Thru 13 July 2012
From May 11th to July 13th 2012 the gallery is pleased to present a retrospective exhibition of the Spanish painter Fermin Aguayo entitled Inhabited Presence, Reflected Presence at both the right bank and left bank spaces of the Gallery.
This exhibition retraces the itinerary of a great painter who died prematurely in 1977 at the age of 51, and whom the gallery has promoted ever since the 1950s. Following in the footsteps of a retrospective dedicated to him a few years ago by the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, it is the first exhibition in France to bring together such a large number of his major works, some of them for the first time. The works exhibited in the historical space of the gallery situated rue de Seine, will provide the public with an overview of the different phases and themes of the artist's lifework, which are developed fully in the continuing exhibition rue de Saintonge, from his earliest paintings of the mid 1940s to the last paintings of 1975, two years before his death. Included in the exhibition are some rare works on paper unseen publicly before.
Born in 1926 in the old Castilian town of Sotillo de la Ribera, Fermin Aguayo's childhood was marked by the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. His father and two brothers were killed by the franquists, while he and his mother fled their home in a state of extreme poverty (his mother was to die of exhaustion a few years later). Silent, discreet and solitary Aguayo is an entirely self-taught (contrarian) who pioneered an abstract style of painting uncommon at that time in Spain (represented by the creation of the Grupo Portico of Saragosse in the late 1940s), a style that transposes, in a metaphorical and restrained manner, the violence and dramatic situations of the Civil War.
In his exacting and unpretentious way the artist delves into the formal structures of the paintings of his elders---the geometrical, abstract and figurative aspects of their works as well as the techniques they used---in order to take possession of them, to become one (faire corps) with them, so that through painting the spirit begins to reveal itself in its unique and universal presence.