical subjects she has taken on, with specialised reading involving long hours before coming to the creation of each of her neo-Baroque works. These pieces produce ongoing dialogues related to Judeo-Christian religious idolatries in the West, sexuality, femininity, violence, love and desire.
Her work is charged with a combination of drama, brutality and beauty. Likewise, in these works the revisionist symbolism of contemporary identities holds sway, creating a new model of hybrid, monstrous beauty that has completely forgotten the silence of the classical canon.
Isabel II // 2022
Compressed charcoal on paper
180 x 150 cm
(Berango, Biskaia, 1979).
Kepa Garraza was born in Berango. Biskaia, in 1979. He studied Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country. In 2000 he was awarded an Erasmus scholarship that allowed him to complete his academic training at Bradford Art College (United Kingdom). Thanks to another scholarship, in 2002 he studied at the University of Barcelona, where in 2003 he finished his degree in Fine Art.
He burst onto the national scene in 2004, and since that moment, he has been consecrating his work to a reflection on art and, especially, on the figure of the artist.
His work has mainly focused on realistic painting, images based on photographic archives and other references, such as famous paintings by famous painters. Kepa Garraza’s work reflects on the nature of the images we consume every day. Through fictitious scenarios from which a parallel reality is recreated, it invites the viewer to question issues related to identity and the manipulation of information. His work questions his official discourses and calls into question the processes of institutional legitimation. His ironic and acidic look offers alternatives to the reality we know and offers us a healthy exercise: always doubt the official version.
His influences are very varied. From a formal point of view, the influence of nineteenth-century history painting is clear, with elaborate settings and the presence of numerous characters in the scene. Also current artists such as Cattelan, Vim Delvoye and Luc Tuymans or the 20th century classics Duchamp, Warhol and Bacon.
Meanwhile, the theme develops obsessively, a reflection on art, in its broader concept. It shows the weaknesses that have plagued the artistic system since the previous centuries, such as mercantilism, dependence on galleries, the conception of the artist as a romantic genius, the creation of myths and legends or survival in the future, etc.