Under the title AMÈRICA, Fernando García presents his third solo exhibition at Heinrich Ehrhardt Gallery. Four routines, which could be understood as formal or mechanical sorting exercises, articulate the main axes of the exhibition: collecting stones; painting vertical and horizontal lines to form a grid; imagining frames of relationship with artistic references; and pasting small pieces of paper next to each other.
These four repetitive acts are the basis not only of this work but also the routine of García’s entire artistic activity over recent years. Repetitions aimed at awakening a certain liberation with a basis in the mechanical, and interpreting this logic as a pretext through which the artist, absorbed in and aware of his particular practice, explores the uncontrolled.
AMÈRICA is an idea of experience and a recreation of the enjoyment of that experience. It is a calendar. If routines and the results that come from them have been essential to García’s work method in recent times, now routine becomes almost evasive, a great interrogation that incites unsuspected outcomes. Routine and serendipity as a material formulation of time.
The exhibition is arranged around four different bodies of work. On the one hand are two staircases that function as diagrams and explain how things work. The two constructions, full of stones placed on each of the steps and landings, obey that first routine of collecting and dating stones. At first, this practice does not have a specific objective but eventually establishes the framework of action on which the work finds its reason for being. On the other hand, a series of paintings composed on the basis of three bands are presented, related to the idea of creating infinite vertical and horizontal lines. It is again a calendar, ordered according to the successive interventions on seven paintings, each one produced in different sessions distributed among the days of the week. The same painting on Mondays, another painting on Tuesdays and so on. To return, for example, every Sunday to a painting that was left in suspension seven days ago means breaking the very rule of the game on which this practice is established, taking up the painting again a week later but breaking its succession or continuity. At the same time, AMÈRICA presents another series of paintings that are linked to artistic references in relation to the pictorial space, ‘the nucleus and the void’, and the correspondence between monochrome, landscape and nature. Finally, a group of collages or exhibition posters close the routine of these repetitive practices, in this case centred on the idea of making mosaics by gluing together thousands of small pieces of paper.
By faithfully following a pattern, things suddenly change. From a hieratic and firm sculpture one passes to hallucinatory psychedelia; from white monochrome surfaces to compositions and variegated plots of lines and colours. The logic established between the immobility of a stone and an element of circulation and continuous movement like a staircase is striking. The ascent and descent, one thing after the other, is elemental in García’s work. With stairs, as now, but also with circles, spirals and pyramids, he has confronted these circular and repeated routines. The origin of this exhibition is also found in the idea of a route, walk or promenade as an activity in itself, of landscapes of prickly pears and tangerines. By means of contemplative calendars that seem to be discoveries, Fernando García constructs both his own habitat and ours in an indefinite and solitary temporal movement, which as Juan Muñoz has said, is where everything happens, ‘in those hours when nothing happens; if there was a theme, it would be that experience’.