An Absolute Reality, Group Show
18 June – 30 July 2021, Tuesday to Friday
(THE GREAT MYSTERY)
Reading the First Manifesto of Surrealism (1924), when André Breton refers to the possibility of a methodical examination of dreams through complete remembrance of memory, he points out that “one can expect the mysteries that do not exist to disappear and give place to the Great Mystery. I firmly believe in the future fusion of those two seemingly contradictory states: dream and reality, in a kind of absolute reality, of surrealism.” This absolute reality is also a surrealism or surreality where both planes, wakefulness and dream, reality and desire, add up and coexist – rather than being confused – in a great harmonic Mystery beyond the parenthesis of the dream at night. Breton goes on to say that when the poet Saint-Pol-Roux went to sleep, the service hung on the door of his house in Camaret a sign that read: POET AT WORK.
The idea of that absolute reality that works between day and night, like a Great Mystery that unravels the artist — who is always working — links the creative work with a certain coming and going between those two worlds that Surrealism tried to reconcile in the modern sense a century ago. In fact, the influence of this surrealist look in contemporary painting and, especially, in what corresponds to figurative trends, is a fundamental constant in its pictorial development since the nineties (here in Valencia, very metaphysical and postmodern) and especially in the last post-Internet decade, when artists insist on playing with the plastic overexposure of everything above and below the possible horizon of reality in the construction of the image, even in the digital environment. And that absolute reality, we say, manifesting itself as a continuum that becomes visible in the dream, mixes with what is real and lets itself appear as a ghost, as an image — that is what it means to imagine — to be fixed on paper, on the canvas, and explain or give meaning to the world and, if anything, to the Great Mystery.
Thus, Juan Cuéllar presents a canvas full of irony with one of his possible surreal encounters (always) “on the dissection table”: an announcement of taxidermy, a dog and some Nazarenes in the snow. For his part, Juan de Morenilla insists from the irony and a certain black humor on a look at the reality that connects us with pop culture and the daily strangeness of each day connected with the surrealism of cartoons. The still lives of the German artist Mona Broschar take us to another colorful world, which stand out for the strength of their compositions starring sweets and meringues with unexpected appearances and encounters. Also in reference to the children’s world, the Indonesian Roby Dwi Antono works in somewhat sinister appearances in environments in which disturbing characters (via Yoshitomo Nara and Mark Ryden) exhibit macabre sophistication.
The British Johnny Izatt-Lowry brings to his elegant and subtle painting on crepe, made with layers, a mysterious silence and that dreamy appearance of the images that are revealed in the details of the clothes for example. In another line, Sally Kindberg, a Swede based in London, plays in a sort of low-pop with the flatness and absurdity of beauty, on her way almost to abstraction through recognizable stylized shapes. Finally, the Belgian Laurens Legiers presents his mussels and geometries of exquisite technical workmanship, with such a well-kept surface, where natural elements observed, studied and forgotten are recreated synthetically in their details.