Néstor Sanmiguel Diest. La peripecia del autómata

From: Friday, 24 June 2022

To: Tuesday, 01 November 2022

This exhibition dedicated to the work of Néstor Sanmiguel Diest (Zaragoza, 1949) covers his production from the late 1980s to the present day. Far from being organized along the lines of an ordinary retrospective, it shows series of works executed at different moments of his career, forming an itinerary that draws us into the practice of this self-described “studio artist”.

From the first years of his activity in connection with the foundation of artistic collectives like A Ua Crag (1985-1996) and Segundo Partido de la Montaña (1987- 1988), Sanmiguel Diest has proved a methodical and prolific artist who uninterruptedly devises systems, rules, and protocols that he applies to the construction of his pieces. His enormous oeuvre, made up mainly of drawings and paintings, forms a singular catalogue that blurs the limits between image and text, like a palimpsest which simultaneously conceals and reveals a succession of narratives that engage with the viewer.

Remote from any convention, his work falls into a field that includes frequent references to the history of art, literature, and music, as well as the ordinary and the everyday, through the incorporation in his pieces of documents, invoices, fragments of texts, notes, or pages from newspapers. As others had done before him, Sanmiguel Diest operates like a robber of quotations who mechanically reproduces what is written and opposes it to the discipline of history. He reveals himself as the “pearl hunter” who gives one of his works its title, and is an erroneous appropriation of the name of “pearl fisherman” bestowed by Hannah Arendt on another impassioned collector of the last century, Walter Benjamin.

Such a working method functions by accumulation and extends beyond the limits of the work in the form of word games and chains of aphorisms that give the pieces their titles.

La peripecia del autómata (The Vicissitudes of the Automaton) is a curatorial project spread over two simultaneous exhibitions, one in Madrid at the Palacio de Velázquez, a venue of the Museo Reina Sofía, and the other in Vitoria-Gasteiz, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country, Artium Museoa.


Catalogue Brochure List of works

Image Gallery

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