Miquel Barceló - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Tuesday, October 9, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    San Sebastian, Kubo Kutxaespacio Del Arte, Miquel Barcelo, 3 May - 17 July 2005

  • Literature

    C. Etxepare Zugasti, R. Argullol, D. Ashton, Miquel Barcelo - Las formas del mundo / Obra reciente, Exhibition Catalogue, Kubo-Artearen Kutxagunea, San Sebastian, 2005, p. 69 (illustrated in colour)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Painting is something that stains: in adolescence I realised that is was something inevitably dirty.” MIQUEL BARCELÓ
    “I like the phenomenology of painting to look like nature.” MIQUEL BARCELÓ

    Miquel Barceló’s work is about materials, about ‘matter’, and Sinonimies, painted in 2004, is a spectacular example of the Mallorcan artist’s technique. The thick impasto and layering of paint are typical of his work and form his key subject. It has been a presence for him since childhood: “The backpack I would take to school was always full of bird dung, of shit collected from everywhere,” he has recalled, “I realized right away that I couldn’t even use a pen without making a mess and getting stains all over me. Real painting is something that stains: in adolescence I realised that it was something inevitably dirty” (Miquel Barceló in an interview with Ramón F. Reboiras, El Independiente, 26 January 1990). Influenced by fellow Catalan artists such as Antoni Tàpies and Joan Miró, Barceló continues to paint in the tradition of Catalan art while making it his own. In his work, Barceló continues the tradition of gestural painting of Art Informel and, like Tàpies in his Great Painting from 1958, uses abundant
    texture to create a vibrant, contemplative composition that references the reality and acts as an object of meditation.

    The physicality of painting allows the viewer to step into the landscape in front of them. The painterly and richly textured Sinonimies depicts fruits abstracted against a white and red background. Such images of the land and the nature and culture of the artist’s homeland have been common in his work since his first trip to Africa in 1988. He found his trip inspirational and the African landscape became a key element and motivation in his work: “[Africa represents] a kind of overall cleansing. The first reaction
    Ialways have when I arrive in Mali is to realise the uselessness of things. One paints out of pure necessity there. In Paris or here [in Mallorca], by always painting in the same studio, you come to forget the essence of the affair. In Mali I get back in touch with the essence of the act of painting”’ (Miquel Barceló, interview with M. F. Sánchez, La Esfera, no. 10, March 1992, in Miquel Barceló: 1987–1997, exh. cat., Museu d’Art Contemporani deBarcelona, 1998, p. 19).

    Barceló employs a physical, impulsive process of painting that involves vigorous brushwork, and the pouring and dripping of paint: “It is the materials that give an image and not the reverse” (Miquel Barceló quoted in Eric Mezil ed., Terramare: Miquel Barceló, Collection Lambert en Avignon, 2010, p.221). Sinonimies is a superb example of this process and of how materials are the very substance and inspiration of Barceló’s work – and how matter is key to creating spiritually profound images.

  • Artist Biography

    Miquel Barceló

    Spanish • 1957

    Drawing inspiration from work by Diego Velázquez and art-making practices of the Avant-garde, Miquel Barceló is perhaps most popular for his hybridization of traditional Spanish figurative aesthetics and thick, abstract brushstrokes. Barceló is inherently drawn to that which is multimedia, having received training in installation work, painting and ceramic. This ability to work across various mediums comes from the artist's hunger for travel and exploring new lands.

    Currently based between Mallorca, Mali and Paris, Barceló incorporates the visual aesthetics of his disparate countries seamlessly into his work. The artist's concern involves how to translate different modes of travel and culture into art-making. One recurring topic in his body of work is the ocean — the ultimate symbol of movement, displacement and the unknown.

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mixed media on canvas
122.5 x 177 cm (48 1/4 x 69 5/8 in)
Signed, titled and dated ‘Barceló, Sinonimies, 3.VII.04’ on the reverse.

£200,000 - 300,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

10 October 2012