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'Painting in Space – The Dilemma of Gesture'
7 February – 29 March 2014
Following the inaugural UK retrospective of Spanish artist Enrique Brinkmann, ‘The Poetics of Silence’ in 2011, which featured works covering a span of 50 years, a new exhibition ‘Painting in Space – The Dilemma of Gesture’ showcasing the artist’s most recent work, is opening tomorrow at the Rosenfeld Porcini gallery.
For the first time, Brinkmann is exhibiting two sculptural pieces, Estela (2013) and Cuatro Estudios de Sonajero Chino (2011). He is also showing his series on paper Reportajes (Reporting, 2013), which recalls his black and white period from 1961–74, when Franco was ruling in Spain. As a lifelong committed socialist, opposed to the Franco regime, his primary concern was with narrative. There was a sense of foreboding in all the paintings he produced in those years. Since the death of Franco, he has been concerned above all with formal language. With Reportajes, Enrique Brinkmann has returned to black and white, combining his need for narrative and with formal experimentation. He also designed the complex pressed cardboard frame around the work. Here, Brinkmann no longer deals with specific political issues but rather presents a more philosophical approach to human drama.
The series is completed by the sculpture Estela, which is, in effect, a three-dimensional approach to what is happening in the paper works. The four pieces that make up Cuatro Estudios de Sonajero Chino, which are in fact freestanding partially painted steel mesh, shift the artist’s practice into sculpture. With these works, Brinkmann continues his experimentation with gesture and transparency, which inspired him to begin working with steel mesh in 1998.
The final part of the show will feature a selection of Enrique Brinkmann’s latest paintings on steel mesh, where he continues to explore the idea of using the metal weave as a form of sculptural relief. Working the paint from both sides, sometimes even having as many as three different layers, enables the artist to produce extremely complex pieces. Elements constantly seem to appear and disappear under the multiple layers of paint.
For the first time also, Rosenfeld Porcini will present a selection of Enrique Brinkmann’s graphic works. This is yet another departure from both the drawings and oil paintings; these delicate works on paper display his attention to the possibilities of these particular practices, whilst presenting us with another facet of his passion for mark-making.
Enrique Brinkmann (b. 1938, in Malaga, Spain) abandoned his training as an industrial engineer (1955) to focus on painting. Self-taught, he exhibited for the first time in Malaga, in 1957. He later joined the Picasso group and collaborated with the M.A.M. (Artistic Mediterranean Movement). Between 1961 and 1966 Brinkmann lived in Cologne and Berlin., travelling periodically across Europe. This led him to collaborate with the Fluxus Group, illustrating a music score for experimental composer Cornelius Cardew. In 1967, the artist permanently relocated to Spain, living between Malaga and Madrid.
Enrique Brinkmann has exhibited with numerous museums and galleries in Spain and internationally including at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, Johannesburg; a retrospective at The Museum of Malaga and the Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid (formally MEAC). His work is featured in numerous private and public collections, such as MoMA, New York; the Albertina Museum, Vienna; the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne. In 1994 Brinkmann was given the ‘Premio Nacional de Grabado de la Calcografía Nacional’ in Madrid (National Prize for Copperplate Engraving).
37 Rathbone Street
London W1t 1NZ
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street
Opening times: Tuesday to Friday 11a.m.–7p.m. & Saturday 11a.m.–6p.m.