The directors of Marlborough Chelsea are pleased to announce that an exhibition of recent sculptures by the Spanish artist David Rodríguez Caballero will open on February 23, with a reception from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, and continue through March 24, 2012. The exhibition will feature Rodríguez Caballero’s characteristic aluminum and brass sculptures that hang on the wall, ranging in size from intimate pieces to a polyptych nearly 10 feet long.
Rodríguez Caballero creates his sculptures through a process of folding and bending the metal to form organic, geometric shapes that protrude gracefully from the wall on which they are hanging. The elegant curves he forms belie the hard, cold nature of the materials with which he is working, and the pieces appear weightless despite their heft. A full understanding of the sculpture cannot be attained from one angle alone; with every different viewpoint the edges, curves, and planes of the work shift to create a completely singular visual experience.
In many of his sculptures Rodríguez Caballero enhances the delicate folds and curves of the metal by applying fields of colorful enamel and by systematically sanding the aluminum or brass surfaces. This process of erosion removes the reflective and shiny nature of the metal and bestows the surface with a nuanced texture that changes with the light. In the catalog for Rodríguez Caballero’s current exhibition at the Museo Würth in La Rioja, Spain, the art historian Kosme de Barañano wrote, “There is no embodiment of narrative…nor any projection of emotions or a relating of beliefs; rather these pieces absorb light and return it to us like the recordings of wrist movements, like the shards of an absolute art that requires us to evince patience and concentration.”
Rodríguez Caballero describes his work:
My artwork revolves around two points: material and light. I use materials such as aluminum and brass by altering their inherent features; this is
achieved by a process of scratching in which light becomes the most important element. Light helps me to create the space. Light becomes part of
the material in the same way that classic Greek architects incorporated light and shadow to their temples. Their architectural work was built thanks
to the juxtaposition of light/shadow…I do not conceive of light as simply an agent of luminosity. For me, it is what allows material to exist. Both
aluminum and brass exist because of the vibration provoked by light. This sensation generates a retinal experience, which is a natural consequence
of my pictorial education.
Influenced by the history of geometric abstraction in the 20th century, the artist begins the creative process with geometric drawings on graph paper and origami-like paper models; these carefully articulated studies are works of art in themselves. His titling system, using only dates or “untitled,” is purposely devoid of meaning to allow the artwork to stand alone as a convergence of curves, folds, light, volume, and color. Rodríguez Caballero says of his sculptures, “My artwork is the support…(support) is neither a place where I deposit something nor a simple ‘receiver’…Support plays an extremely active role.”
Born in Pamplona, Spain in 1970, Rodríguez Caballero currently lives and works in Madrid and Manhattan.
Rodríguez Caballero is the recipient of several awards, including the Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco First International Engraving Prize (La Rioja, Spain, 2008), First Prize of the Unión Fenosa Collection (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Unión Fenosa, La Coruña, Spain, 2006), and the First Prize for Plastic Arts (Government of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, 2004).
His work appears in public collections such as the Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, Spain; Foundation Volksbank, Paderborn, Germany; ISE Cultural Foundation, New York, New York and Tokyo, Japan; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Unión Fenosa, La Coruña, Spain; Museo de Navarra, Navarre, Spain; Museo Würth, La Rioja, Spain; and Palazzo dei Papi, Viterbo, Italy.
The artist’s work has recently been featured in two solo exhibitions. In 2010 the Fundación María Forcada in Tudela, Spain, organized an exhibition titled Figures: Aluminum and Vinyl, and published the beautiful accompanying monograph David Rodríguez Caballero: Aluminios / Aluminums. Rodríguez Caballero’s exhibition Glaciers is currently on view at the Museo Würth, in La Rioja, Spain through April 2012. It is accompanied by a catalog with essays by the art historian Kosme de Barañano.
A fully illustrated catalog with an essay by Francine Birbragher will be available at the time of the exhibition.