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Laurent Grasso in Almost by Chance. Traces and Trajectories of Delcacomania

TEA Tenerife Space of the Arts shows Casi el azar: Óscar Domínguez, the decalcomania and its drifts, curated by Isidro Hernández with the sponsorship of JTI.

The technique of decalcomanía-according to the explanation of André Breton and as it appears in the Dictionnaire Abrégé du Surréalisme that served as catalog for the International Exhibition of 1938 in the Galerie de Beaux-Arts in Paris-is simple, naive as the most Docility of the games, and when performed with rudimentary materials, is, in truth, within the reach of anyone who wants to be distracted by experimenting with brushes and colors. The author's intervention is reduced to extending black gouache, more or less diluted and satiny, on a surface; Then, to cover the surface painted with another sheet exerting a slight pressure. Like in a hit of dice, when raising this second leaf the shadow of an indescribable landscape is exposed, a matter in gestation about to emerge from the world of the reportable to that of the credible. If the first surrealist canvases of who was the inventor of this procedure, Domínguez is nourished by the recreation of the atmosphere of the dream, the decalcomanía introduces us fully into the dream itself, in its indefinite nebula, as the sleeper who, upon awakening, He can not remember what he has dreamed.

This exhibition includes various works of the TEA Collection belonging to Óscar Domínguez as a starting point to reflect on automatisms and gestural painting processes that have wanted to explore and expand the possibilities of this technique. In the case of Óscar Domínguez, the artist works together with Marcel Jean in the introduction of elements that bring new findings, and thus the use of templates that combine the free and capricious intervention of chance with intentionality and desire, as in the case of the figures of the lion and the window in the series called Grisou, which will be present in the sample. In the case of Óscar Domínguez and Marcel Jean, the choice of motives is not accidental; everything seems to indicate that the elements have been chosen following the guidelines set by the surrealist imaginary. The lion in front of the window or, what is the same, the voracious, insatiable desire, inaugurates a new world from the eyes. These decalcomanías realized with Marcel Jean suppose, therefore, a declaration of principles for the surrealistic art, a metaphor of the desire that overcomes all the obstacles to scrutinize the unsuspected territories of the creation.

This exhibition, Almost chance presents the work of various international artists who have worked the technique of decalcomania in their experimentation on pictorial gestural automatism. International authors such as Raoul Ubac, Val Telberg, Man Ray, Jindrich or Heisler, contemporaries of Óscar Domínguez, as well as others who in their photographic experience developed this technique, as in the case of the photographers Zhang Huan and Wolfgang Tillmans, or other rigorously current as Gianfranco Foshino or Jeremy Everett. Special mention deserves the installation of the German artist of Norwegian origin Bente Stokke, in whose work we discovered a continuous reinterpretation of decalcomania and automatism through the gestural impulse of his drawings and installations.

A more current generation belong Sema Castro and Gabriel Roca, also present in the sample and who from their different trajectories have been able to reinterpret the technique of decalcomanía, invented, as André Breton and Paul Éluard emphasize in the Dictionnaire Abrégé du Surréalisme ( 1938), by the painter Óscar Domínguez (Tenerife, 1906 - Paris, 1957), in the words of the critic Juan Manuel Bonet "together with Miró and Dalí the third great name that Spain gave to surrealist painting". In the work of each of them we witness a surprising experimentation with the possibilities of this technique resulting from spontaneity, chance and technical mastery in the use of pictorial procedures. The works seem to take on a life of their own, as the creator participates but does not determine the final realization. The last image projected on the surface of the paper, the table or the fabric is not the culmination of a process but, rather, an appearance on the canvas. Thus, the unforeseen, uncontrolled and unreported nature of the initial stain of the painting takes shape due to a need - almost chance; perhaps because of the perfect cooperation of the conscious and the unconscious; perhaps because the artist has to work like the whimsical Nature, without any objective or previous meanings, as an escape valve, as an intense energy that does not need models. In all cases, and from their different experimentation processes, these artists present diverse results, whether in the use of photography, painting or mixed media.

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