Soledad Sevilla El pensamiento al madurar es igual que el sol cuando amanece

30 Jan - 29 Aug 2021
El pensamiento al madurar es igual que el sol cuando amanece


Following the museographic line of highlighting the great national present figures in the Contemporary Art Collection, the Patio Herreriano Museum peeks into the work of Soledad Sevilla (Valencia, 1946), one of the most relevant creators of our country. In the line of projects dedicated to artists with a proven track record, such as those put into practice by Susana Solano or Eva Lootz, this exhibition dedicated to Soledad Sevilla stops before a very varied set of works, one of them already historical, the one carried out at the beginning of the seventies, another recent but unpublished, such as “The days with Pessoa”, and a specific one, entitled “On Sunlight and Moonlight”, which is linked to some of his most famous interventions developed previously, although it acquires here a more robust and resounding dimension due to the scale of the space of our Chapel of the Counts of Fuensaldaña. The exhibition brings works carried out over a 50-year time span, which are those that are now fulfilled since the realization of that series of works that advanced the patterns of lines and wefts that will characterize all his later work and that are among the most important of our collection. This exhibition shows the relevance that the artist’s work has had during all the stages of her career and the enormous coherence with which her successive aesthetic concerns have been embedded. The result of such a rigorous approach to artistic creation are undoubtedly the important recognitions it has received, such as the National Plastic Arts in 1993, the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts in 2007 or the Velázquez Prize in 2020.

The project entitled “On Sunlight and Moonlight”, presented in the Chapel of the Counts of Fuensaldaña provides us very clearly with the keys to the work of an artist, Soledad Sevilla, who has forged her career in the untiring development of aesthetic concerns that have remained in her libretto right from the beginning of her career. All her work is characterised by a loyalty to an ideal that has always been enriched and reinvigorated with precision and freshness. It is not in vain that Soledad Sevilla has never ceased to be relevant at any stage of a career that now spans more than half a century.

This ideal is the analysis of the line on the plane, as subjected to a system of permutations and combinations, of reiterations and breaks, folds, arrhythmias and turns that articulate dynamic spaces of variable density. From very early on, Soledad Sevilla wished to emphasise that the analytical nature of her work did not elude the search for a poetic universe – “an emotional world, even one of omens”, as she once said. In view of the beautiful expectation of the “omen”, we acknowledge its inclusion in the lyrical aspect of the conceptual tradition, under which certain artists were considered “more mystical than rational” and whose work “reached conclusions that logic was unable to reach”, as the American artist Sol LeWitt pointed out. And so, amidst the din with which the line and intuition of poetic space are woven, a body of work has been produced that is among the most outstanding not only in the field of geometry but in the whole of abstract production in Spain.

Soledad Sevilla has taken her reflection upon line and plane one step further when she has addressed architecture as a medium in a group of works developed in historical spaces or more neutral ones. In this vein we find “Of Sunlight and Moonlight”, a work specifically created for the Chapel of the Counts of Fuensaldaña. The rigorous rhythm of the fine cotton threads comes into contact with the architectural language, and at the same time, as the light falls, varying greatly depending on the time of day. This is where the uniqueness of this piece lies, in the arrangement of the line in flight in the unerring ruin of space, unerring in that it brings together a balanced ambivalence between past and present, which is the main characteristic of this architecture, and where the changing brightness of light takes hold. Soledad Sevilla fulfills the old wish of so many artists trying to grasp the light with as much precision as possible. And not only that: at certain stages depending on the position of the sun above the chapel, rather than a representation of light, the work is light in itself.

Installation views