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JARDíN DEL COSMOS june 19 - august 02, 2008
  • Constelación 11

    Constelación 11, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 47 x 44 x 27 cm.

  • Constelación 12

    Constelación 12, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 32 x 80 x 29 cm.

  • Constelación 17

    Constelación 17, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 17 x 46 x 25 cm.

  • Constelación 29

    Constelación 29, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 34 x 34 x 45 cm.

  • Constelación 30

    Constelación 30, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 32 x 80 x 41 cm.

  • Constelación 35

    Constelación 35, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 45 x 76 x 44 cm.

  • Constelación 36

    Constelación 36, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 36 x 38 x 28 cm.

  • Constelación 37

    Constelación 37, 2007
    Alambre galvanizado, cobre, soldadura, 20x42x50cm

  • Constelación 39

    Constelación 39, 2007

    Galvanized wire, acrylic, textile, 49 x 52 x 34 cm.

  • Constelación 40

    Constelación 40, 2007
    Alambre galvanizado, soldadura, 25x46x35cm

  • El Vuelo de las Sombras

    El Vuelo de las Sombras, 2007

    Mixed media. Galvanized wire, textile, 100 x 50 x 85 cm.

  • Generador de Sueños

    Generador de Sueños, 2006

    Mixed media, galvanized wire, textile, 170 x 120 x 90 cm.

  • Generador de Sueños

    Generador de Sueños, 2006
    Técnica mixta, alambre galvanizado, textil., 170x120x90cm

  • La complejidad de lo sencillo

    La complejidad de lo sencillo, 2008

    Mixed media. Galvanized wire, textile, 103 x 20 x 35 cm.

  • La complejidad de lo sencillo

    La complejidad de lo sencillo, 2008

    Mixed media. Galvanized wire, textile, 103 x 20 x 35 cm.


Isabela Palau, in this exhibition, creates a montage of sculptures that have the nexus of their link with nature at all levels, from the cosmic to the analysis of the elementary particles of matter that form the whole, organic and inorganic. The reference to the plant kingdom is as strong as the reference to the galactic systems, " the cosmic prairie." Macrocosm and microcosm hand in hand, in an inter-dependent whole and in dynamic synergy, where there is no hierarchy, just life. The reticular larger pieces evoke both the most tiny grain of a natural object of our immediate reality - imperceptible to the human eye - and the minimum quantum of Planck’s action or discontinuity, essential to understanding the whole structure and process of the Universe: a sheet, a flash of lightning, a mountain system, the coastline… and also vacuum. An equal whole, at different scales, such as fractals and their "Homothetic", by which the parts are equal to the whole, and whose structures, despite enclosing a finite area, have an infinite length. A part united to the next in succession, forming that whole in which at a certain scale would confirm the absence of frontiers.

The work of Isabela Palau pays tribute and expresses its fascination with fractals of the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot –fractal objects: shape, size and random, 1975 - and with quantum mechanics, loop quantum gravity that, beyond the theory of strings and classical geometry, has allowed the understanding of the phenomenon of black holes and of the movement of attraction of the masses. We are faced with the representation of fractal order, which lies between the uncontrolled chaos and the excessive Euclidean order. These quantum fluctuations of matter, of the zero-point field, called "froth" of space-time by the physicist Wheeler, were the seeds of our universe, "breeding ground" of the Big Bang, constantly moving forward and backward.

