Recto, rectangular y grande

Antonio Ballester Moreno
Press release

Maisterravalbuena is pleased to present “Recto, Rectangular, Grande”: Antonio Ballester Moreno’s fourth exhibition in the gallery.

The exhibition deals with the ideas of evolution, transformation and change, concepts that can be found within the pair art-craftsmanship, as well as in nature. The title of the exhibition refers directly to these transition and growth processes: a rectangle or a square are composed of straight lines, a circle falls within a square, a cube develops from a square, etc.
This logic is related to the very nature of craftwork, starting from basic and systematic movements -as if they were geometrical invisible drawings outlined in space: the movement of a needle in a loom, or that of hand when weaving wicker- and results in a complex structure that keeps growing with the help of repetition.

There are nine paintings shown in the exhibition, each of them of a different size and made up of geometrical motifs that express this idea of repetition and multiplication of elements. The display of each painting challenges the conventional way of gazing at a painting, since they are placed at different heights and groups, causing the eyes not to be static. These dynamic visual bonds question the idea of limits and hierarchy among the different paintings.

Through the repetition of shapes, Ballester Moreno creates a symbolic system, almost self-referring, where the physical elements of a painting (the stand, the color or the shape) fit with each other. The shape of the painting structure, both the canvas and the stretcher, is shown in the pattern represented on its surface. Likewise, the tiny horizontal and vertical lines that make up the weave of the jute canvas are repeated in the picture, being the jute a material usually used in craftwork and thus related to decoration.
In this series of paintings the canvases are not treated with a primer coat, therefore, the paint does not slip along a sealed surface. That way, the result is a dyeing effect rather than a covering of the canvas, a construction rather than a gesture, fusing together the stand and the image.

Another important feature of the exhibition is the tension produced between the idea of decoration (craftwork) and that of the abstract (art). Some of Ballester Moreno’s main inspiration sources were the paintings from the first and second decade of the 20th Century, mainly the cubism, where the abstract shapes so common in the decoration of ceramics, textiles or architectural ornaments are transferred to first-rate Art for the first time. Such were the bonds of these geometrical shapes with decoration, that when the first paintings not representing reality appeared, they were called decorative and not abstract. It is in this non-intellectual space where Ballester Moreno conceives the artistic process.

Recto, rectangular y grande, 2015. Exhibition view
Recto, rectangular y grande, 2015. Exhibition view
Recto, rectangular y grande, 2015. Exhibition view
Recto, rectangular y grande, 2015. Exhibition view
Amarillo, 2015. Acrylic on jute. 200 x 158 cm
De frente y de perfil, vertical y horizontal, 2015. Acrylic on jute. 92 x 73 cm
Los hijos contra los padres, 2015. Acrylic on jute. 92 x 73 cm
La situación era más calmada que en noches anteriores, 2015. Acrylic on jute. 200 x 158 cm