Content Space. CAAM Collection Installations

Exhibition title: Content Space. CAAM Collection Installations
Dates: 20.09.2013 to 05.01.2014
Place: CAAM – San Antonio Abad. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Spain.
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


Tony Cragg
Yellow fragment, 1980
Yellow thermoplastic
Variable dimensions
Piece purchased in 2002.

Cragg is considered as one of the most important and influential British sculptors since Henry Moore. His sensitivity to the different materials is and has always been the starting point of his whole work. It is, then, possible to classify Cragg’s work in several groups, according to the materials used: stone, clay, bronze, glass, and different synthetic materials such as polystyrene, carbon fiber or glass fiber. To a great extent, the choice of material determines the shape that the sculpture is to take, and plays an important role in the emotional experience of the viewer.

In the 80’s, Cragg started to use elements that had been found and manufactured –plastic remainders– and transformed them into mosaics, which he would install on floors or walls. These sculptures or «drawings», as he chooses to call them, stand for products that the artist separated and arranged into colour groups. This way, the remainders come to a new life and the viewer is made to reconsider these elements as works of art. These creations show Cragg’s concern with the pollution of our natural environment. The recycling and transformation of discarded objects into amazing works of art makes the viewer become aware of the proliferation of things that end up forming part of our world.

Tony Cragg was born in 1949 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. At present he lives and works in Germany.

Mark Dion
The museum of poison (Biocide Hall), 2000
Variable dimensions
Piece purchased in 2002

With The Museum of Poison, Mark Dion turns the exhibition hall into an archive of products used to control nature by containing farming pesticides. Once we go through the fake wall, we see a variety of containers, poisons and archive boxes covered by a see-through plastic sheet in the middle of the room. Dion sets the controversy between the presence of a dangerous, even deadly material, and its seductive arrangement in the place, thus alluding to the museum’s metaphorical ability to contextualize the objects it shows. In many of his works, Mark Dion lucidly recreates the typical operational way of museums: he classifies, systematizes, associates and researches, he becomes an ecologist, a biochemist, a detective or an archaeologist, paying attention to the specialized work of experts –among them, historians and curators–. Dion’s work is influenced by the importance of museums, their function and the morality of the institutions that serve as interpreters and watchers of the history of science and culture. The artist builds façades and storehouses that represent the methodology of museums, thus expressing the need to store things in order to guarantee their preservation.

Dion was born in Massachusetts in 1961. He lives and works in Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Pepe Espaliú
Carrying I, 1992
63 x 200 x 36 cm
Piece purchased in 1992 during the exhibition Historia Natural. El doble hermético (Natural History. The Hermetic Double)

Pepe Espaliú used to deal with conceptual art, painting and the publishing of a magazine while living in Barcelona, Paris and Seville respectively. He forms part of the group of Andalucian artists that emerged with great force during the eighties, and managed to attract great attention due to the novelty of their expressive resources and the theoretical solidity of their works. By the end of the eighties, Espaliú settled in Madrid and devoted himself totally to drawing, working on paper and sculpting. From that moment on, Espaliú’s works show a clearer and more obsessive evidence of his most intimate concerns: discourses on identity, conflicts with his homosexuality and his sadomasochistic approaches to pleasure. In 1990, as he was living in New York, he found out that he was ill with AIDS. He came back to Spain and got involved with the social work for AIDS victims; he also started sculpting the pieces called Carrying. According to the artist, «(…) they use the metaphor of the sedan chair, but these are hermetically sealed sedan chairs, which alludes to the idea of contagion. Many a time one of them is connected with another one, confronted, with a wall between them. Usually they are hanging: suspension and levitation have been a leitmotiv in all of my work, but now they gain much more relevance. It is as if there had been some kind of premonition. Those works are a metaphor of this situation, the situation of the sick». In San Sebastián, he devised the action Carrying: two people were to carry him in a carrier chair along the streets. This action was repeated in Madrid, where the route started at the Congress of Deputies and ended at the entrance of the Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofía. It aroused great interest on behalf of the media and the society.

Pepe Espaliú was born in 1955 in Córdoba, Spain. He died there in 1993.

Rebecca Horn
The 3-armed painting school, 1989
Mixed media and engine
Variable dimensions
Piece purchased in 2002

Since the beginning of the seventies, Rebecca Horn has devoted herself to her work, a corpus that combines different disciplines and media. These include drawings and photos as well as performances, films, sculptures and spatial installations. The essence of her imagery responds to a great accuracy in physical and technical functionality, which she uses to organize her work in definite places.

In her first performances, body-extensions, the artist explores the balance between body and space. In subsequent works, she substitutes the human body with kinetic sculptures that come to life on their own. Rebecca Horn’s machine-sculptures express energy in its purest state. As the artist herself explains: «My machines are nothing like washing machines or cars. They have a human quality and must experience changes. They get nervous and have to stop every now and then. If one machine comes to a halt, it doesn’t mean it’s broken. It is just tired. The tragic and melancholic aspect of machines is very important to me. I don’t want them to work non-stop. It is only a part of their lives that they must faint and stop».

Rebecca Horn was born in 1944 in Michelstadt, Germany. She lives and works in Berlin and Paris.

Thomas Schütte
Out the Window, 1990
Installation. 2 armchairs, polished and tinted wood, 3 aquarelles on aluminium
Variable dimensions.
Obra adquirida 1991 en el contexto de la exposición Hacia el paisaje

Piece purchased in 1991 during the exhibition Hacia el paisaje (Towards the Landscape).

Thomas Schütte is one of the capital artists of his generation. His installations, sculptures, etchings, drawings and watercolor paintings take different –and often contradictory– shapes. «I’d rather have people imagine their own stories about my work than do it myself for them», comments he on the matter. While traditionally considered as a sculptor, he started his career painting with Gerard Richter in 1975. It is from Richter that Schütte inherits a critical view towards avant-garde painting, and from Daniel Buren, Sol LeWitt and Blinky Palermo the attitude of subverting conventional painting schemes. Schütte is so much interested in tradition as he is in breaking models. The art of the past provides him with inspiration on numerous occasions. He uses the path of art as one of exploration and questioning: with traditional sculpting approaches, he achieves absolutely unconventional results. Also, he uses decoration to approach abstraction and, with the aid of transcendence and design, questions autonomy as function.

He was born in 1954 Oldenburg, Germany. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.


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