BEHIND THE PORTRAIT

Group show

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  • Chema Madoz, Yo, 2003
  • George Condo, Untitled, 1993
  • Jean Baptiste Huynh, Nu, 2005
  • Joan Brossa, El País, 1988
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz
  • Jean Baptiste Huynh
  • Sylvie Fleury
  • Ruud van Hempel
  • Pierre Gonnord
  • Carmela García
  • Willy Verigner
  • KimikoYoshida
  • Dany Virgili, Porque Quiso y No Pudo, 2009
  • José Ángel Toirac
  • José Ángel Toirac
  • José Ángel Toirac
  • Los Carpinteros
  • Gregori Maiofis
  • Liu Xiaofang
  • Pieter Hugo
  • Eduardo Arroyo. Clásico Moderno, 1991

Release

Behind, Before and Around Portraiture

Portraiture, like landscape, was much more than a traditional genre, a type of painting that was codified and fixed, once and for all. This explains why it didn't disappear following the success of the avant-garde isms; why in the twenty-first century it is still around, transfigured and still renewing itself many years after the emergence of the trends that broke away from the pre-modern world that, unfortunately, still prevails and tyrannically rules over a number of areas.

Behind the Portrait is a show that alludes to what lies beyond a portrait, but also to what precedes and surrounds it. It proposes an extended and updated notion of the genre, i.e., of what the term can end up meaning, and of its possible means and modes of representation in an age when digital technology coexists with pencil and paper.

Although the historical avant-garde movements are now quite remote, I feel that the diversity of means and especially of modes we come across in this exhibition is related to a line of research explored by Dada and Surrealism, two libertarian and poetic movements.

A puddle of spilt petrol, a fallen torch, a light transformed into a stain can today be considered portraits, of a person or of a country. In this exhibition presented by Tatiana Kourochkina, the small-scale installation with an oil lamp and a bronze puddle by Los Carpinteros can be interpreted as a portrait of the outdated revolutionary dream and of the present situation in Cuba, a country that escaped one empire to become locked inside another.

The show includes works made in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century, by artists from different countries and generations selected by the gallery, some of whom enjoy great international acclaim. Although the painting by Yayoi Kusama depicts a pumpkin, the picture is rightly considered a self-portrait for it represents the repetitive and expansive compulsion of this unique Japanese artist.

In the ancient world, being the sitter in a portrait implied a yearning to appear and to last. In today's world, where awareness of fragmentariness and precariousness has grown, we have portraits of disappearances. Human beings disappear, compellingly replaced by their clothes and jewels, their tools, prostheses and dumps; their selfish image, their unreality, their artifice are set against others.

In the photograph by Chema Madoz the ego is a catapult bearing a propelling letter O. In the work by Silvie Fleury, object (hair curlers) replaces subject (the absent face). The photographic woman composed by Ruud van Empel also has an unreal, artificial air about her, while the faces photographed by Kimiko Yoshida disappear (in this portrait, under heavy jewellery) and only exist as a fantasy of otherness.

In today's post-natural and therefore strange world, the most meaningful feature of a portrait may be not the sitter but their circumstances. Such is the case in the photograph by Pieter Hugo, the setting of which is a toxic technological dump: poison from the First World displaced in Africa.

In the portrait painted by George Condo the emperor is clothed, not naked. The problem lies in the fact that his face is featureless and therefore seems unreal—stripped of his clothes, he is nothing.

Text by Juan Bufill

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Artists pages

Group show

Past Exhibitions 2012 Top top

  • 21/10/2011
    NON SIAMO ANCORA STATI SALVATI
    Pietro Ruffo

    Tatiana Kourochkina Gallery, in collaboration with Paolo Maistri, presents the first solo show in Spain of Pietro…
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  • 21/06/2012
    THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE INVISIBLE
    Andrea Galvani William Lamson

    The Architecture of the Invisible brings together a set of photographic and audiovisual works…
    Read ›

  • 19/04/2012
    UN VOYAGE IMMOBILE
    Helene Gerster

    Between mind and city

    Cross the threshold into the unexpected. Beyond this point lies…
    Read ›

  • 19/01/2012
    KAC: ALBA & EDUNIA
    Eduardo Kac

    Tatiana Kourochkina Art Gallery is proud to present Quo Artis Foundation, created by the gallery to promote…
    Read ›

  • 05/10/2012
    BEHIND THE PORTRAIT
    Group show

    Behind, Before and Around Portraiture

    Portraiture, like landscape, was much more than a traditional…
    Read ›

Past Exhibitions 2011 Top top

  • 3/12/2010
    CONTIGUITY
    Santiago Rogado

    The work of Giacomo Santiago Rogado, eminently pictorial, consists of a study of contrasts; contrasts between the… Read ›

  • 28/04/2011
    NO ONE WANTS TO BE PART OF A FICTION, AND EVEN LESS SO IF THAT FICTION IS REAL
    Andrea Nacach

    "No one wants to be part of a fiction, and even less so if that fiction is… Read ›

  • 10/06/2011
    CTRL ALT HOME
    Hugo Orlandini

    Tatiana Kourochkina Art Gallery presents the latest works by Hugo Orlandini (1974), a Cuban artist based in… Read ›

Past Exhibitions 2010 Top top

  • 9/09/2010
    SCALE FEELING
    Vitaly Pushnitsky

    Tatiana Kourochkina Art Gallery presents the work of Vitaly Pushnitsky, a Russian artist who lives in St.…
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  • 3/06/2010
    PLAYING IN TIME OF CRISIS

    Derivart were born in 2004 in Barcelona, with the interest in exploring the intersection between…
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  • 12/05/2010
    S.A.D. CO THE BLIND CASTLE
    Tomás Ochoa

    With the exhibition S.A.D. Co The Blind Castle by Tomás Ochoa, Tatiana Kourochkina Art Gallery…
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  • 09/04/2010
    DES·UBICADOS
    Maider López Miguel Trillo Evru

    Tatiana Kourochkina Art Gallery presents Des·ubicados (Out of place) , show of photography, drawing, sculpture and video. In this selection…
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