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Artists: Ignasi Aballí, Absalon, Pep Agut, Art & Language, Karla Black, James Lee Byars, Jordi Colomer, Ángela de la Cruz, Jean Dubuffet, Latifa Echakhch, Lucio Fontana, Dora García, Félix González-Torres, Derek Jarman, Sigalit Landau, Rita McBride, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Charlotte Posenenske, Robert Rauschenberg, Dieter Roth, Doris Salcedo, Gregor Schneider and Antoni Tàpies.

Reflection on surface, its material condition and the expansion of the pictorial field occupy a significant place in contemporary artistic practices. How have forms such as painting and sculpture been altered and stretched so that matter itself is constructed as critical message? MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface investigates the notion of surface as a privileged place for experimentation and meaning. A large number of the works on display explore postminimalist practices incorporating the critical content which they brought to the language of abstraction.

The exhibition begins by focusing interest on the pictorial surface, with works which stretch painting and take it to its physical and conceptual limit. Works by Ignasi Aballí, Art & Language, Jean Dubuffet, Lucio Fontana, Dieter Roth and Antoni Tàpies are presented. Others, such as Karla Black, Ángela de la Cruz, Perejaume and Robert Rauschenberg subvert matter so that it takes on a sculptural dimension. And others, such as in Latifa Echakch’s installation, exhibit the political potential of the chromatic layer.

Concern for the formal qualities of matter and the search for perfection and spirituality are to be found in the offerings of James Lee Byars, Dora García, Félix González-Torres and Derek Jarman, which show the disquieting and turbulent reverse side which hides behind the idea of beauty. The exhibition also presents works by Absalon, Pep Agut, Jordi Colomer, Sigalit Landau, Rita McBride, Charlotte Posenenske, Doris Salcedo and Gregor Schneider, which reflect on the urban surface, collective memory, the home and domestic space, given critical meaning as space as a form.

Michelangelo Pistoletto’s work returns us to our starting point, reminding us of the paradox of the reflective surface. Although the mirror becomes a register of every possible image, its ‘transparent’ materiality is deceptively intangible.


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'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica
'MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface' exhibition views, 2017. Photo: La Fotogràfica

Audios

Let's talk about... Dora García. MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface
Let's talk about... Ignasi Aballí. MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface
Let’s talk about... Jordi Colomer. MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface
Let's talk about... MACBA Collection. Beneath the Surface with Antònia Maria Perelló
FONS ÀUDIO #15 Ignasi Aballí. Deleted scenes
05.12.2012
FONS AUDIO #9 Rita McBride
01.07.2011
FONS ÀUDIO #16 Perejaume
31.12.2012
FONS ÀUDIO #27 Jordi Colomer
03.07.2014
FONS ÀUDIO #38 Dora García
28.01.2016
Son[i]a #124 Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden on Art & Language
07.04.2011
Son[i]a #202 Sigalit Landau
22.01.2015
Blue protects white from innocence. Blue drags black with it. Blue is darkness made visible.
Derek Jarman