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Coinciding with the new season of gallery shows after the summer, Art Barcelona is once again organising Art Nou, the programme that brings new artists to the Barcelona gallery scene. From 4 to 23 September, galleries and art centres will be welcoming exhibitions and several other events connected to the artists they are promoting.
This year’s proposals are quite varied, although there is a strong presence of materiality and studies of the transformations, relations and possibilities of matter. Such is the case of the work by Elena Lavellés on the three forms of gold at the Blueproject Foundation; that of Sixtine Jacquart on porcelain at La Place; or the group show dedicated to materials like oil painting, bronze or concrete at the Carles Taché gallery.
Performances and actions are also very present this year. Most of these events are proposed by artists in the framework of their exhibitions, but in the case of some performance artists, the actions take place in the exhibition space. Especially interesting are the works by Sgàire Wood, Puppy Love, at Cordova Gallery, Hotel Andalucía by Blanca Utrillas Gracia, Clàudia del Barrio and Vilma Bravo at etHall, and Lace and Food Drinks by Pol Olivé at El Cuarto del recreo. The last two are festive encounters for exploring ideas such as Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) and the absurdity of our leisure constructions in the case of Hotel Andalucía, or putting the relationality of exhibition space to the test in Lace and Food Drinks. Puppy Love, on the other hand, is made up of a series of intense, intimate actions along the artist’s usual lines of research. La Escocesa, in its turn, focuses on a reflective encounter with its artists in residence around the essay ‘Sex, Death and Kefir’ by biologist Lynn Margulis. Last but not least, mention should be made of the Jornada Garrofista action at Arts Santa Mònica, organised by the group of garrofista artists that focuses on the precariousness of artists’ work. The meeting will also be a celebratory occasion and will include various activities and a proclamation.
The Jornada Garrofista is particularly relevant at an event like Art Nou that has an impact on the debate concerning emerging art. Who are emerging artists? Those who have not yet displayed their work in galleries? Those who have not yet sold an artwork? What happens to new artists aged over 35? How can we support emerging artists in a context like today’s art market?
Although most of the exhibitions are solo shows, some spaces like Estudio Nómada or Sala Parés have preferred group shows that may lack a curatorial discourse but nevertheless prepare for the launching of new names. Along these lines, the works by artists Anna Dot at Bombon Project and Ariadna Guiteras at Àngels Barcelona – espai 2, integrate space into their projects, thereby shaping new relational experiences between the artworks and the walls, and between the space and its visitors.
In short, this year Art Nou presents interesting projects by Barcelona art galleries that step away from their usual frameworks to embrace the work of young artists and lead us to reconsider what emerging art is like and where to find it.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)