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Virtual Exhibition

Isidre Manils


Tot reposa en la superfície
Start 30/04/2017
Exhibited from November 3rd, 2006 to February 10th, 2007 in Fundació Privada Vila Casas

Isidre Manils

Everything rests on the surface

 

Tot reposa en la superfície

“Rere el quadre hi ha la paret” I. Manils

 

The artist’s studio is light, tidy and ruled by meticulousness; the first indication of the presence of art. On the table there is concentrated selection of oil paints signalling austerity and control of the procedure of painting: Cadmium Yellow Medium, Ultramarine, Lac Carmine, Emerald Green, Dioxazine Mauve. An observer will notice that part of I. Manils’ studio is uninhabited, with under lit shady areas which seem to be reserved rooms, not on show.

The observer views, as though it were part of their obligation to interpret, and looks for...


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EXHIBITION PAINTINGS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
Sense títol
Painting
Oil on canvas

We do not know if Isidre Manils has the mind of a filmmaker, concealed behind painting, though we can appreciate the important influence of film on his vision of the world. Film influences the way he perceives images and sequences reality. This artist from Sabadell grew up drawing and watching movies in the theatre his family ran in the town of Mollet. He himself has said that he owes more to Hitchcock than to Picasso. Perhaps what he is referring to is the way his formal aesthetics have more to do with the way images are framed in celluloid. Rather than referring back to the more expressionist paintings of his youth, Manils has seemed to evolve towards even earlier beginnings, to his childhood love of film as a way of comprehending the world.
Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

The superimposition of layer after pictorial layer ends up eliminating any trace of paint, turning the canvas into what could seem like a film still. The work begins to more closely resemble a language out of cinema. This is because the artist is not interested in leaving any trace of materiality visible. Manils’ paintings are like projections of life itself, made up of images he has collected, reproduced and expressed. The bodies seem to be spectres, and the subjects become less important, giving way to different realities. The identity of the subjects represented is only an excuse for coming up with a universal concept.
Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

The austerity of colours enables us to appreciate an artist who has great control over the pictorial process. He reduces the presence of paint and eliminates any trace of it. Manils himself has said that he takes on painting and argues with it, until finally painting talks back, so that it ends up looking like something unpainted. The sponging of the surface blurs the imagery; the results often resemble film stills where the camera had moved. It seems like the artist has his own script, which he lays out like an enigma for the spectator to figure out. Quite often his images allude to love, formalizing kisses and hugs, in what seems to be an attempt to find a connection with both himself and the spectator.
Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Quite often Manils’ paintings are an attempt to compose a universe, a world to be expressed in full. The fragments are left behind, creating relationships with images and scenes that do not seem to have anything in common, as Manils blends them expertly together. His work reveals his character to us, as a person who is introspective and methodical. A simple technology like painting allows him to compose and narrate while working like an artisan. When he speaks of painting, he is not talking about art. In this way, Manils sees himself like one of those early painters who did not think about art but about painting, creators who were fundamentally craftspeople. Isidre Manils’ painting is presented to us under a similar premise, with no other goal than to connect up with whomever is able to read it.
Tú, I, II, III
1997
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Before the emergence of photography and cinema, images and scenes were captured by painters. It is thus logical that early cinema and photography were influenced by a more pictorial way of seeing the world. Isidre Manils proposes just the opposite perspective of that seen in certain contemporary filmmakers, who persist in working with the pictorial aspect of cinema, while he transforms painting by means of a cinematic perspective. In this triptych, we find three representations of the same subject, appearing to either dance or flee from the scene. In this way we perceive a narrative, and an allusion to life and death.
640
2004
Painting
Oil on canvas

640 images make up this film sequence. The work is perceived as a story, rather than as a unique image. It is a sequence of images suggesting movement, action and a storyline, here depicted delicately. In a clear allusion to the cinema and to the materials it uses (such as these semi-transparent rolls of film), Manils’ painting is also conceived with transparency as a key feature. He is obsessed with portraying and narrating by means of light, freezing movement so as to incite a story. More than 600 images end up making a single image, 600 ideas that are part of a single idea.
Déjame pensar...
Painting
Oil on canvas

Manils understands painting as the materiality of light, so that just like what happens in film, light (or its absence) is what makes the image. In film, light is projected onto a screen to make the scene happen. Manils projects his paint and light onto canvas, offering us an apparition. He seeks out references that are compelling; sometimes they are “weak” images, as he calls them, such as newspaper cuttings, noisy images. Other scenes are concrete fragments of his memory, such as the red cinema curtain, the projected kiss and other scenes reinforcing this insistently kinetic approach.
Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

The characters emerge from out of the depths of the scene, lacking clearly distinguishable facial features. There is a sort of characteristic mist infusing many of Manils’ paintings, accenting a sense of atemporality. We do not know if the image belongs to the past or the future, if it is a memory or a projection. An ideal of humanity that fully transcends reality is here represented. The imprecise drafting of the lines adds to this blurred ambience, which seems to have come from out of a dream state, unconcerned with depicting any figure in any recognizable way. The omission of what is concrete becomes a universal value. As the specific identity is lost, a concept speaking to us about all of humanity moves to the fore.
7:23h
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Manils work is grounded in his obsession for light and the way to represent it. With his interest in natural and artificial light, projected or seen through a transparency, the artist makes light into something material. It thus becomes the central feature of his way of perceiving reality. In his many works in series, different states of light are combined to create different realities, which taken together make up something new. Light is what makes it possible for us to perceive matter, and Manils is able to subtly represent in ways where it is partially blocked, making it possible for us to reflect through it. Light becomes synonymous with reality, which, whether true or not, emerges in his canvases.
Sense títol
2005
Painting
Oil on canvas

The full-frontal gaze of the figure seems to emerge from out of the face. The imprecise anatomy shows us a painter seeking to deliberately express thought, giving it an even more absolute value than the truth of the portrayed subject. The different versions of the same portrait could be a way of trying to reach another level, or of constructing something. Silence shrouds the work, which seems to want to combine recollection with reality. Though it is a series of portraits with small variations, it also offers us a final version. The result does not only entail an aesthetic experience, but a reflection on identity itself. The virtually monochrome work features blue eyes and the mauve-brown expression of the mouth.
700
2005
Painting
Oil on canvas

Dylan
2004
Painting
Oil on canvas

Effekten I
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Effekten II
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Sense títol
2006
Painting
Oil on canvas

Sense títol
2004
Painting
Oil on canvas





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