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Virtual Exhibition

Enric Ansesa


Persistències
Start 23/03/2020
Exhibition held from february 10 from june 14, 2020.

Enric Ansesa (Girona, 1945) is one of the most well-known names in modern abstract art. He is from the generation of the second avant-garde, but given that he achieved success later on in his career, compared to his peers, his success straddles his generation and the following one. The art critic Francesc Miralles once described Enric Ansesa as “a concept artist that paints”. His artwork covers different disciplines such as installations, objects and pictorial art.  

This anthological exhibition marks fifty years in Ansesa’s career and covers his evolution, focusing on the most iconographic aspects of a pictorial art that, from the mid-seventies to the present day,...


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EXHIBITION PAINTINGS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Escrits des del silenci
1977
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

The persistences repeat, always waiting to be found, and the exhibition helps us discover them, comparing pieces from different periods yet with very similar formal elements. Take, for instance, the calligraphies, which we see in this frame and which have evolved from a primitive gesture introduced in the sign as a spelling, going beyond the simple letter to become a symbol, up to the last homage to his beloved Joan Miró (artwork number 15) whereby the gesture as become the black dripping.
Cap a dalt i cap a baix
1980
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Aligning to different movements has never bothered Enric Ansesa if by doing so it would help him better express his thoughts. It should not therefore come as a surprise to find references in his works to kinetic art, pop art, abstract expressionism, minimal, povera, conceptual or figurative; so these are resources at the service of an idea to express oneself on a flat surface, almost always black, as if they were the different shades of colour on a palette. His work is a product of its time and, as such, it contains traces of all the artistic trends of the last century, using them whenever he deems it necessary, as long as he needs it.
Constel·lació
2018
Painting
Mixed media on wood

Another of Ansesa’s persistences are the points which were made with acrylic paint in the early eighties will become needles or rubber with the use of the new materials, whilst at the same time preserving their message intact. The point is one of the formal elements that he has worked on most and he has even transformed it into an abstraction with the abstract work itself, a universe in itself. A point that at times arises from the letter/sign/symbol, or at others as an individual piece yet also forming part of a multitude when it is repeated. A point as a metaphysical and spiritual element but also as an image of something concrete, with eyes and a face, names, surnames and numbering. The point as the end yet also as the beginning. The point zero of Malevich as one of his references.
Els dos costats de la idea
2004
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Ansesa’s works of art often blur the lines between painting and sculpture/object. This is one of the characteristics of his artistic works that would accentuate over the years, escaping from the concept of a frame as a window, as a lie, towards the frame as reality, as an object per se, as a tangible element. A canvas is nothing less than a flat surface upon which to act. Francesc Miralles said it clearly years ago: “a conceptual artist that paints”.
Sutural malla
2012
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

That painted line that divided some of his compositions into two in the seventies and eighties evolves towards the suture under the influence of Fontana’s concetti spaziali. Works which by the means of slits and holes made in the canvas sought to escape from the two dimensions of a painting towards the three dimensions of the sculpture yet without distancing itself from the elements inherent to the painting, such as the gesture. “After Fontana” is a very revealing name for these works, which only narrowly missed being exhibited alongside those of the concetti spaziali, a proposal which the Italian art critic Enrico Bellati did not manage to fulfil before passing away.
Doble sutura
2004
Painting
Acrylic and brass on cloth

The very same suture will also repeat or multiply and advance towards forms that remind us of medieval iron locks, transforming the black/dark/smooth surface into imaginary gates that wait to be opened. An open–closed duality which the artist repeats with other parameters throughout his career. Darkness and light, sobriety and emotion, material and drawing, or his favourite, order and chaos. The duality is always present, as a backbone to Ansesa’s work.
Creu ferida
2001
Painting
Mixed media on wood

