Mercedes Mangrané Drainage systems

06 Mar - 29 May 2020
Drainage systems


Georg Kargl Fine Arts presents Drainage Systems is the first individual exhibition of the artist Mercedes Mangrané at Georg Kargl BOX.

Mangrané has conceived the exhibition as a series of symbolic evocations of the body. Based on her daily walks, her works compose an intimate and sensual look around what is ambiguous and what remains undefined. The show at Georg Kargl BOX comprises a series of new works in painting, drawing and photography – with a painterly interest Mangrané looks at the drainage systems of a city as a collective body.

As in previous exhibitions (Recompensa at Ana Mas Projects, 2018, Asir at Museo Patio Herreriano de Valladolid, 2019) her research highlights poetic notions of the mundane and the banal. She metaphorically addresses objects and marginalized architectures which she observes at close range with an existential desire to understand the human nature through material culture. Although the starting point is specific and physical, the reflections it evokes are directed towards the intangible.

Far from idealizing the nostalgia of the green spaces that resist the city, the vision of the artist is raw and without artifice – from an apparent softness in the technique used in her pastel drawings of holes to the tenderness contained in the series Humedades and the capturing of vivacious fountains. Mangrané evokes internal connections within the tremor of contemporary life, focusing its attention on the small fissures and leaks of drainage systems. From an intimate urgency Mangrané investigates the regulation of the body in urban space.

In some of her photographs taken with the mobile, Mangrané offers a frontal view on ephemeral moments that go unnoticed, like mist or the vapour of a breath. In her series Vaho the condensation of steam on the windows of her home is a testimony of the thermal shock between inside and outside. It establishes a kind of melancholic reference of the desacralized auras drawn by the swaying of the water of the drainage holes evoking primigenius feminities.

The paintings on display show abstractions based on the dampness of her studio as well as on the retaining walls of the city. The spatula leads the artist to play with a notion of careful control of the surface and the unpredictability of the overflow. Compression and expansion are emphasized through the small format, where the artist explores tension in a variety of rhythms: from light to heavy: ascents, descents, expansions and breaks.

Through her work Mangrané conceives a spectrum of different spaces that contain the possibility of the flow of life. Looking for a common essence in the collected fragment, the artist seeks out the experience of openness and permeability, with gestures of care towards a body that is present despite the absence of figuration.

Installation views