Monument to the Pathetic Sublime:
Resuscitating Goya or an All Out Attempt at Transcendence
April 8th – May 21st
Saturday, April 8th 2017
7 – 11 PM
Coagula Curatorial will be exhibiting “To The Pathetic Sublime”, featuring internationally renowned artist Manuel Ocampo in his first Los Angeles exhibition in ten years. In this two-artist exhibit, Ocampo partners with Madrid-based artist Irene-Iré in a series of new works which attempt to bring the dark humor and critical eye of Goya back into our contemporary consciousness through the use and appropriation of his critical imagery from his print portfolio Los Caprichos (1797-1798).
The artists state: “For the moment, we try to function as mediums communicating with ghosts, and as mediums, we become formalists. Confusing the alchemist’s paint with that of the mandrake, the paint drips like Pollock’s where fetuses manifest themselves in stains and the decaying detritus of sex appear in the dribble. Paint as seminal fluid is essential and symbolic in our works. We create art pieces that are open-ended, adapting our particular view within the legacy of Goya, who, despite 200 years, has allowed his visionary character to be either used or exploited for our own end.”
In Iré’s paintings, we see imagery of the Los Caprichos series smudged, stained, and abstracted, almost to the point of annihilating any remnants of Goya’s original image. In these paintings, Goya’s commentary is brought to the present – the narrative has changed but the stains have seeped through to the here and now.
Manuel Ocampo’s take on Los Caprichos is ironic (or perhaps lost in translation) while simultaneously commenting on the problematics of the effectiveness of critique within an art historical context. The imagery from Los Caprichos is utilized as background and then mixed with other characters from art history: Malevich’s utopian constructivism to hand-made Pop Art via Looney Tunes. Both Pop and Constructivism may have some relations to Goya, but the connection leads us to a circuitous road full of detours and day long traffic jams, just like in Metro Manila.
Irene-Iré is a Madrid-based artist, who exhibits regularly throughout Europe.
Manuel Ocampo is one of the most influential living contemporary artists working today. In addition to having been shown and collected in numerous international museums, he will represent the Philippines in the 2017 Venice Biennale.