The revolution that the Impressionists undertook and led, through very different paths, to the first abstraction, abstract expressionism or informalist or materialist routes has bequeathed at least the reminder of two basic principles that alone would justify it: the first , That a painter is first and foremost someone who works with painting. The second is that painting is first and foremost a technique for influencing the senses through the properties of light and matter. The work of the young artist from Huelva Ismael Lagares (1978) starts directly from these two central premises in contemporary painting – but also in all precedent – to take them to the extreme.
In his first individual exhibition in Asturias, Lagares presents the fruits of an advance in the develop- ment of the traits that have dominated his still brief but very restless trajectory. His work is based on a passionate, expressive and even overwhelming use of color and more and more decisively, in the manipulation of matter as the basis of a language that transparent under the density of painting concepts and resources of classical figuration:
Composition, representation, the use of genres such as still life or landscape … Lagares also shows a selection of his sculptures, which give body to the exploration of roads that have almost inevitably led him from the tactile power of his paintings towards The exempt figure.
In earlier stages of his work, the balances and tensions in the painting unfolded through an almost dramatic alternation between flat zones and accumulations of matter, defined forms and reports accumulations of paste, painting as such and objects usually from the painter’s workshop incorpo- rated into the support. Now the whole surface is occupied by the maximum of matter that can withstand the fragility of the paper.
Lagares part of the generic score of the sky, horizon and land landscape. Illusion of perspective and distance to sow infinite plantations of lively pigmented matter, inflorescences of painting, violent plastic swells on which a stormy sky is shaken, a wind that sweeps colors and substance, lifts and disseminates seeds of paint. It is difficult to decide if they are images of a genesis or a pictorial apocalypse, of the still report or of what already had form and now it is decomposition, melting, saturation of forms in trance of the collapse. Viewed in historical terms, this almost paroxysmal accumulation of painting with which Lagares floods the space could be the ossuary of expressionist abstraction, the landfill where the detritus of pop, the dump of the old figuration, a baroque Terminal of the painting with all its remains, collected conscientiously and thrown to a new ground, as the manure is thrown to make it productive.
From this fruitful humus comes this germinal painting.
But Lagares does not catalog the ruins of art, there is no quotation, irony or postmodern melan- choly in his work. On the contrary: it seems to paint with a furious desire to continue painting, that the painting lives on at all costs. Hence the organic boiling that shakes and curls his paintings. Perhaps there is no more radical way of expressing that energy than doing collage, not with the tools with which it is painted but with the painting itself; Incorporating into the painting three-dimen- sional clots of paint, as compact and exempt as any other object outside the painting.
The painting does not leave the other side to address the viewer; Comes from the same world of the spectator to be embedded in the picture, turning it into a platform from which to emit and seek the senses (it would seem that all the senses) of the spectator with all its material and object forcefulness its plastic values always: light, color, Texture, composition.
From that same impulse but in the reverse direction the animal sculptures of Lagares sprout and break apart. In fact, the three-dimensional bundles of their dogs or their birds are pure supports, forms exempt from being paint: beings made of paint, colonized, conquered and subsumed by the dense plastic tide.
It is not a surface layer, a cover; Nothing that can go with a shower conscientiously. We suspect that these animals have ended up being paint to the marrow.
That seems to be the essence of what Lagares is doing: a convulsively sensual work that shows the landscape and objects of the world turned into painting. After all, this art has always operated this way: making the rest of the beings their own, transforming them by plastic procedures and relocating them back into the world under a kind of painting. In painting like this, Ismael Lagares describes in the most literal and direct way that which makes a painter: to see the world made painting; To add painting to the world; Flood and activate the senses of the one who looks with the pure painting.