Nomadic colours. Menchu Lamas

From: Monday, 22 October 2018

To: Sunday, 20 January 2019

Place: North Gallery

Current painting by Menchu Lamas, one of the most outstanding artists of Spanish painting since the 80s

The exhibition Nomadic Colours brings us closer to the current painting by Menchu Lamas, one of the most outstanding artists of Spanish painting since the 80s. She was selected in the most important national panoramas of those moments: 26 pintores / 13 críticos, Salón de los 16, En el centro, Preliminar, as well as in various exhibitions abroad: Bienal of Sao Paulo, Five Spanish Artists in New York (in the Artists Space), Currents in the ICA of Boston, Spansk Egen-Art in museums of Scandinavian countries and Spanisches Kaleidoskop, which was held in museums in Germany and Switzerland. From Galicia, she was a founding member of Atlántica, which marked the irruption of the new generation and the aesthetic renovation. The Atlanticism configured an aesthetic movement and acted as a revulsive.

From the very beginning, her pictorial proposal defined its own coordinates, a vibrant symbolic universe that merges abstract and figurative resources in a very personal way. She works in large formats where her colour range structure effective compositions endowed with great colouring.

Nomadic colours proposes an intense tour of the key works of the current stage, a presentation that puts us in front of emblematic pieces. The colour emerges in its purest state. A geometric and gestural drive expresses feelings and emotions.

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The huge multicolour puzzle located in the first room (which gives its name to the exhibition) occupies an angle 3 metres high by almost 20 metres long. It is a manifesto in itself, a declaration of intentions sustained by the force of the stroke, the compositional energy, the subtlety to use visual resources and bold juxtapositions. A dense iconographic inventory of abstract forms unfolds in circles, waves, degradations, screens, labyrinths, crossed lines, volutes, silhouettes, schemes, membranes, architectural evocations ... A prolonged sequence in which an active geometry postulates a colour palette that defines a purview of irradiation. An atmosphere of chromatic fullness. The colour as habitat.

In front of the great piece Nomadic colours is Laberinto rojo, a 250x400 cm diptych, vibrant enigma where human being and random geometry are intertwined in a warp that fuses the labyrinth structure with an expansive tangle that acts as an organic means.

At times, the "chromatic passion" was spoken of as the key to the work of Menchu Lamas. The colour contrast defines a purview of irradiation, the chromatic vitality constructs a habitat. The most recent cycle of her work, Membranas and Esferas, expresses chromatic fullness. An adventure of colour in freedom, a symbolic abstraction where the colour chart in its gradations forms walls of immersion, postulating a visual vertigo in incandescent rooms.

The optical textures, the dynamism of the asymmetries, the gestural paths in undulations and sweeps, the planes where a tactile feeling beats. Prolongations of the gesture, the line links fluid silhouettes and contours. Alchemy of pictorial fusion. Forms with vital spontaneity seem to germinate at times in her works. Oscillations, perceptive swing, alliance of look and touch. Hands posed at the crossroads of colour. Each colour has multiple cultural resonances. An expansive sensory consciousness that seeks a bodily immersion. Colour and desire merge.

Decisive in the exhibition is the presence of the black colour, which will dialogue with the polychrome exuberance in other works. Solemn black wall that acts as a closing of the representation in Paseantes and that dyes Bosque with a twilight tone. Rotund black lines and wide dark territories. Spaces of light absorption, of virtual perceptive negation in front of the plural climax of hyperchromatism. An immersion in the night, in an area of darkness where the plays of shadows are summoned. Animals of imagination, fingers intertwined in the magic of pictorial representation.

In a room, the austere frontality of Frontera (300x400 cm) coexists with Solpor (250x500 cm). Two expressive works of large format: one elaborated with cold tonalities, and the second one with the warm shades of the sunset.

The adjacent room painted in black houses the series Juego de sombras, by way of Chinese projections in the side room. The spectator enters the darkness of a room in shadows, living with the silhouettes of large interwoven hands, the profile of a bird, the outline of a dog or some other animal.
Pirámides (300x800 cm) and the so-called Paseantes (300x600 cm) are two panoramic pieces of large dimensions where the black colour, which occupies large surfaces, has the leading role. These two solemn and mysterious proposals have the visual counterpoint of Recorrido de la mirada: a polychrome set of paintings assembled between wall and floor.

The next hall is occupied by Membranas and Esferas works from her later painting. Pieces of 3x3 metres that establish a chromatic drive of great exuberance. The colour card seems to burst here in a dimension of intensity. We witness a chromatic explosion that will meet the counterpoint of Bosque (300x675 cm) a panoramic and almost nocturnal presence (through an efficient synthesis). Horizontal stripes of warm colours in gradation set tonalities of distance. The stylized graphisms of almost transparent trees stand vertical in the foreground.

The exhibition is completed with interventions in situ: Sueños geométricos, which displays in the space a juxtaposition of irregular geometric shapes and discontinuous textures. A nearby space houses another intervention (horizontal in this case) entitled Laboratorio de sombras with drawings integrated in a rhythmic black and white texture, painted directly on the wall.

Smaller rooms host such significant pieces as: Mirada, Sirena, Soplo, Libro, Cariátida, Canoa or Círculo vermello ... Works very representative of the peculiar symbolic vocabulary of the Galician artist, creator of a personal painting of great emblematic strength. Her proposal has always been characterized by maintaining a peculiar dialectic between abstraction and figuration, chromatic energy and compositional vigour.

Brochure of the exhibition  Catalogue of the exhibition 

View the complete version of this video 

The exhibition is a production of Artium and has been curated by the critic Luis Francisco Pérez.

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