Paper Valencia | Opuestos Complementarios

25.05.2023 – 28.05.2023

At PAPER Valencia, Jorge López Galería presented the project “Opuestos complementarios” (Complementary Opposites) with two artists, Manuel Vilariño (A Coruña 1952), winner of the National Fine Arts Prize in Photography and representative of Spain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, and Matías Ercole (Buenos Aires). Aires 1987) a young Argentine artist awarded the New Talents Award at Drawing Room Lisboa and selected by Chus Martínez to participate in ARCO Lisboa 2022 in a single Project.
The two artists share an exploration of nature and its representation through drawing. Although their approaches are different, they both have a relationship with light and paper.
Vilariño has been influenced by the golden age of Spanish art and the tenebrists, using only candles, a dim light, to illuminate the motifs of his works. Thus he manages to create extreme contrasts between lights and shadows, a dramatic and theatrical effect in the works of art that impact the environments and moods of the observer. The motifs vary from still lifes to desert landscapes precisely related to the poetic work of the same author. In his still lifes, Vilariño uses light in a very effective way to highlight the beauty and texture of objects, creating a sensation of realism and giving the photography "the magnificence of baroque paintings", the detail and the drawn atmosphere. Through the light in his images he transports the viewer to a world of poetry and natural beauty.
On the other hand, Ercole focuses on investigating how light has been presented in the history of art and removing shadows to highlight the light. He uses the paper as skin, a surface to tear at, making incisions and gently eroding the layers to reveal the interior. Ercole has effectively and skillfully developed sgraffito techniques to search for light.
Through small cracks, he manages to go from black or darkness to color or light, transporting us to scenarios that are reminiscent of theatrical and mythical lighting, with a great emotional and symbolic charge.
Both artists share space in PAPER in a poetic inquiry linked to the landscape and the history of art, a passion forged by light and poetry under the same plane: the present of the representation and its reminiscences, the evidence of what is represented and the implication (in the manner of a sign) of an absence. Nature and its evocation on paper, an alchemy of the artist and the material, a work that becomes a spiritual allegory.

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