Text by Rosa Queralt
CarrerasMugicais pleased to present Lila, an exhibition by Idoia Montón Gorostegui, open to the public from 28 November. Composed mainly of new paintings, the exhibition showcases the artist’s versatility and constantexploration of languages and methodologies. Keenly aware that painting is the most highly saturated discipline of all the visualarts, forMontónthe challenge lies in perpetuating its currency as a valid form of contemporaryexpression. To this end, she pours into the creative process all the impulses and drives that engage, unsettle and move her in the act of addressing images. These take the form of obsessions, of non-rationalisedimperatives,because it is only when she starts to work with them that she can get actually to grips with them and follow their traces. The decisions she takes at this stage are generally of a formal nature, though underpinnedby an express desire to disassociate them from the idea of a personalstyle. As such, the work is the outcome of its own internal process of development as it dictates its own path,thus postponing the meditative and analyticaction until the process is already well under way.
The desire to open up the familiar through the discovery of new, different parameters and thus stir up the vestiges of prior experiences, places the starting point of these recent works at a crossroads of contingencies that can be summed up in her conscientious examination, somewhere between outrage and use value,of what is for her the obscene representation of The Rape of the Sabine Women. Yet it is not to undertake an exercise in appropriation nor the operation implicit in those paraphrases that reinterpretreferences to the past and take them to their own personal language. Instead, these are more freerversions, exempt from underlining, in which she sometimes takes printed fragments of paintings from art history in a double play in which she uses yet at once paints over them. In this case, however, she handles the sensual flesh of Rubens intuitively, transforming, distorting and destroying it. Cutting perpendicularly across this approach is a reading of Robert Graves’s TheGreek Myths, which, besides throwing light on eternal themes that have marked the imaginary of the West, also describes the vicissitudes in the transit from matriarchy to patriarchy. The combination of both interpretations produces an outcome with some aspects that could be associated with the baroque. These include, among others, a vision of the world giving expression to the disorder that overwhelms us, an abundance of dynamic forms in tension,a certain tendency towards theatricalising scenes,a taste for artifice and ornamentation, an inclination towards certain “oddities” or rule-breaking,a highly tactile and physical poetics, a strong ideological charge, and again a curious double play underlying surface appearances in which rigorous construction is coupled with evident chaos. And that is without forgetting the titles, which in these works evoke clearly unmistakable content and go beyond a mere reformulation of prior periods. The inclusion of works made between 2005 and 2007evinces a correspondence with her current output in terms of the treatment of the scenes, with a powerful symbolic componentgravitating over both.
With these “theatres of life”, at once instances of a culture of the image, IdoiaMontónGorosteguitakes another step forward in her practice, but above all else, she reaffirms her courageous, risk-taking and prejudice-freetemperament. She repeats the leap into the unknown that she took, for instance, in the transition to a crude realismdismantling conventional cannons around twenty years ago. But now she takes this step at a moment of painterly maturity to show us how she sees the world.
IdoiaMontónGorostegui (Donostia-San Sebastian, 1969) studied Fine Art at UPV-EHU. Her work has been seen in many exhibitions including, among others, Txuri-Beltz, Donostia (1991); La Fundición, Deusto (1991); KulturEtxea, Basauri (1992); Museo de San Telmo, Donostia (1995); La acción del arte, Bilkin Art Gallery, Bilbao (2003); Retratos de la gente de Egia, Garraxi, Donostia (2004); Imágenes de la KM, Kasa de la Muntanya, Barcelona (2008); Imágenesurbanas, El Callejón, Donostia (2009); Partituralibre, Experimentemambl’Art, Barcelona (2011), Un reflejo tangible, Halfhouse, Barcelona (2012); and La kasa del carpinteroinsurgente, GaleríaAlegría, Madrid (2014). She has been the recipient of several scholarships and prizes: Arteleku workshop grant (1988), DiputaciónForal de Gipuzkoa Grant for Sculpture (1990-1991), First prize in the XXXIII Certamen for young artists from Gipuzkoa, Juan de Otaola de KulturEtxea de Basauri grant (1993) and DiputaciónForal de Bizkaia grant (1993). She was recently awarded a grant from the Eremuakprogramme for a publication compiling her work (2013).