26 January – march 2023
On January 26th, Gallery Alvaro Alcázar will present a solo show dedicated to the British artist David Nash (b. 1945, UK), an exhibition that addresses the most recent production of this renowned artist based in Wales. The show presents different disciplines, highlighting the sculptural work, both in wood and in bronze and iron, as well as drawing on paper. The 24 works presented here, in small and large formats, are arranged inside the gallery in an apparently chaotic way that inevitably reminds us of a natural forest.
David Nash, with a career spanning over 40 years, is considered one of the main representatives of British Land Art. Wood; in particular the tree itself, is his main working material. For Nash, using the tree entails enormous symbolism. Due to its density, growth and proliferation, the tree finds a parallel with life itself, and its structure, made up of roots, trunk and branches, allude to three worlds; the subterranean, the terrestrial and the celestial. Nash investigates the morphology of the tree, the natural characteristics of its wood, as well as the mutations produced by the hand of man. To this end, the artist has been trained as a tree expert, studying the morphology of each species he works with, mainly redwoods, oaks, beech wood or maple wood. The wooden works presented here give a good example of this and, in fact, they only come from wood from trees that have fallen naturally or have been felled due to age or disease. From these felled trees emerge forms such as eggs, (Opened Scaled Egg), columns (Squark Column or Lined Beach Column), domes, spheres and pyramids (Flare), some of his most characteristic forms.
In addition to wood, the exhibition presents half a dozen sculptures in bronze, a material that Nash began to work with in the 1990s and whose treatment again alludes to wood, as in King and Queen III, Red Column and Black Cairn. The use of this material was motivated by the artist’s desire to preserve forms for posterity without interfering with the physical condition of the original wooden objects. Nash also appreciates the material’s capacity for transformation when heated and melted. Iron, also present in this exhibition, is formed by one of nature’s most elemental processes and is extracted at high temperatures, something which is highly appreciated by the artist.
Furthermore, charcoal has played an important role in Nash’s artistic work since the early 1980s, whether in wooden pieces that have been charred or in bronze sculptures that allude to the wooden ones, or, as in this case, in the drawings that accompany the sculptures. Drawing has always been an important element in David Nash’s production and is also used to document his entire creative process. His technique consists of applying the raw pigment directly to the paper, incorporating halos of colour around the main form. Although charcoal black predominates, he sometimes incorporates other tones from nature, which allude, for example, to the changing colour of oak leaves depending on the month or the season of the year, as in Oak Leaves Through May, where he goes from orange to yellow to bright green.
This exhibition is a unique opportunity to approach the work of an international artist of such importance, whose work has not been exhibited monographically in our country for more than half a decade and where the monumentality of the works on display will leave no one indifferent.