Above: Escalators in the Pablo Serrano Instituto Aragones de Arte y Cultura Contemporaneous
Science and humanism must be an embrace and not a wall that separates reason and feeling.”
Pablo Serrano (1908-1985)
Born in Crivillen in Teruel, a province of Aragon Spain, Pablo Serrano must have felt his calling toward art at a young age. When he was 14 years old, he left home to begin eight years of study in sculpture in Barcelona. At age 22, he packed his bags and moved to Montevideo, Uruguay.
Despite his distance from Spain, the abstract sculptor’s influence rose as a major force in the Spanish avant-garde movement. Known as an expressionist, he interjected his subjective perspective in his work instead of feeling compelled to accurately replicate nature or his subjects. Serrano returned to Spain in 1957, continuing to exhibit internationally and often working on major public art commissions, including a sculpture of King Juan Carlos of Spain unfinished at the time of his death.
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“Going from Nowhere. Coming from Nowhere,” a neon installation by Maurizio Nannucci, casts reflections onto the Garonne River during Le Printemps de Septembre.
When we were in Toulouse this past fall, several of the city’s major museums were closed for remodeling, COVID or a combination of the two reasons. They were all scheduled for reopening in early 2022, so probably have unlocked their doors by now.
The arts were not being ignored though, particularly during Le Printemps de Septembre, a month-long city-wide celebration that ran through mid-October. The theme for the 2021 festival was “Sur les Cendres de l’Hacienda/On the Ashes of the Hacienda,” a theme selected pre-pandemic and promoting artists who expose disaster, stand up to it and look ahead. For the gallery-hesitant, the night-time illuminations along the banks of the Garonne River were stunning.
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Above, “Memento Mori,” by Rodrigo de la Sierra
Dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of modern and contemporary art in the Yucatan, the Fernando Garcia Ponce-Macay Museum opened in 1994 in a prominent landmark (built in 1573) on Merida’s Plaza Mayor adjacent to the Cathedral. A passageway between the two was enclosed with glass in 2001 and offers the opportunity to house large works for the public to interact with on a daily basis.
The main exhibition while we were in Merida early this year placed Timoteo in the spotlight. The plump, elfin-like, endearing Timo allows artist Rodrigo de la Sierra “to embrace the subtle art of the metaphor.”
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