Shanghai, China, January 12, 2015.- The China Art Museum of Shanghai is pleased to present the exhibition The Mysteries of Columbus by the world-class Spanish contemporary artist Cristobal Gabarron. This exhibition will open to the public from January 16, 2015 to July 16, 2015 and the city will have a chance experiencing the splendor of the Spanish art.
The Mysteries of Columbus is created by Mr. Gabarron in 2006. The work is inspired by the famous explorer and navigator, Christopher Columbus, and his journal. To pay the tribute to human spirit of adventure and the discovery of America, Mr. Gabarron created ten symbolic pieces. Their rounded forms and clear lines suggest the natural lives of mankind and primitivism. The works are also heavily filled with blocks of different colors, which well represents the Indian culture in America.
However to the artist, the meaning of this group of sculptures is much beyond than this. Coming from Murcia, Mr. Gabarron wants to express his reflection on the role of art in our lives, as well as the coexistence and the development of human values through this works.
Such pursuing guided him to the space of public art. His strong commitment has led him to multiple public art projects for different sites and cities. During the creation process, he has been constantly seeking balances among elements of art and urban space: the balance between the closeness with the viewers and improvement of the environment where their daily lives evolve; the balance between humanity and efficient urban planning; the balance between modern metropolitan centers and the culture anchored within it. The Mysteries of Columbus is the answer to those how-to-balance questions. The sculptures play with the monotony urban environment with its most varied forms and colors. Mr. Gabarron also leveraged on his experience in painting and extended the color beyond the boarders of facets and softened the sharpness of angles. By doing so, he redefined surfaces of the sculptures and created more possibilities. The open and free color scheme and form invite the viewers to make a small parenthesis in his or her daily routines and to explore the meaning of the work. No matter what conclusions they draw from them, the process already brings changes to their lives and breaks the walls of intransigence and intolerance.
Ever since The Mysteries of Columbus was finalized, it has been traveled around the world, showing in landmarks such as the Paseo del Prado in Madrid or the Central Park and Broadway Avenue of New York. It was also displayed in many major international sculpture exhibitions, among which is the ARTZUID in Volden Park in Amsterdam. Because of his remarkable contributions to public art, Mr. Gabarron was invited to be one of the guest artists and present his works in 2014 Shanghai Jing’an Sculpture Project. This exhibition in China Art Museum has a significant meaning to Mr. Gabarron as this is his first solo exhibition in major Asian museum, as well as being the first Spanish artist collaborating with China Art Museum.
The China Art Museum opened on October 1, 2012, China's National Day. It is also called the China Art Palace (Chinese: 中华艺术宫; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Yìshù Gōng) and it is a museum of modern Chinese art located in Pudong, Shanghai. The museum is housed in the former China Pavilion of Expo 2010. With 166,000 square meters (1,790,000 sq ft) of floor space, it is the largest art museum in Asia. The 63-metre high pavilion, the tallest structure at the Expo, is dubbed "the Crown of the East" due to its resemblance to an ancient crown. The building was designed by a team led by architect He Jingtang, who was inspired by the Chinese corbel bracket called dougong as well as the ancient bronze cauldron called ding. In the first year of its operation, China Art Museum received nearly 2 million visitors.