In Per Barclay’s (Oslo, 1955) work the concepts of tension and in some cases drama coexist, in which the artist incorporates influences of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. After studying art history in Bergen in 1979 Barclay leaves Norway to find new artistic references in Italy where Arte Povera still dominates the art scene.
In Florence he studies design and photography, and later moves to the Academy of Bologna in 1981 and two years later to the Academy of Rome. At this time Barclay works with photography and experiments with small installations.
After passing through Naples he moves to Turin, where comes into direct contact with artists of Arte Povera. From this point, the artist uses oil and water as artistic elements and steel and glass as structural materials for his pieces. In 1994 he moves to Paris where he lives and develop his projects.
Barclay likes to play with time and space. Like his photographs, his sculptures and installations lack connotations that help recognise the place or time. For the artist time is unreal and space is timeless. On many occasions he attempts to transform photographic experiences into image-object.
Human presence and absence is the dominant theme in this artist’s work. Many of his pieces are a reflection on human condition which tends to violence and which inevitably competes with peers. In them he tries to exorcise danger, either isolating it in aseptic places or butchering it into its primary elements.
The installation exhibited at the Palacio de Cristal is a piece created specifically for this place. Barclay continues the line of work based on liquid installations in rooms, or "places", as the artist himself describes all his pieces.
Building materials are the same as those from the Palacio: iron and glass. The artist adds to these elements a red liquid, which flows through containers and drips from above to fall and explode within cages. From there, through a circuit, the tops of the tables slowly fill and climb to start all over again. The mixture of these materials with the red liquid combines technology with the organic.
The red drops represent sound in the exhibition, a soft tinkling which becomes almost violent, until it goes quiet again when the table surfaces becomes a big, red monochrome. With this work Barclay refers to the moral commitment of the artist, it hypnotises the spectator and locks him in a beating heart, where calm momentarily intertwines with anxiety.
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications
13 June 2018 – 19 November 2018
An Approach to Afal
The Autric-Tamayo Donation
6 June – 22 October 2018
Russian Dada 1914–1924
23 May - 27 August 2018
Experiences and Situations
May 17, 2018 - October 14, 2018
May 9 - September 17, 2018
April 25 - August 27, 2018
April 18 - September 3, 2018
Second Time Around
March 22 - September 2, 2018
From November 22, 2017
Cubism(s) and Experiences of Modernity
20 June – 1 October 2018
Lost Modernities: Bauhaus and SpainBiblioteca y Centro de Documentación