Just entering the room, we find some islets of marble powder - "star dust" - that reminds us of that quantum "froth" from which everything originates, in which the sculptor has placed pieces of the series of Constellations, "grouped by families". Their visual affiliation with Miró and Calder is justified by searching for suggestive shapes of the original, prior to any contamination made by civilizations, mironian goal; while for Calder - who Duchamp baptized as "master of gravity" and others as the "Poet of the movement" - was giving life to dead matter. Origin and life are essential in the discourse of Isabela Palau. On the other hand, the beauty of all creation, expressed in fractal key, seems to achieve a harmony only explicable in mathematical terms. According to Paul Dirac "the universe should be described in a mathematical language, necessarily beautiful and elegant." Despite his atheism, he considered God a mathematician of the highest level. On the quantum mechanics he wrote: "its formalism is so natural and beautiful as to make us sure of its correctness." This series is composed of twelve families, in relation with the twelve months of the year, the seasons and cycles of agriculture -astrologic version of calendars such as that of San Isidoro de Leon- as well as the rest of the pieces, has been built with galvanized wire, sometimes partly or totally coated with different types of textile - cotton, silk or synthetics - and colors, which then she paints with acrylic, the original color being decisive for the final tone. Looking to the right, behind the glass patio, the Constellations continue in a cascade installation that falls from the wall.

Facing that, another installation is formed by spiral loops that compose the background for a video projection of trees with branches shaken by the wind. This makes us recall the work of Len Lye of 1963, named the loop, with a mechanism transmitting sound and spasmodic movements. The spiral is in itself a visual metaphor of movement, incorporating the concept of dialectic progression among left-wing artists of the historic avant-garde. It mimics nature and allows the identification of materialistic thinking with the organic. In the ancient world, certain spirals as those contained in zigurats looked up to the stars.
The real or suggested movement of the sculptures of Isabela Palau has redundancy with the idea of infinite mathematical beauty that the universe radiates. According to Kepler, the movement of the stars was governed by laws; in his "Harmonica Mundi", he stated that every heavenly body produces a more acute sound when it moves faster and vice versa. Thus, the entire universe would compose a symphony perceptible only with the intellect.

The representation of stars and the interest in the cosmos in general goes back to cave and megalithic art, with a connection between magic and "liturgical", an interest that pre-Columbian peoples had too. During Classical times, we have already seen that Euclides became interested in the study of the universe, like Pythagoras, Aristotle, and Ptolemy with the 48 heavenly figures that he systematized in his "Almagesto", work reproduced in non-scientific Roman manuscripts and transmitted by the Arabs through the Persian Al-Sufi, among others. In the Middle Ages, the four Lapidaries of Alfonso X - the Wise - inaugurate a new era in relations between astrology and art, which represents a breakthrough in seeking the identity of modern man. During the Renaissance and Baroque the interest in the subject continued and figuration of heavenly bodies was usually associated with the religious or esoteric. More recent are the examples of Klee, Xul Solar and Calder, Miro or the young August Puig. Also, the Venezuelan Jesus Soto, who, as Calder, took part in the kinetic movement, which has a lot in common with the work of Isabela Palau; very specifically in the case of the first as it also focuses on the study of the structure of the cosmos.
Because the externalization of the structural logic of the sculpture and its dematerialized form, the pieces of Isabela have some similarity to Gabo, Pevsner and Max Bill, who integrate models and mathematical concepts into their work, arriving at purely intellectual constructions of appearance.

The fractal, finally, serves as an image of fractures among the various civilizations that emerged after the proclamation of the end of history – a thesis that Francis Fukuyama develops - origin of the Postmodernity like the crisis of the experience of space-time concept. This meant the end of ideologies, whose evolution is summarized in the search of the state of welfare as a process of approval. Because of the tragic events at the beginning of the third millennium, these approaches collapse. The fracture lines between various civilizations will be the front lines of the future. Salvation is within the utopia.

Once the threshold of epidermal recognition is crossed, the work of Isabela Palau invites us to reflect deeply on all that: the origin of the universe and its constant evolution and renewal, like the history of mankind, and also its "intrahistory." For her, the balance is positive and her work conveys vitality, optimism and positive energy, guaranteed by her titles "I sow to all winds" (hope? illusion?…) - sculptures suspended from the patio-, "Flower of battles "I and II, very eloquent, as "Renaissance" or "Generator of dreams" and "The Flight of the shadows "; reticular structures that we find in front of us, just entering the showroom.



© 2011 Isabel Hurley