This project, created specifically for the Palacio de Cristal, presents pieces from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection in a context that explores the connections and interaction between the pieces exhibited and the exhibition space. Participating artists -Cristina Iglesias, Mario Merz, Susana Solano and Per Barclay- use different artistic vocabularies to place the spectator before structures that relate to living space, expressing introspective and uniquely poetic architectural worlds.
The igloos of Mario Merz (Milan, Italy, 1925 - Turin, Italy, 2003), an emblematic representative of Arte Povera, are a metaphor for what is transitory and changing, the union between nature and culture, as well as the artist's own nomadic attitude. Merz began using the archetypal structure of the igloo in 1968. In Igloo del Palacio de las Alhajas (1982) he incorporates a sand floor, dry banana-tree branches and acacias from the Paseo del Prado. The sculpture contains the hearth as central to the habitat metaphor, formed by an agglomeration of crystallised quartz stone.
In the second half of the eighties and early nineties, the reference architecture was a constant in the sculpture of Susana Solano (Barcelona, 1946), a pioneer in the updating of contemporary Spanish sculpture. Solano uses a renewed type of iron and steel. Her pieces, which are similar to a minimalist sensibility, are involved in a personal poetic where an industrial appearance is mixed with the archaic and the emotional. Impluvium (1987) is a rectangular iron structure that evokes the atrium or courtyard of the Greco-Roman tradition, resounding with classic echoes on a flat and shiny surface.
Cristina Iglesias’ (San Sebastian, 1956) work is more focused on poetic experimentation and sensory space. She builds transparent and labyrinthine scenarios that open up and close themselves to the spectator, they protect and create insecurity at the same time. Sin título (Habitación de acero inoxidable) (1997) is a space defined by four walls, an artistic display of the limit on the interior-exterior relationship, where the surfaces contain the reason for a made up nature which offers an illusion of depth and which contributes to the feeling of being surrounded.
Per Barclay (Oslo, 1955) uses photography, sculpture and installation to build his 'places'. Senza Titolo (2001), a house made with mirrors, reflects the outside but one can see through it, nothing from this refuge is hidden to an external view.