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PARAISO PERDIDO january 24 - march 08, 2008
  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 240 x 240 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 240 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2004

    Acrylic on canvas, 310 x 150 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2008

    Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 400 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2008

    Acrylic on canvas, 140 x 350 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2008

    Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 200 x 400 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2006

    Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Installation, 310 x 150 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 200 cm. de diámetro.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 180 x 160 cm.

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 2007

    Acrylic on canvas, 350 x 200 cm.

PRESS RELEASE

Paradise Lost, extracted title of Milton’s epic poem, alludes to the journey that we can make throughout this exhibition relevant to the different possible interpretations surrounding the myth of the Fallen Angel. As son of the 17th century, John Milton witnessed the incipient dawn of rationalism; his ultimate work is a chant to individual liberty and to the autonomous conscience of existentialists´ shades, which a century later would lead poets like Blake or Percy B. Shelley to claim his figure as a precursor of romantic poetry, against the already existing empire of reason. In the moral epic of Milton, one could interpret that the main character is the fallen one; that creature created by God, by The Father, his chosen one, nevertheless the most rebellious, who was bold enough to confront his authority and who put his yearning for freedom and individuality before obedience and due gratitude, leading to his expulsion from Paradise.
The Romantic artist confronts and rebels against all that is classical, all that came before, against the Academy, against his elders, expressing his individuality and self-affirmation before his ascendants and before his equals and companions as well, in the desire to be himself, unique, different from all the rest. This attitude, in spite of the diversity of visual codes in which the Romanticists expressed themselves, conducts him to project his philosophical, religious and political cosmic vision, making the cause of liberty his own, leading him not only to ?art for the sake of art?, but to the attempt to reincarnate mainly in the individual conscience, as well as in the collective one; together spokesman and paladin of the desires of his contemporaries, and giving a philosophical response to their problems. Premises of the very present time.
Taking into account that the artist is rebellious and not understood by nature, at times arrogant, envied by his colleagues - but however admired by all - often feeling lonely and isolated; the norm being that the most rebellious and non-conforming creatures are those in permanent confrontation with their progenitors, the parallelism of the artist with the figure of the Fallen Angel is evident.
It is in this context that one could make the most complex and complete reading of the exposition, and in romantic code, as both the visual aspect as well as the concept fit within premises of Romanticism.
In front of the canvas of the swan, Fallen Angel, main character around which revolves the rest of the exposition, we see a landscape of continuous wide paths of clouds, wintery and cold but yet serene; to the right other two canvas with both trees along the same code. If for Turner the Sun was God, there is no doubt that if winter did not exist in Paradise, we will find ourselves now out of it. The absence of colour, just light touches on the beak of the swan, and the brownish red tone of the deer, favouring the expelled, praising the figure of the loser, in an unequivocal romantic gesture, emphasises that idea. However, harmony and serenity reign, there is no storm, but mere clarity. The romanticist distrusts excessive reason – for Goya, ?the sleep of reason produces monsters? - typical of the illustration, the ?light? at which the shootings of Madrilenians by the French were born, and the ?disasters of war?, about one of which Santiago Ydáñez (Puente de Génave, 1967) takes a pictorial ?walk?, in an impressive exercise of both a review and a tribute.
Romantic arts are characterised by their link to literature, as in that period, literature was recognised as a component of their highest expression.
It is as well during that moment when the artist proclaims his work as a vocation and not as a profession – business – a distant argument from that maintained by Leonardo and Alberti, when they claimed their position as intellectuals, based on the fact that art and sculpture are arts and not jobs – being fully conscience that they have to demonstrate themselves as they are, in the continuous search of the authentic, of their proper individualism and personality, distant from hypocrisy and banality, on the other hand, without neither modesty nor fear of the reactions. Partly with a good dose of irony and partly with an exacerbated taste for provoking, it converts the self-portrait into one of its most cultivated genres, always deprived from all type of formalism. This exhibitionist and histrionic attitude we find in the numerous self-portraits of Santiago Ydáñez, in which at times, the exaggerated gesture, the incontinence, brings us to imagine a state bordering between lucidity and madness. Exaggerated gestures that in themselves come close to the romantic and its sensibility nearing dementia and strange creatures. We come to think of Hoffman or Mary Shelley, whose imagination and pen brought to light one of the masterpieces of romantic literature, Frankenstein, where the creature also rebels against its creator who, terrorised and disappointed, denies it.
It seems imperative, the dwelling on the importance of the landscape by the romantic artists, it being considered the key form of expression in their visual arts.
Landscape occupies an important post in this exhibition. If we consider the sculptural installation as a landscape, the preponderance is complete. In their fall, the deer are the reiteration of the fall of the angel, in this case more aggressive and powerful, more evident.
The landscape of Santiago Ydáñez, despite being linked to the north – makes us recall the Germans, the British or Scandinavian - is not in sync with the sublime and picturesque, so much as the German taste, but rather in the serene balance of Constable who preferred the ordinary albeit with a certain aura of mystery, as opposed to the great and the overwhelming. If in anything he could remind us of Friedrich, it is in the game of the first planes with the infinite horizon, the proximity and distance. The prominence of the heavens refers us to what Constable called "skying", in reference to huge and dominant paths of clouds.
If, for the romanticists, nature was the primary source to which one had to return, Santiago Ydáñez is a romantic, a nature lover, the nature of his surroundings, its landscape and its wildlife. He wanders through the countryside to capture images, replacing the practice of sketching by photography which, in his case serves as much or even more, since in reflecting change, nothing is more instant than a photo. For more abundance, the spontaneity, the speed of execution that was so much valued by the romanticists is one of the keys to his style, capturing the freshness and spontaneity with which a child, having had the vital intellectual and technical as an adult and as an artist, would articulate his vision of the world. Not surprisingly, childhood is another recurring theme of the artist.







 

© 2011 Isabel Hurley