El libro transparente, 1970

The Transparent Book, 1970
Graphic material, 15.9 x 21.8 cm (closed); 15.9 x 42.2 cm (open)

A key figure in Spanish Conceptual art, Isidoro Valcárcel Medina is informed by a keen awareness of language and other forms of representation, as reflected in much of his work. While in El libro transparente (1970) he constructs a text on sheets of transparent plastic with words in common use and others of his own devising, in La celosía (Jealousy, 1972) he uses a screen to project the literal transcription of La Jalousie, a novel by the French writer and filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet, a leading member of the Nouveau Roman movement. In Relojes (Clocks, 1973), the object of study is the passage of time. For 365 days, Valcárcel Medina photographed different calendar-clocks that were part of the urban furniture of Madrid. Each photograph was taken on a different day thus establishing the calendar for a year. Along similar lines, in 1991 he turned a school practice as basic and universal as a cheat sheet into a device for reflection on the creative act. ‘An artwork must be so faithful to its moment in time as to become the moment itself’, writes the artist in La chuleta.

Technical details

Original title:
El libro transparente
Registration number:
Valcárcel Medina, Isidoro
Date created:
Date acquired:
On display
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Graphic material
Letraset on polyester
15.9 x 21.8 cm (closed); 15.9 x 42.2 cm (open) (height x width x depth)
Edition number:
Edició de 100
Meier Building, Level 1
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Isidoro Valcárcel Medina
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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