From November 10th, 2011 to April 9th, 2012 – Palacio de Cristal – Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
At the Palacio de Cristal in the Park of El Retiro, the artist Soledad Sevilla (Valencia, 1944) is presenting Written in the celestial bodies, an installation created specifically for this space. It consists of an aluminum and printed polycarbonate structure reproducing the vault of the Palacio de Cristal itself with the image of the sky at night. It will be the largest installation the artist has produced in her latest phase, which began in the early nineties and is marked by exploration of the relations between light, matter and space. To this end, Sevilla creates elements that stand subtly alongside pre-existing ones and activate them by heightening their variable aspects, particularly light. Through the abstract structures of these works, the artist shows her interest in atmospheric and spatial values, already apparent in her earlier twodimensional production. “My objective is to add something intangible to the physical world of creation, to contribute a presentiment of events that are taking place but not visible, which we hear but do not see,” explains Soledad Sevilla.Soledad Sevilla first attracted attention as a member of the Seminar of the Centro de Cálculo de Madrid (1969-71), where a group of artists experimented with the automatic generation of plastic forms. At first she produced a series of geometric paintings where it is possible to discern the genesis of the geometrical structures she employs today, whose forms are freer but are still based on rigorous technical analysis. Also appreciable in these works are certain ambient characteristics that are highlighted in her pictorial work of the eighties, paintings of high chromatic density where she achieves a difficult combination of formal reduction and sensory richness. On the basis of both her geometrical and her optical experiments, the artist has evolved towards a more complex and radical body of work that lies on the border betweensculpture, landscaping and architecture.
The artist studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Jorge in Barcelona, and then at the University of Harvard in the United States. She has won a number of awards in the course of her career, such as the 1993 Spanish National Prize for the Plastic Arts and the 2007 Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts. Her work can be seen in all the main museums and collections in Spain (IVAM, ARTIUM, Fundación March, Fundación La Caixa etc.), and the Museo Reina Sofía has recently acquired a major corpus of works from her early geometric period.
The Parque del Retiro has seen her work before. In 1994, the Centro Nacional de Exposiciones presented a retrospective at the Palacio de Velázquez which included the installations La habitación de la lluvia (“The rain room”); La que recita la poesía es ella. Humo (“The one reciting the poem is her. Smoke”); La que recita la poesía es ella. Fuego (“The one reciting the poem is her. Fire”) and Que su cante me lastima (“Her singing hurts me”).