Nacho Criado “Dieci anni dopo”

“I consider it fundamental to reclaim great figures of art, to revalue and give them the importance they deserve. I am proud to present this exhibition and to recall Nacho Criado as the great artist he was, one of the most significant to understand the art of the second half of the 20th century”

Álvaro Alcázar Gamarra

On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of the artist Nacho Criado, Alvaro Alcázar Gallery presents a tribute exhibition, with a review of sixteen works produced between 1970 and 2008. This exhibition seeks to reflect the dynamics in the creation of his most emblematic works during the period that he worked with Carmen Gamarra and later with Álvaro Alcázar in different spaces.

Taken together, the exhibition shows Criado’s inspiration in international art trends such as minimalism, conceptual art and arte povera. However, Nacho Criado did not cling to a particular style but opened up instead his artistic boundaries. In fact, although he was considered one of the first proponents of conceptual art in Spain, he refused to declare himself a pioneer artist since his works, although complex and difficult, according to him, were developed from traditional works.

The exhibition route reveals a journey through the artist’s years of creation and is physically supported by two works: The Alpine Wound, representing a camel located in a superfluous, disoriented and lost environment and, despite its effort, weak and agonising, ends up dying in the attempt to reach the Mother Mountain. This sculpture is a metaphor of the camel’s journey. Both works lead us through space and despite being separated, they end up becoming, magically, just one.

Between these two works we find also on display monumental sculpture such as Desprendimiento de Cúpula, a work that shows the artist’s fascination with the concept of architecture as a failure of spaces, and in which Criado denotes the fragility of any conceptual construction.

It is also worth to highlight other works from different remarkable series within his artistic career, such as Homenaje a  Rothko, which represents the crisis of the traditional object. In this work the artist takes up again his sculptural facet throughout simple cardboard cut-outs, converting the hollow and the slight marks of colour into an evocation of the old materiality.

The series A partir de Matthias Grünewald as well as the monumental installation of the same title, along with the work on paper entitled A partir de Matthias Grünewald II, announce the characteristic sense of conceptual representation through the lightness of Nacho Criado’s geometric figures. The lines are cornered and tortured by their own geometry and the limit of the painting itself. The bodies, which in the original work are shown explicitly tortured, have disappeared, only remains the oblivion of their figures enclosed in transversal lines. 

He also produced on paper works as Domus Omnia or Gran Paisaje Convulso, which reflects an internal conversation about oneself own path, which ends up lining up and creating a mountainous landscape. The geographical reconstruction of what was experienced is ed in a fine and trembling layout with ups and downs

Finally, we would like to emphasize Dieci Anni dopo, which gives the name to the exhibition and reflects a more intimate aspect of Nacho Criado.