The artistic proposal of Galería Pelaires for ARCO Madrid 2022 is based on different yet complementary approaches. In general terms, the proposal includes the creative work of three generations of artists, with more paintings than in previous editions. Following the gallery's line, it will feature a selection of artists with whom Pelaires has been collaborating for some time now and who are part of the gallerys programme (Rebecca Horn, Prudencio Irazábal, Mark Francis, Carlos Irijalba, Lucas Simões, Nicholas Woods and Claudia Peña Salinas), but also artists with whom the gallery has only been working since 2021, such as Jacob Hashimoto, Evie O'Connor, Gori Mora and Alain Urrutia.
The new additions include two artists born in the 1990s: Evie O'Connor (1993, Glossop, England), who held her first exhibition in Spain at Pelaires in 2021, and Gori Mora (1992, Majorca), who is set to hold his first solo project at Pelaires in March 2021. Both of them formally revisit the history of Western art in the second half of the 20th century (O'Connor) and that which goes back to the representation of much earlier times —"classical" culture— (Mora). The artists take an introspective approach focused on aspects that have become socially and humanly relevant in recent years: the economic inequality accentuated by Covid-19 from a cynical and "comfortable" point of view (O'Connor) and queer culture/life, digital aesthetics and frustrated contemporary consumerism (Mora).
Oliver Osborne (1985, Edinburgh), from the previous generation, will also be featuring several paintings. His work philosophy is no longer based on nods to the Western art tradition but rather on appropriationism, as some of his pieces with comic strips reveal. Stoic works, varieties of the same icon. Seriality is also reflected in the titles and measurements of his works. Galería Pelaires hosted his first solo exhibition in Spain back in 2021 and is now showing two of his pieces at ARCO, which are conceptually a continuation of the before mentioned project.
From the same generation as Osborne, Alain Urrutia (Bilbao, 1981) is exhibiting at ARCO for the first time with Pelaires, giving continuity to the proposal developed in the summer of 2021 in the gallery's Pelaires Cabinet. Monochrome dreamlike landscapes and still lifes, objects out of context on neutral backgrounds. This time, two large works will be displayed along with two postcard-sized works and a series of more intimate small paintings.
An undefined female figure and a close-up of poppies, two paintings by the American artist Nicholas Woods, made using oil sticks on pastel and urethane backgrounds. Woodstakes an interpretation of conventional portraits that breaks the traditional approach to gender and representation, as well as an interpretation of a landscape with a bucolic appearance that it is not. He will also feature three small watercolours, used as starting material for larger paintings.
Taking a generational leap, two more approaches to painting, which in this case are obsessively abstract: Prudencio Irazábal and Mark Francis. Engrossed in pictorial language, they both represent a link between science and image. Irazábal's last solo exhibition at Pelaires was held at the end of 2020, and the two recent works on display at ARCO are a discursive continuity of that project. The relationship between surface and depth becomes an essential element, and colour —conditioned by the passage of light through the thin layers of paint— offers a unique perceptual experience. Mark Francis's works, on the other hand, arise from his interest in science, but, as he once said, "As I paint, the ideas become less important (scientific ideas) and I get absorbed by the process (...). I am interested in the concepts of order and chaos, which can be seen in paintings that refer to minimalism and abstract expressionism."
The second block is made up of Lucas Simões and Carlos Irijalba. The latter will be showing two recent works from his Hiatus series, aluminium profiles —an intervention on the vector of a production line— as a metaphor for man's impact on nature, time and change in the social fabric. For his part, Simoês —also using industrial materials— reflects on the role of humans and large cities as habitat, with a critical approach to Brutalism. The two works on display at the fair are part of the Brazilian artist's current exhibition at the gallery.
Generationally close, the Mexican Claudia Peña Salinas will be displaying six pieces from her series Chal (2021), sculptures made up of two recurring elements in the artist's work: stone and brass. Each stone she uses refers to various rivers in Mexico; its wear and tear indicates the passage of time and water. Brass is a malleable material, used since ancient times, and allows the artist to weld and create geometric modules. The title of this series is related to the water goddess Chalchiuhtlicue, the main focus of Peña Salinas' research in recent years.
This year, Galería Pelaires is displaying for the first time at ARCO works by the American New York based artist Jacob Hashimoto. Using sculpture, painting and installation, Hashimoto creates complex worlds from a series of modular components: bamboo and paper kites, model boats and even blocks covered in artificial grass. His layered, cumulative compositions reference video games, virtual environments and cosmology, while remaining deeply rooted in art historical traditions, particularly landscape-based abstraction, modernism and craft.
Finally, the proposal includes two essential artists for the gallery: Ana Laura Aláez, whom Galería Pelaires has been representing for the last year, and Rebecca Horn, with whom it has been collaborating for more than 15 years now. Two leading artists of the 20th century, whose work has unquestionable set new standards for other artists. From different angles, they have both anticipated some of the most relevant topics of the 21st century. Aláez will show Uñas rojas (1991-2021) and a completely new work from her series La naturaleza no está de nuestra parte (Nature is not on our side, 2022). Rebecca Horn will feature an emblematic work from 2009. It is worth noting that both artists are set to have solo openings at the gallery in June 2022 as part of the Art Palma Summer event.