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The Drowned Continents
Original title: Los continentes sumergidos
1991
Envelopes with window, photographs, red ink, glass and wood
Dimensions: 126 x 392 cm
Reference: ACF0184
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Within Juan Francisco Isidro's short artistic career, cut off by his premature accidental death in 1993, Los continentes sumergidos emerges as one of his most striking and definitive pieces. It most roundly sums up the attitude to art and the concerns of his work up to that date, and the temperament and energy of the works that would have come later on. It is also highly ambitious in terms of its ideas, but also achieves well defined results. With an extremely precarious use of media and materials, he manages to put forward a serious work on fragility and process, which tackles questions such as the immaterial nature of painting, its statutes and mental possibilities, or the versatility of images. The work was done using business envelopes with transparent windows. A photograph of a single object, recorded from different positions and angles, was placed into each one, in the form of fragmented sequences with no linear continuity. The object could thus be seen through that "window", whose function is to show the recipient's postal address. On the surface of the envelopes two sinuous lines intertwine and cross a "pictorial" and mental field, revealing and concealing the photographic images, which act as flashes. Isidro's beginnings were marked by an allusive, symbolic painting, in which he used tensions of meaning and representation -for example in Cacahuete ("Islas y lagos" series), 1987. He later turned towards a kind that moved towards conceptual and then object oriented positions, as in Diagonal verdadera (1988) or Castillo (1992). The use of photography and its different possibilities for manipulation and objectification (Aroma, 1991) and the use of everyday materials placed in the context of conceptual games and transpositions, give us a glimpse of an intense, renewing evolution with an extraordinarily lively and restless artistic discourse.

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