Articles and Features

Apertura 2020. Highlights of Madrid Gallery Weekend

APERTURA madrid gallery weekend

By Shira Wolfe

APERTURA 2020 Madrid

Apertura 2020, the 11th edition of Madrid Gallery Weekend is now open, a cultural event in which contemporary galleries and institutions inaugurate their exhibitions and offer extended visitor hours. Consisting of 50 commercial galleries showing leading international artists in all media, Apertura Madrid has become one of the world’s leading gallery weekends, traditionally attracting thousands of visitors from around the World. Exclusively on Artland, pay a visit to every participating gallery with our vivid and compelling 3D recordings here, or check out some of our editorial teams’ highlights below.

Camara Oscura: Roger Ballen in Color

An exhibition that includes both photographic works, and, as a first, drawings, both of which typify the artist’s archetypal insider/outsider aesthetic. Ballen’s dreamy, fictionalised worlds are created through elaborate theatrical tableaux that are somehow both primitive and sophisticated in their conception and execution. Evoking the chaos and drama of complicated physchological conditions, Ballen’s latest works are shot in color, after having worked exclusively in black and white for almost half a century. According to the artist, “I began to use the camera for still color images as well as video. I was immediately surprised and inspired by the results which I believe has not only extended my work specifically, but the field of photographic art as well. Whilst the images that I proposed are shot in color, it might be more accurate to state that they are muted or occupying an aesthetic place between monochrome and color. “

As color by its very nature is viewed as real and my photographs have an unreal, dreamy aspect, an enigmatic visual relationship is created in these latest photographs….The locations I work in are often violent, socially chaotic places. People who have served time in prisons, mental institutions, or struggle just find the means to feed themselves dominate my environment. The spaces I work in and ultimate reveal in my imagery can be defined as unconscious visual embodiments of the psyche. It is clear to me that most people who view my photographs experience the fact that they have an unexplainable means of lodging themselves in their subconscious minds.”

Gallery contact info:
Camara Oscura – Alameda 16, 1B 28014, Madrid.

Heinrich Ehrhardt: Peppi Bottrop, ‘Going Deeper Underground’

For his first exhibition in Spain, German painter Peppi Bottrop presents his latest body of paintings, which collectively seek to represent both the structures and rhythms of painting’s process and physicality. The paintings on display develop the artist’s interest in multilayered contradiction. Formally ambiguous, the works show control and frenzy, rhythm and dissonance, meticulousness and recklessness. Essentially related to gestural abstraction, Bottrop’s success is to recreate the physical tour de force of this type of painting, to evoke its historical antecedents, whilst formulating a hybrid contemporary language of fracture, urban intensity, of fray and entropy that is yet suspended within a clear compositional control.

According to the gallery, the works are ‘constructed situations’, concrete movements of life towards a collective organisation. As a series of events, the different speeds that occur in his painting, the different areas in which it is composed, act as autonomous entities geared towards the creation of a common pictorial plane, in a utopian vision of painting understood here as repetition and trance.”

Peppi Bottrop - Going Deeper Underground (2020)
Peppi Bottrop – Going Deeper Underground (2020), Installation image, Courtesy Galeria Heinrich Ehrhardt.

Gallery contact info:
Galeria Heinrich Ehrhardt – San Lorenzo 11, 28004, Madrid.

Helga de Alvear: Isaac Julien, Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement

“Linear time is a western invention; time is not linear, it is a marvellous entanglement where, at any moment, points can be chosen and solutions invented, without beginning or end.” – Lina Bo Bardi

Julien’s multi-screen installation is a mediation on the extraordinary work and legacy of Lina Bo Bardi, the visionary architect and designer who was a central figure of Latin American modernism. The videos traverse a collection of Bo Bardi’s most iconic buildings, filming on location at seven different landmarks of Brazilian modernism. Starring the acclaimed Brazilian actresses Fernanda Montenegro and her daughter Fernanda Torres , who portray Bo Bardi at various stages of her life, Julien’s lyrical work is inspired by both official and anecdotal stories to show not only the key structural innovations of her designs but, more importantly, the manner they promoted the social and cultural potential of art, architecture and design.

Isaac Julien, Lina Bo Bardi - A Marvellous Entanglement, 2019
Exhibition View: Isaac Julien, Lina Bo Bardi – A Marvellous Entanglement, 2019. Image © Joaquín Cortés, Courtesy Helga de Alvear

Gallery contact info:
Galeria Helga de Alvear – Doctor Fourquet 12, 28012, Madrid.

Nogueras Blanchard – Group Exhibition: One Strike, Everything is Scattered

For this group exhibition, designed and arranged by Madrid based architect and interior designer, Jean Porsche, the gallery has been transformed into a salon of sorts, incorporating various furnishings of differing eras and styles to resemble the domestic interior of an aesthete. Ostensibly a rumination on painting, the show arrays various works by Hans-Peter Feldmann, Marine Hugonnier, Perejaume, Valeska Soares and Antoni Tàpies, seeking to juxtapose the various artists’ strategies with similar or related design analogues. With the notion and purity of the white cube discarded in favor of the eccentric mix, the viewer is able to consider the works within a more nuanced context, enabling hitherto unexpected questions and connections regarding form and content.

Nogueras Blanchard, One Strike Everything is Scattered
Nogueras Blanchard, One Strike Everything is Scattered, Installation View

Gallery contact info:
Nogueras Blanchard – Doctor Fourquet 4, 28012, Madrid.

Galeria Jose de la Mano – Aurèlia Muñoz: textura, tensión, espacio (1970-1985)

A survey exhibition of the great fibre artist, Aurelia Muñoz, covering the key years from 1970 to 1985. The show consists of ambitious woven and macramé constructions, both in the form of wall hangings and more complex installations that fully articulate themselves in space, as well as some handmade paper constructions that typified her output during the 1980s. Exquisitely and robustly crafted in earthy tones of hemp or jute, evoking shapes both organic and more formally geometric, Munoz’s works seamlessly merge the architectural with the natural — they are astonishing sculptural tapestries, evoking volume, perspective, and variously imbued with graphic, spatial, and figural characteristics, often embodying all within a single piece. The centrepiece of the exhibition, ‘Kite Anchored’ from 1974 is a spectacular construction that bissects the main room of the gallery in almost every direction and axis. It pushes, pulls and twists with powerful audacity and serene poise, splintering at its edges as it meets its various tether points at the room’s edges.

Aurèlia Muñoz, Kite Anchored, 1974
Aurèlia Muñoz, Kite Anchored, 1974, Nylon and cotton ropes. Macramé technique, 250 × 400 × 500 cm. Installation view, Courtesy Galeria Jose de la Mano

Gallery contact info:
Galeria Jose de la Mano – Calle de Zorilla 21, Baho Derecha, 28014, Madrid.