Elena Blasco
Spain, 1956
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Elena Blasco defines herself as a painter, and colour is clearly central to her output, but in fact her work encompasses virtually all media, including painting, but also objects, drawing, printmaking and works in multiple copies, collage, sculpture, installations and photography. She embarked on her artistic career in the late 1970s and developed her distinctive approach over the following decade. The style that emerged bore no connection to the dominant trends in Spain at the time, namely Neo-Expressionism, the Transavantgarde, Madrilenian New Figuration (a movement associated with the generation to which Blasco belongs) and conceptual practice, an approach pursued by a small number of artists who nevertheless made significant contributions. Blasco does not fit into any of these clusters of artists or subscribe to any of these aesthetic approaches. She has always gone her own way, at a remove from groups and movements, and outside the spotlight of the market and the public. Though the value of her work is recognised by artists and some critics, she has always been a figure outside the mainstream. What makes her work unique is the way she relates and mixes media, genres and languages, her ability to make these elements work together and yield results that defy description, much less classification. A landscape emerges from a piece; elements and objects reach out, transforming it into an installation. A domestic space is represented using soft forms—rubber furniture, patterned fabrics—that the artist makes, reuses, or transforms in some way. Textile materials and everyday objects are integrated with painting to form a single piece, resulting in works that are at times discordant but always surprising. Her photographs sometimes consist of several ‘layers’. For example, she may stick a drawing onto a found image or one captured with her camera, paint some parts of an image to ‘complete’ it in a way that alters its meaning, or even photograph her own paintings, then paint on the prints and re-photograph them. She sometimes uses transparent media, such as acetate sheets, that bear different ‘scenes’ or ‘motifs’, which she then superimposes on one another to create a multi-colour story with a disconcerting effect. The techniques she uses to construct her pieces incorporate an element of chance, but her language remains extraordinarily pure, even when her pieces appear mad, anarchic and spontaneous. The hedonistic, playful, carefree aspect of her output conceals a deeply critical attitude towards the prejudices that drive much of our private conduct and the social forms by which we are constrained. Blasco’s voice is raised against any kind of subjugation. Her language speaks of the joy of life and communicates energy. The tools she wields are a sense of humour and irony, an acid commentary on reality that always takes an elliptical form, so that it is viewers who are invited to bring their insight to the work and complete the reading she suggests. Untitled serves as a good illustration of the way she mixes different media. The photographic image captures something resembling a landscape that has been previously constructed by the artist using a range of materials in combination with paint. Elena Blasco studied Fine Arts at Complutense University of Madrid and has combined her artistic activity with teaching. Her work has been exhibited in Rotterdam, Cologne, Berlin, Mexico City, New York, Tokyo, Barcelona, Santiago, Seville and Bilbao, among other cities. In 2012, Millones y abundantes razones, a retrospective covering the last three decades of her career, was held at the Sala Comunidad de Madrid-Alcalá.
Alicia Murría

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Untitled / 2004