The collection of paintings displayed in the exhibition Continental by Gonzalo Sicre (Cadiz, 1967) are forays into a particular sub-genre of painting known as the "loneliness of motel rooms," which has Edward Hopper at its most well-known representative. The work of this American artist refers to the cinematographic school, and the basis of Sicre’s seventeen paintings derives from the appropriation of their compositions to turn them into habitable scenarios.
The series offers a kaleidoscopic image of a hotel from fragments, details and prints that show their occupation: steaming cups and crystal glasses resting on tables, cigarettes perched in an ashtray next to a lamp that is on or crumpled sheets and sunken pillows. Despite this, in each of these scenes, both time and narration are suspended, which favours the amplification of the mystery, enigma and melancholy that his scenes create.
His warm light reinforces the strangeness that these interiors release. In this way, they are the nuances offered by the variety of lamps and bulbs that appear in his paintings which activates the metaphor of introspection and solitude. Conversely, furniture and objects are stripped of their ornamental details; the simplification of the forms makes it easier for the artist to paint surfaces which stage the dramatic contrasts of light.
In this sense, due to his ascetic conception of realism, he creates compositions in which the order of the lines and the chromatic balance lead to images of pure painting, which sometimes verge on abstraction, such as Bar del hotel Madisson, Habitación 105, Baño del hotel Dôme, Mesa and Boulevard Adolphe Max, all from 2001.
Sicre is representative of the trend known as Figuración Neometafísica Española (Spanish Neo-metaphysical Figuration), emerging in the early nineties, along with Ángel Mateo Charris and Ramon García Alcaraz. In this series the artists defends the profession of painter and shows his reaffirmation of figuration as a legitimate trend in artistic practice, which in his case is strongly supported by both literary and cinematic resources.
Sala Verónicas, Murcia (October 19 - December 2, 2001)