REFUGIOS is the brainchild of “Delirious city”, a series of works from 2006 in which the artist brought together photographic images of buildings by renowned architects in several places in the world.
Over the years all of these images generated the “Delirious city” project, a new and different space, a global, timeless city, in which the architectural elements created by man over the centuries coexisted together simultaneously. Refugios shows in Venice a series of spaces characterised by tranquillity, calm and meditation. As Girbès himself pointed out, they are places in which he would like to seek refuge and which, as you would expect, are made up of architectural elements that he discovered on his travels. The first “refuges” were exhibited in 2015 at the Almudín in Valencia and, like all of Antonio’s series, have not stopped growing. All of Antonio’s work would be what is called “work in progress”, work which is never finished and where new chapters are constantly being written.
Today some of these refuges have travelled to Venice, where they can be seen with a new works created specifically for this exhibition.
Andrea Palladio, Pere Compte, Fritz Wotruba and Félix Candela are some of the seminal names encountered on this journey through the history of art, a fitting tribute to the extraordinary heritage that these great artists have left us.
“Agora by Andrea Palladio”, gives the keys to Girbés’s way of working. Antonio created this new architecture from reality, which he gave a new function, an agora in this case, but kept the name of the original architect as a form of tribute to these great creators
REFUGIOS eschews the typical two-dimensional quality of photography by making use of perspective to create illusions of impossible depths through which the eye is plunged into an unreal yet highly realistic three-dimensionality.
This exhibition includes a disturbing new development in the work of Antonio Girbés , it is the site specific installation MISERICORDIA (mercy). This artwork is made up of 64 faces wandering through the Abbey of San Giorgio Maggiore as if they were Pirandello characters in search of an author, although in this case their search was focused on a refuge in which to take shelter. The year of the Jubilee of Mercy it is a metaphor for the current situation, where thousands of refugees are wandering along the infamous route, that starts in the Middle East and crosses the Balkans, in search of a better future, a refuge in which to escape the worst of the noise, the war. This installation is composed of a large mosaic on the floor of one of the rooms of the exhibition in which each of the pieces shows the detail of a selected snapshot of the most significant works in the history of art. The MISERICORDIA installation is a journey through very different portraits done by prestigious artists such as Leonardo, Michelangelo, Velázquez, Hans Holbein, Ribera, Dürer, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and Juan Gris, among many others. Painting, sculpture, drawing and photography are the sources of this great black and white composition representing the quest of every individual, man or woman, for a safe space, a quiet and serene sanctuary. A refuge to shore us up against the immensity and chaos of the outside world. They are condensed expressions that mirror our own expressions and remind us what the poet Antonio Machado said: “An eye is not an eye because you see it; is an eye because it sees you”.
The entire exhibition is a tribute to Art as a form of expression, but also the common denominator the whole human race shares in its search for order and harmony, as the creators of places where safety and beauty infuse the human being with calm and serenity. Art, therefore, is the universal REFUGE sheltering all mankind.
Artist: Antonio Girbés – Valencia (Spain)
Title of the exhibition: REFUGIOS et MISERICORDIA
Curator: Javier Molins
General organization of the exhibition: Studio Paolo De Benedictis Assistants: Maria Angilecchia, Emina Gauzanovic
Dates: 29 May > 31 August 2016 h10 am > 6 pm , Monday closed
Address: Officina dell’Arte Spirituale – Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore – Venice Public boat, line 2
www.antoniogirbes.es, www.abbaziasangiorgio.it firstname.lastname@example.org
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