“In Praise of Nature” exhibition

“In Praise of Nature” exhibition

The Gustavo de Maeztu Museum presents “In Praise of Nature” an exhibition by the Navarrese artist Carlos López

The Museo Gustavo de Maeztu presents the exhibition “In Praise of Nature” by the Navarrese artist Carlos López

From 7 March to 28 April 2024, the Gustavo de Maeztu Museum is holding an exhibition dedicated to the work of Carlos López in the temporary exhibition hall.

The exhibition brings together a selection of works that show an approach to nature. Twenty-eight works make up the exhibition, which can be grouped into three series of different themes: Bardenas, Seas and Storms.
The common thread of his work is landscape and matter. Carlos seeks a balance between the representation of the landscape and how to try to make matter dialogue with that landscape.

Carlos started painting landscapes several years ago, the Bardenas landscape is a landscape that he likes and in turn, inspires him in his work. The works in Bardenas are organised compositionally and spatially in three planes of depth; the lower one reserved for the fields, sometimes with the presence of scrubland, is the widest and uses a chromatic range of ochres, slightly greyish, with touches of light. The mountain backgrounds appear in the background with tones tending towards warm earth tones, with clear shapes that lose definition in their upper strip tinged with dark blues, as opposed to the sky, which occupies the third plane and is presented in purplish blue tones.

A tonal and temperature contrast between the ochre and earth colours, with the coldness of the violet blues, as well as the horizontal arrangement of the forms, leads us to enjoy the stillness, the solitude of an infinite earth, without human presence and an immense sky in which silence reigns.

The works of Mares, belonging to the second thematic block, he began to paint about ten or twelve years ago. They are works referring to the sea and are structured in terms of depth. Some of the works in their composition offer three planes; the first one, occupied by images of rocks in warm-reddish tones. In the second plane, we find a wider area showing the somewhat restless waves of the sea in blue and violet tones, in some works we can find shades of ash-green earth. A third space covered by a leaden sky that is sometimes more dynamic with grey tones and shades of blue, green and purple.
We can find works in which the sea and the sky are the only protagonists. Both, due to their tones, come to merge to form a single space.

The Storm series is made up of works that reflect a subjective interpretation of nature; they are more intimate and existential works, and are considered the artist’s most abstract work. The paintings lack precise contours with hardly any depth, almost two-dimensional, in whose lower band we can appreciate the presence of the sea in contrast to the upper band occupied by clouds in cold tones, ranging from white to blue and black, generating contrasts. These tones give the works a tormented character that seems to foreshadow some dark and tragic threat.

Carlos’s work is linked to the material, matter is the first plastic element that makes the work possible. For him, flat surfaces are scarce, his work moves away from academicist painting towards a more material painting. In general, his paintings are figurative, the motifs are recognisable, which is an influence of Informalism or Abstract Expressionism, movements that took place in Europe and the USA in which the important thing was the use of the material or that the material itself had meaning.
The materials used initially lack any extraordinary quality, he uses materials such as water, pigments, marble dust, pumice stone, sawdust, paper, fabrics in the form of collage…

In his creative process he starts from the memory of landscapes, from photographs he has seen and which have remained in his memory, he tries to give shape to these images with impastos on impastos applied with brushes, spatulas..

Textures fused with shades of colour that give form and are applied to the surface of the form and are applied on the surface of the support in which the artist stops his subjective energy together with the matter and transfers it to the work.
In the different thematic series that make up this exhibition we can see how the Bardenas series is worked with a mass composed of pigments agglutinated with latex and additions of marble dust and sawdust spread with spatulas, as well as appreciating glazes made with brushes or thick brushes.

The same intention appears in the treatment of the other two series in Mares: a very thick mass of paper pulp, sawdust and sands of different thicknesses, all bound together with latex, gives shape to the rocks. Once dried and compacted, it makes us feel a hard tactility that has previously been sprinkled with colour pigments giving it a great chromatic intensity.

The series Tormentas (Storms) is worked with the same components as the series Mares (Seas), on a sober abstract-expressionist chromatic tapestry.

Carlos does not allow any concession in his creative process, he takes his work very seriously and through his painting he makes us sensitive to the painted experiences that can move or even disturb us.

Carlos López Gónzalez, (Tudela, 1971)

Graduate in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country, specialising in painting (1989-1994). He has been an associate lecturer at the Public University of Navarre since 2009 and has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Tudela, Pamplona, Logroño, Madrid and Bilbao, among others.
Admission to this exhibition is free and it can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm; Sundays and public holidays, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.