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Painted Architectures. Architectures in the Spanish painting of the XXI century

Meinblau Projektraum. Berlín. Octuber-November, 2017.

Curators: Juan Cuéllar y Roberto Mollá. Organizes: MECD. Secretaría de Estado de Cultura. Dirección General de Industrias Culturales y del Libro. Subdirección General de Cooperación y Promoción Internacional de la Cultura. Collaborate: Instituto Cervantes. Embajada de España en Alemania


Architects paint and painters build. They follow the same path and look at each other, like runners, always out of the corner of their eye. As a background or as a figure, as a context or as a symbolic element, architecture has transformed and articulated the pictorial space from Giotto to our days. A space that is neither realistic nor abstract, but rather an alternative place where mental images are assembled, a scenario in which, as Magritte said, the intelligence of accuracy does not prevent the pleasure of inaccuracy.

On the occasion of the exhibition is published Painted Architectures. A book that shows the work of painters belonging to or related to the Postconceptual Figuration and analyzes the significant role that has represented the architectural and geometric image in his work. They are painters who carry in their genes the lesson of the metaphysical piazza, who construct their poetics and draw their profile through the vision of their cities, real or imagined trips and the relationship of the individual with his urban environment. Painters who feel close to the avant-garde utopias of the rationalism of the early twentieth century and find in the drawing board of the architect, in their scalers and in their isometries the perfect mold in which to accommodate their images. Painters architects who trace the city, turn the boulevard into its archaeological site, open houses and, as an irrepressible impulse, draw their ideal houses.

The book and the exhibition Arquitecturas pintadas presents works by
: Juan Cuéllar / Paco De la Torre / Dis Berlin / Gonzalo Elvira / Damián Flores / Marcelo Fuentes / Carlos García Alix / Elena Goñi / Fernando Martín Godoy / Ángel Mateo Charris / Joël Mestre / Roberto Mollá / Guillermo Peñalver / Chema Peralta / Jorge Tarazona / Teresa Tomás / Nelo Vinuesa /


Ángel Mateo Charris. La casa de la cascada. 2017.

Teresa Tomás. 
Bangla en Reloj Eterno. 2016.

Gonzalo Elvira. WG. 2017.

Roberto Mollá. Apartamentos Harumi. 2017


“There are numerous Spanish artists, who, in contrast with the perfectly institutionalized and assimilated contemporary style, have maintained their commitment to painting and the canvass, in spite of the boredom of having done this so many times, they claim the pictorial surface as a space of absolute freedom, as a machine to think about the ideal and as a medium absolutely adapted to execute what they have conceived in their independence. And many of them, especially those who belong to Postconceptual Figuration or close to this movement, habitually use the painting of architectures as the framework, object or scenario of their ideas. The artists selected in this exhibition build their poetic vision and sketch its profile through the vision of their cities, real or imagined, and the relation of the individual with their urban environment. In the architect’s drawing desk, the draftsman’s scale and their isometrics, they have found the perfect mold to accommodate their images. Like the alien hunter, they search the city and transform the boulevard into their archaeological site; they invade homes and seek traces of other forms of life, and with an irresistible impulse, they draw their ideal houses”.

From “The Inspired House” of Juan Cuéllar and Roberto Mollá.


Juan Cuéllar. Hohl. 2017

Paco de la Torre. Estancia en Bauhaus. 2017.

Carlos García-Alix. Planetario. 2003.

Dis Berlin. Turno de noche. 2010.

Joël Mestre. Campamento Gold. 2004.


Towards the beginning of the Nineties decade in the last century, certain young or very young Spanish painters decided to disregard the exclusive pretension of institutionality which had been attributed at that time, as privileged signs of the time, conceptual trends and political art, more or less resented after the pictorial resurgence of the Eighties decade which had been highly celebrated by painters and art lovers (yes, painting like bull-fighting or singing is an art for the spectators, for the judgement of its touch, skill and nuance, in the end, to appreciate what in specific Southern environments is still called “to possess an art”, rather than its consideration as a social or historical document). However twenty-five years ago, this issue was still argued and debated in cultural and specifically artistic arenas; today, this is no longer the case. Today in the artistic field, we have reached the point of “Lenin’s cook”, as if everything were debated, argued and concluded and the Art —constituted into an “official sector” in a trade union or industrial way, hence, the capital letter which corresponds to it — in the end had a unique voice and indeed, any “cook”, as the former leader of the Dada movement stated about the command of the State, could very well supervise a museum or contemporary art centre, for the simple reason that everything seems to be be equally decided and expressed in a natural and irrefutable legality. Whoever supervises the Centre has an easier job than ever: just follow the instructions and make sure to properly read the game of passwords. How else can we explain the monotonous homogeneity of the programs, awards and selections of what deserve or do not deserve to be preserved in the cultural archive? “

From “A spanish neighborhood” of Enrique Andrés Ruiz.


Jorge Tarazona. Casa Tobogán. 2017.

Damián Flores. Kikumbera. 2012

Elena Goñi. Frontón. 2017

Fernando Martín Godoy. Construcción. 2017.

Nelo Vinuesa. Treasure Island. 2014 / 2017.

Marcelo Fuentes. Carbón Nº 50.

Guillermo Peñalver. Los restos. 2016

Chema Perlata. Tres nubes. 2016

"When contemplating the worlds built by these artists, the leading role acquired by the constructions linked to the Modern Movement are significant. A circumstance which we should not ignore, since we suspect that it could provide keys to understand the role of architecture in this painting. As we have mentioned above, the necessity to reformulate the pictorial space has caused the development of transversal strategies in which different mediums are involved. And possibly, it is in this architecture where a good number of these keys will be found. On the one hand, the evocation of a certain, to quote Josep Renau, nostalgia of the future, and on the other hand, new inclusion strategies of the abstract principles of figurative art.
The Rationalist architectures would represent, in a certain sense, the remains of a revolution led by an army of avant-garde heroes commanded by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. A connotative meaning which would be imprinted on these painted architectures, since when recreating the rationalist buildings, they would represent the failure of the utopia planned at the beginning of the 20th Century, when the creators thought that art could guide humanity towards a more brilliant future".
From “Bau Haus” of Paco de la Torre.


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