Regina Gimenez Iremos al sol

19 Sep 2020 - 21 Feb 2021


Encounters #2 Regina Gimenez / Sonia Delaunay. Towards the Sun

After the first chapter devoted to Ángeles Marco and José Díaz, whose dialogue could be seen in this same space in the summer of 2019, this second installment of the Encounters series once again brings together emblematic pieces from our collection with the work of outstanding artists on the current scene. The pictorial work of Regina Gimenez (Barcelona, 1966) confronts, or reacts to, Sonia Delaunay’s Costume de Sport, a succinct watercolour painted in 1925 that evidences many of the most relevant aspects of the artist from Odessa’s work.

Regina Gimenez’s work belongs to the field of abstraction; this seems to be an irrefutable fact since it is in the exploration of geometry and colour that her aesthetic concerns lie. We tend to think of abstraction in terms of illegibility, like an opaque space that produces a distance we are forced to cross by means of a sensitive and intellectual exercise, but her work projects a powerful empathic and affective imprint that over the years has become one of her clearest signs of identity.

Her work distils an interest in popular knowledge and teaching. What exactly do we mean by “popular knowledge”? We could define it as an approach to teaching models based not so much on canons of training as on fictional records and domestic resources; an inclination towards children’s literature and illustration, and the use of pedagogical materials that are more closely linked to the visual than to the theoretical. Seen in this light, disciplines such as geography and science are challenged by the artist, who systematizes their formal elements and emphasizes their symbolic condition. The reference to Delaunay can be found in the way in which both artists blur the limits between the pictorial and the theatrical, disciplines which, in their respective pieces, become one and the same thing. Significantly, in the title of the project, “Towards the Sun”, we see a nod and a wink to Delaunay’s well-known biography, “Nous irons jusqu’au soleil”.

The exhibition is part of the Museo Patio Herreriano’s desire to explore the different exposition possibilities provided by the relationship between art and education, something that already surfaced in our programme with the exhibition in which Antonio Ballester Moreno revisited the legacy of Ángel Ferrant. In the work of Regina Gimenez and Ballester Moreno there is a shared interest in basic forms and flat colours, but both forms and colours shun a purified, impeccable finish, as they are installed, on the contrary, on rough, coarse surfaces; jute and clay in Ballester and wood and rugged fabrics in Gimenez. Both artists work with formulas that are born of the reiteration of motifs, which in Gimenez’s case refers to an aesthetic tradition in her surroundings, Barcelona, with profound conceptual roots.

All of Regina Gimenez’s work is forged, as we said, from the observation of subordinate teaching forms. A visit to her studio confirms the seduction arising from manuals and schoolbooks devoted to astronomy and the geography of the world. This material serves both as an iconography and as a support, since it is not uncommon for her to paint on book covers torn from books whose original images she re-evaluates through their already characteristic chromatic spectrum. One of her repeated motifs is the sun as a star and a source of light. In her conscientious search, visible in the serial character of all her work, we see a desire to present knowledge under a methodical logic and organization. Were it not for the use of colour we might say that it is an organization that shuns the extravagant.

Sequences of progressively smaller circles take up a large part of her universe. They are born from methacrylate templates that the artist herself creates and which she arranges in the room to be used by those who so wish in a space devoted to formative speculation. Through the use of these templates, Regina Gimenez has configured a formal universe and also a kind of vocabulary from the concatenation of signs that appear again and again in her woods, canvases, engravings and fabrics. In this exhibition in Valladolid, fabric takes the limelight, with large surfaces hanging from the exceedingly high ceilings in room 8, and which remarkably transform the space, now subject to a radical theatricalization.

Installation views