We begin the season with the addition of Pilar Albarracín, from Seville, to our list of artists. With this new project, the Galería Javier López goes a step further in its support for current Spanish creation and its commitment to the promotion and dissemination of the most recent works of this key art figure in the postmodern discourse of our country. For her first exhibition at the gallery, works from her latest series have been selected, showing a body of her unpublished work in Spain and having works produced specifically for the occasion. All linked by the ironic and critical vision that characterizes the artist, who reflects on the questions of gender and the cultural construction of identity in the context of the social community.
In 2012, with the title of 'The Origin of the New World' Pilar Albarracín began a set of artistic creations from feminine underwear donated by her closest circle of people. From the beginning, the process of making these works raised questions about one's body. When the artist asked several women to give her their most intimate apparel already used, they were amused, surprised and even annoyed, but never left them indifferent. Then a discussion of her panties was opened, breaking a general imposition on the topic, always marked by silence and privacy. The voice of these women showed that each panty has a story and that each person has a particular way of behaving when they have to talk about it: shame, relaxation, excitement, shyness ... By exposing these pieces made with "donated" cloths, the artist shows women not as an object but as a liberate subject.
After classify, select and combine them following geometric patterns based on cosmic circles, she sewed them together to make a series of mandalas. By resorting to sewing she reaffirms the role that it has played in the socialization of women. Retrieves this traditional technique claimed by feminists to create compositions in which predominate tones own by the ritual: the black, white and red, to make the transition from the everyday to the sacred. Moreover, the selected object - of everyday use - and how to get hundreds of them helps to multiply the intensity of questions while a change in nature: the aesthetic distance transforms and recycles them into works of art. In the words of Assumpta Sabuco: "Pilar Albarracin claimes a broader artistic experience. Many women had left their panties to the artist and she picks up the principle of the donation said by Marcel Mauss: the gift, the gift gives objects a core value that is lacking in everyday life."
In these recent projects we find references to ‘L'Origine du monde' by Gustave Courbet, where the body of a woman is showed, eroticized and revealing her sex, a painting that was itself the subject of occultations by some of their successive owners, including Lacan. Continuing this game of hiding, Pilar produces series of drawings like the collages of 'The Secret', where the viewer is directed to a printed sex but hidden behind the graph paper, which reminds us that, according to Freud, female sexuality is "the black continent of psychoanalysis." In her own universe reinterpretations of historical pieces by artists such as Valie Export are integrated. ‘The Graduated. From Genital Panic (1969) to Labor Panic (2014)’. Her work sometimes is uncomfortable to the public, but it always proposes a change in the look.
This overlapping reads, recurrent in her career, has an oriental drift in the embroidered fabrics series dedicated to 'Lucky Fish'. The fish, a symbol of harmony and prosperity in Feng Shui, are multiplied in nourished banks, swirling following geometric patterns or grouped into a smaller number. These innocent looking seabeds show the relationship of the individual within the group and their movements and reactions to each other.
Pilar Albarracin is one of the most controversial contemporary national artists and has an important international recognition. Since her first exhibition in 1997 in Madrid and Sevilla - cities where she lives and works - her work has been selected to participate in numerous group and solo exhibitions in places as relevant as the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; The Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; MoMA PS1, New York; Istanbul Modern Sanat Müzesi, Istanbul; the National Centre for Contemporary Arts, Moscow; or Kiasma Museum, Helsinki. She has participated in the Venice Biennale, Busan (Korea), Moscow and Seville among others.