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Footstool
Original title: Escabel
1999
Fabric, stucco and footstool
Dimensions: 150 x 50 x 50 cm
Reference: ACF0730
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The colour white has been one of the constants in Concha García's work, just as it is the nexus that links the two pieces in the Collection. White, for García, is associated with the predominant materials she uses: plaster at the beginning, and canvases later. Although it is consubstantial with plaster, leaving a poor aftertaste and with a special feel, in the case of the canvases it is a choice or, at least, a will for continuity. But why white? Both Fernando Castro and Francisco Calvo Serraller, two critics who have written in García's catalogues, have pointed out two adjacent stances towards the colour. So, quoting Bloom, Castro speaks of the void and "the cabalistic idea of creation". Recalling a text by the sculptor herself, Calvo Serraller points to "a poetics of memory" which runs all through her steady evolution. The two pieces in the Fundació "la Caixa" Collection were shown at two exhibitions at the Fúcares Gallery in Madrid in 1995 and 1999, respectively. We should contextualise them with the other works shown there and then relate them. Untitled is a wall sculpture, not very usual in García's output. At the same show we should mention Abrazo and another work made up of pieces of white gauze falling out of a tube. Yet the Fundació "la Caixa" work is far more pictorial; it plays with lightness and the incorporation of different planes and spaces. It was certainly the most ambitious piece, but although it had common elements with most of the others, it was differentiated from them. The similarities came from the white we have mentioned, the materials -plaster and utensils- and a general evocation of nebulous memories. The most important difference -apart from it being placed on the wall, and the consequent incorporation of the wall into the work- lay in the fact that the defining element of the individual exhibition was the striking presence of the pins as light elements of protection. There were also clear references to motherhood through shapes alluding to fruits or seeds whose exterior was made of plaster, whilst the inside concealed pins, like dangerous filaments, whose function was not so much aggressive as defensive, as shown by one of the titles, Semillas protegidas (Protected seeds). All the sculptures at the 1995 show, therefore, had a family air with echoes of a possible feminine world which even suffused the aesthetic with which she manoeuvred, and which, moreover, was floating in the Spanish artistic atmosphere with very similar examples at that time. The originality of the wall sculpture in García's output lay in the fact that she took the step (the first and last) of including structural elements of the exhibition room in her work, going beyond traditional free-standing sculpture. The pictorial aspects, formed both by the fact of painting the wall and by the shadows thrown by the funnels or the object itself, also have a crucial presence, which is combined with a poetics in which the structural element is part of the piece as a referent constructed by the others. For its part, Escabel has a family air with a major tradition in the sculpture of recent decades, in which pieces of household furniture have played an important part as a range of metaphors and allegories, according to each case. Different pieces from the individual exhibition presented at Fúcares in 1999 bear a striking resemblance, for example, to the sculpture of José Pedro Croft in the Collection. But there are differences. If in both works pieces of furniture are used, the white figures that go with them are different, because in Croft's work they are geometrical (done in plaster), whilst in García's they are amorphous, like whimsically shaped but rounded cushions in an easily recognisable "tradition" (in Spain we might mention Begoña Montalbán. though we would have to go back, and beyond the borders, to Louise Bourgeois). The title of the exhibition where this free-standing sculpture was shown for the first time was "Hacer la casa" (Making/doing the house), which gives off a certain ambiguity. On the one hand, what the artist is really suggesting is not that we should be concerned with the physical structure, with what gives us shelter (although a drawing of a bucket with a sloping roof was also on show), but rather the furnishing of the room. On the other, "Hacer la casa" also means cleaning it, arranging it, thus evoking household tasks. It is not by chance that these sculptures with furnishings and canvases recall a house which has long been deserted and whose furniture is draped to protect it from dust and damp. The pieces of furniture García uses are of two types: either for rest (chairs or a footstool), or for storing things. The impossibility of using them, owing to the whitish protuberances she has added, points out how loaded with memory they are, because that is how she attributes it.

Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist Other artworks in the Collection by the same artist

  • Untitled / 1995

  • Red Creeper / 2004

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