The last persistence in the exhibition are the crosses. It is an icon that is repeated and worked on with different contemporary artists, but here the crosses are related to Malevich’s Black square on a white background, Black circle and Black cross. They are pieces, that Ansesa himself always states, that time has done him a favour by adding the cracked effect to his painting. And by this he is telling us a lot about how he understands Art. just like that initial black point, the iconography of the cross will also be present since his early days. At first as principle as a symbol of negation, later as a tribute to the ‘artistic father’ Malevich, and often as an icon which is omnipresent in our Christian culture and symbol of spirituality in the West. It is another of the essential components through which we can appreciate his work. Spirituality and reflection.
Els jardins de la memòria estan plens de creus estimades
1993
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Malevich’s suprematism, and artistic theories without any object or figuration represented in the painting, is the other great reference that we find in this exhibition. It is now more than a century since Malevich entered the arena with his suprematist paintings to the zero point, in other words, to the maximum abstraction. An initial point where everything is present, an imaginary place where art, science, spirituality, space and time converge. It is a universe in itself that demands a participation from the observer far greater than a simple aesthetic pleasure gained from observation, given the absence of any element from the painting, it confronts the observer with a reflection, a metaphysical reasoning at a higher level than the simple enjoyment that may arise from just having a more or less beautiful object in front of you. This is where Ansesa’s artwork begins, in the purest abstraction.
Creu (Homenatge a Mark Rothko)
2017
Painting
Oil and rubber on wood

Gran blau
2018
Painting
Acrylic and rubber on wood

For Ansesa, the materials he uses are simply a medium by which to express himself and also in the search for a formal perfection, increasingly attainable, when he presents his proposals to us. Acrylic, resins, materials, needles, objects LEDs, or rubber, as we see in this piece, a large blue polyptych, made with rubber and kinetic in appearance, which invites us to fly by letting ourselves get carried away. "I still recall the first time I saw, in the entrance to a gallery in Barcelona, that first work using rubber, clean, within a simple rectangle that presented it naked, undressed from paint, fantastic in its simplicity and human in its perfection, thanks to the correct choice of the material. It was like that right angle of 89º or 91º which Eduardo Chillida talked about, that appeared to be a right angle but in fact it was not. The same thing happened with that material, that was not straight but appeared to be geometrically perfect. It was another step forward, towards a definitive artwork that never ceases to evolve." Toni Álvarez de Arana
Camps daurats
2017
Painting
Oil and rubber on wood

Homenatge a Oriol Soler Sugranyes
1976
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

We can see a common thread running through the exhibition: a series of small format pieces, like this one, which is repeated. These are sizes that the artist has been using since he began, from which the larger sizes would subsequently emerge. You could think that they are simply preparations or studies – as a classical painter would have done – but that is not the case, because in this case we are talking about completed, cared for and absolutely valid works of art which, once transferred to a large scale, take on an almost totemic form and often blur the lines between painting and sculpture/object.
Aids
1995
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Skyline
1985
Painting
Acrylic on wood

This small format opens the doors for us to an evolution within the defined space that is the canvas, a plane without perspective where everything is simultaneously possible yet also questionable, even the colour black itself, which according to how it accompanies us, ceases to be a colour and becomes a simple surface upon which to work, a support on which the artist feels comfortable to present to others his particular vision of the world that surrounds us. As the artist himself states, “A frame has to contain the whole universe within it”.
Cal·ligrafia per un vell amic
1980
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

A la meva mare
2002
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Línia dentada
2015
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

70 raons
Painting
Mixed media on wood

After these fifty years of continuous work, all these persistences can be found in his artwork. Now, the sutures fill with symbols, the crosses have needles and the stylized black points, made using acrylic paint in the early eighties, have been transformed, as we can see in this piece, into a thickness of matter while the networks of thought were busy capturing calligraphies. It is a collection of elements which make up his world, with a universe in each work, just as he himself likes it.
Memòria
2019
Installation
Leds and video on fibres

In this artwork, once more, a small format shows the new path to explore. Now it will be with the light that emanates from the points on his work thanks to the new technologies. In addition, he hints to us about the next installation that will be presented in the Capella Sant Nicolau (chapel), one the four locations – along with the Museu d’Art, la Casa de Cultura and the Museu d’Història – in his home province Girona that will hold events this year in recognition of his career.
The big Catalan flag
2017
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

A magnificent spread out estelada flag [representing support for independence for Catalonia] closes the exhibition. And this perfectly represents the tumultuous times in our recent lives. We could almost talk about this final piece as a historical document that, without compromise, crude as reality, finishes the tour and returns us back to our daily lives.




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