Juncal Ballestín. Life as Exercise

A Meret, 1996. Juncal Ballestín Image: 'A Meret', 1996. Juncal Ballestín

From: Friday, 29 January 2021

To: Sunday, 23 May 2021

«Away from the common art scene, Juncal Ballestín funded her work on slowness and contemplation».

Trained at what was then known as the Higher School of Fine Arts in Bilbao, Juncal Ballestín (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1953-2015) produced work defined by the variety of materials, media and techniques she used: painting, drawing, installation, video, graphic work, etc. All of these were structured into series, prominent among which for its essence and duration is that dedicated to painting entitled Pintura. Apología, 1975-2013 (Painting. Apology, 1975-2013). Reluctant to use words as away of “understanding” the work of art, she left some notes in the catalogue of the exhibition at Sala Amárica – 1993, without a curatorial text – about needs, sensations and materials as an approach to her work:
"I have too much respect for everyone’s time. I have always appreciated the concise clarity of words. I prefer to leave the image wide and free".

"I only consider it necessary to explain the how and why of the process that leads to my works, to introduce my variety of series with simple insights".

"Some of the objects and materials come to me by chance, brought in by inclement weather (a strong wind blowing down a tree and, with it, the ivy that embraces it falls). Others because of work pertaining to the fields, such as pruning or seeking garden “tutors”. Or perhaps they appear because of the discovery of several friends who, attuned to my way of working, rescue or inform me of the existence of the most varied elements. (…)"

"This fortuitous manner of arriving at materials and the desire to work them are not always direct, rapid phenomena, but rather that these objects most of the time wait for years to be rediscovered in storage. It is then that they are included in one or another of an already planned series of paintings"

Measured work that is far removed from the dizzying forms and rhythms of production imposed in the making of the present, revealing a kind of “asceticism” in her long career: “Outside the usual art circuits, Juncal Ballestín founds her work on slowness and contemplation. As an artist interested in processes, she (ex)poses the aesthetic experience and confronts it with things as they are, making this ‘being’ a ‘becoming’: I am here now”, indicated a text produced on the occasion of one of her last solo exhibitions at the Trayecto art gallery.

Her first solo exhibitions at Eder Arte in Vitoria-Gasteiz (1978), Rekalde in Bilbao (1979) and Sala Araba (1980) were outstanding, as were those she later staged at Sala Amárica (1993), CM2 (1996), Trayecto (1998, 2005 and 2008) and Montehermoso Cultural Centre (2008). Her work can be found in the collections of Artium Museum, Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council, Fundación Vital and Spain’s National Library, among other institutions.

Curator: Fernando Illana


Encounters focusing on Juncal Ballestín

Research and Documentation Centre for Basque Women Artists  Juncal Ballestín archive 

Opening: Friday 29 January

Presentation by Fernando Illana: Auditorium, 6.30 pm
The exhibition gallery will be open from 12 pm to 9 pm.
The capacity of Artium Museum will be limited according to the indications of official bodies. 
This project has been made possible thanks to the collaboration of Anesvad.

Logotipo ANESVAD50 H LINE Positivo CAS Web                                           Artium bn web

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