Leading protagonist in the renewal of Spanish sculpture in the Eighties and internationally acknowledged (Kasel documentary, 1987 and 1992 Venice Biennale 1988), Susana Solano (Barcelona, 1946) is exhibiting in Madrid a selection of sixty-five works that invite us to look back at her career. Her early sculptural works date back to 1979, at that time Solano learns to combine the formal requirements of Minimalism - artistic lessons from Carl André, Richard Serra and Donald Judd - and autobiographical and subjective themes and allusions, leading to a sculpture that demands a symbolic reading and is "mistakenly monumental" in the words of Teresa Blanch, curator of the exhibition. In this sense, there is a comparison of Solano with Julio González, "she shares a search for expressive tension between the inside and outside and the abstract creation of symbolic spaces with the Catalan artist."
The exhibition is organised into three sections, avoiding a chronological order: "Fluids", "Subject" and "Suspensions", to which is added a fourth: "Initial Work", made up of founding pieces which, for the commission are, “emerging creative attitudes that will characterise her forever". For example, the unusual combination of materials such as iron and plaster, like in the series Dipòsit d'ombra (1983) and later en Colinas huecas (1984), the ambiguity in the conceptualisation and spatial construction of the pieces, from inside or from outside, which is seen in the series Paisatge d´interior (1984) and the formulation of a particular notion of limit: Horizontal (1980), Pont (1981), Reclós (1982).
For over more than a decade, through her sculptures and installations, Solano has created a detailed discourse on limit - using emptiness rituals -not with the intention of creating interruptions in space, but to physically and symbolically appropriate it. This is reflected in its application to the dome, it limits the possibility of double interpretation of space from the concavity or convexity, as seen in La luna (1985) or El puente (1986); and reaches its peak in Arcángel Gabriel, (1989). She also addresses this in works where she uses the iron grate as a perimeter and barrier that allows a view of the inside: Bany Rus (1988), Objecto y causa (1988), Scene 1 - Premier Tableau (1992), but with which she definitely defines an open boundary and treats space as absence. The collection of pieces now gathered together also show the role that personal memory and perception have on her work, making her work the translation of her emotions and the action of her body in space and time.
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (March 12 - May 2, 1993); Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (May 29 - July 11, 1993); Centre National d´Art Contemporain de Grenoble, France (September 11 - October 31, 1993)
Collection artworks included in the exhibition
Museo Reina Sofía Publications