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Art Texts

by
Arnau Puig · Pilar Giró · Carles Lapuente · Pablo Rey
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The nature of painting

Pablo Rey is the essence of painting. It’s the core of his being, and what he is about and is from what his work and thought has developed. Out of painting has evolved all his artistic and aesthetic language from which he creates his vision expressed in his work.

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Pablo Rey painting, Landscapes of New York

Landscapes of New York | 1996 - 1997

This series was to be the beginning of a new phase in both the life and work of Pablo Rey. From a personal point of view New York meant the freedom in the sense of finding, thanks to the physical distance, the solitude he both wanted and needed to enable him to take the decisions which would be decisive in shaping his future. Finding oneself so as to later confront painting is an act of courage and respect. Respect for oneself and honesty towards others. Measuring oneself up to painting and asking it what more one can contribute, to arrive at the conclusion that only through hard work can the answers be found, is a first step towards what will translate into pictorial maturity in one’s work.

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Pablo Rey painting, Correction, detail.

Correction | 1998 - 1999

In the last three years I have been working with the idea of correcting in my work. The idea of rectifying something that exists through a correction to create a new reality, even if that which exists was originally perfect, permits me to establish an ample and profound dialogue with the "problem" of painting.

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Pablo Rey art, Polychronic Field, detail.

Polychronic Field · 2000

For some time I have become increasingly concerned with how to face the act of painting and painting in general from an internal stance which is as free as possible. Taking various things into account, amongst others; that we live in a society prone to rules and regulations and a structuring of the way we live and think, that complete freedom doesn’t exist, (even though there still remains the possibility of achieving it), and that the desire for freedom isn’t enough to protect a language which is inexplicable because of its distance from reality.

In this way, my work starts out from reality, inspired by the visual reality which testifies to the life force of the city, with special attention and interest in the wall and its graffiti, for the freedom and spontaneity of these expressions and for their connection with the "popular"; being more interested in their idea, visual concept and for the attitude they express, rather than for the formal expression of what they represent.

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Pablo Rey painting, Ambit of accumulation, detail.

Ambit of Accumulation · 2001 - 2003

Under this title I have united a series of paintings on which I am working at the same time and which, although technically different, formally and visually, they all refer to the same theme: accumulation. This can be understood in different ways, either as auto-accumulation as organization or auto-organization, as a chaotic or controlled accumulation, irrational, sustained, or capricious.

All this growing out of an open spatial-atmosphere, based on color as light, and as the ground where the language of the painting develops.

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Pablo Rey art, Superimposed states, detail.

Superimposed States · 2004

The awareness of language which came to the foreground in the last century, along with neo-Kantian theories and Nietzsche’s writings, brought with it a turnaround in linguistic theory. The single-meaning tendency came into question because of the numerous languages which were then being spoken, including those which were habitually considered marginal and placing in the forefront all those which had perhaps previously been shunned because of the hidden aspect of their intrinsic character.

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Pablo Rey art, Complementary States, detail.

Complementary States · 2005 - 2006

Why are we moved by painting, if we who find ourselves before a work of art have already discovered the natural world of colours ranging from the violet hues of dawn on to the dark blues of the evening sky? Perhaps because painting, in the hands of one who is truly aware, can become a weapon in the struggle to overcome the transience of our natural perception and with it express ourselves, declare our loyalties, show the changes, enmities, imperturbability and torments.

After this preamble which has served to show colours as being real entities in their own right, alive and autonomous, I would like to talk about the work of Velázquez and contradict what his most ardent critics have said about him: to say that he is far from being a pedantic realist, and even less the idealist which Carducho has criticized him for being, (both characterizations only serving to disguise in words and illustrate in colour the banal and accommodating reality of the time). Velázquez was just a painter who needed to paint; but he couldn’t do without a model, within the range of possibilities resulting from...

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Pablo Rey painting, Regulatory space, detail.

Regulator Space · 2006 - 2008

The search for purity and synthesis are fundamental premises in the development of the pictorial language of Pablo Rey. In the same way the narrative element in each line is eliminated in tracing the outline of a space through colour. In this way the presence of the painting invades the whole discourse, whether it be compositional, sensorial, or emotional. In Espacio Regulador the brushstroke marked out by the lines are broken but perhaps the communication between the intervals created between the different strokes becomes more relevant. A space that can be interpreted as the silence necessary for thought and reflection, a silence prized in our contemporary society in a world which neither sleeps nor rests. Time travels fast, the brushstroke too and the gaze pauses before fragments of a whole, fragments able to seduce and lead one to examine every corner of the canvas.

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Pablo Rey painting, Landscapes of NY, detail.

Extracts from a conversation with Pablo Rey

Carles Lapuente – To open a door, in this passageway to the dialogue we are about to establish, I would like us both to accept a premise which rests on the profound belief that art can be a path towards wisdom. Starting from this point, do you believe, Pablo, that furthermore, this path can facilitate contact with a higher level of understanding? Or, to put it differently, is it possible to understand art as a kind of mysticism, as a parallel to the emotional and rational sensibilities?

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Pablo Rey painting, Éstasis, detail.

Biographical interview

Pablo Rey was born in 1968 into a family of artists, his father being the well known realist painter Gabino. He took his first steps in art at the age of 13 although he would not discover his real vocation for painting until he was 18.

Between 1987 and 1993, he made various journeys throughout Europe, to Paris, Switzerland, Venice, Rome, Milan, Brussels, Florence, Amsterdam, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, with the principal aim of visiting museums, art fairs and collections.

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