This exhibition, which will open in Madrid on 14 October, proposes an exploration of works that draw on nature, either by adopting organic forms or incorporating natural elements, to reflect on colour and form through the plasticity inherent to our ecosystem. The Natural Flow of Things is a group show curated by Tania Pardo that meditates on the most basic, contemplative acts of creation.
The Natural Flow of Things is a group show curated by Tania Pardo that reflects on the most basic, contemplative acts of creation. Its conceptual point of departure is the text Miró: I Work Like a Gardener, written by Yvon Taillandier and first published in Spain in 1983 in the journal Los cuadernos del Norte, in which the Spanish artist underscores the simplicity of his approach to art by comparing himself to a farmer.
Some of the artists featured in the exhibition—Adolfo Schlosser, herman de vries, Fernando García and Fernando Buenache, for example—were able to see structural qualities in the forms of nature and use them to compose and construct works of subtle beauty. Others, like Matthew Ronay and Polly Apfelbaum, have studied organic forms and found in them a cult of regression. In yet other cases, geometric abstraction has constituted symmetry, progression, balance and sequence when the most immediate phenomena of a vital experience with the physical environment are observed with an analytical eye, as in the work of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Irene Grau, Federico Guzmán and Francis Alÿs. The show also offers examples of craftsmanship linked to plasticity in the pottery of Milena Muzquiz, Elena Aiztkoa and Betty Woodman, or the combination of organic and non-organic elements in the creations of Karin Ruggaber. Finally, we find a reflection on the capacity for contemplation via the landscape in the work of Nicolás Paris.
This selection of works is not a reinterpretation of Land Art or an art and nature show but a combination of both, an inventory of simple gestures directly related to artistic creation and the construction of a narrative of forms. With an expressive rotundity conceived from different perspectives, all of these works possess a degree of aesthetic joy, epic gesturality and childlike innocence reminiscent of traditional disciplines and a certain primitivism that situates them in an absolute space of timeless freedom. Yet they also address the most instinctive, primeval aspects of creation itself for, throughout history, humankind has taken elements from nature—earth, water or fire—and used them to shape not only their everyday reality but also that to which they attributed magical, spiritual or artistic qualities. For some artists this ancient aspect, associated with primitive cultures, is anything but accidental; in fact, it is a conscious, deliberate attempt to find patterns of both human and aesthetic behaviour in them, charged with a symbolism linked to anthropology.