On 8 September Ivorypress starts off the season with the opening of Museos en blanco by Spanish artist José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, 1960). The exhibition showcases his latest works—mainly photographic— which contain an invitation to ‘empty our museums’, both real museums and those embedded in our memory, to suggest two approaches that can serve to analyse our past as well as our future. The visual resources employed by Ballester in these works change the viewer’s position towards the outside world and towards their own memory.
José Manuel Ballester “Museos en Blanco”
From 8 September to 7 November 2015
C/ Comandante Zorita 48 28020
The exhibition’s starting point is the artist’s idea that no museum can contain the essence of culture within its walls. To Ballester, museums are no more than spaces that house the most representative samples of what history can offer us at any given time. It is a fragmented, and in most cases decontextualised, history that allows us to delve into a murky past that is cyclically revised and reconsidered, especially in times like the present day, when new social models are constantly being molded by new technology.
However, there is a new visual lens through which a different reality is being created: a virtual world at the service of our concerns, desires and whims. An alternative reality that can trick us into believing that it is our own, deceiving our entire perceptive system. ‘In these circumstances direct contact with the object that shapes our emotions is no longer essential and thus, matter and illusion become closer than ever’, adds Ballester.
The selection of works on show is completed with a display case containing small-format drawings as well as several of the artist’s publications. Museos en blanco can be visited at Ivorypress until 7 November 2015.
JOSE MANUEL BALLESTER
José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, 1960) is a painter and photographer who graduated in Fine Arts from Madrid’s Universidad Complutense in 1984. He began his artistic career in painting with a particular interest in the techniques of the Italian and Flemish schools of the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1990 he began to combine painting and photography in his work.
Ballester has exhibited his work in numerous museums both in Spain and abroad. Especially worthy of note are Habitación 523 (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2005), Fervor de metrópolis (Pinacoteca del Estado de São Paulo, 2010) and La abstracción en la realidad (Sala Alcalá 31, Madrid and DA2, Salamanca, 2012). He has also taken part in group shows at art fairs such as ARCO, Art Chicago, Art Forum Germany, Paris Photo and Art Miami, among many others.
His works are part of the collections of MNCARS, Madrid; Arugame Museum of Contemporary Art; IVAM, Valencia; Miami Museum of Art; Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, Miami; Fundación Telefónica, Madrid; Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao and the Coca-Cola Foundation, among others.
News source: Ivorypress