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Ana Mas Projects

Francesc Ruiz Abad

A la corda fluixa

In the present solo show A la corda fluixa, Francesc Ruiz Abad is inspired by a colloquial
expression (on the tighrope) that on the one hand indicates a situation of imminent risk
and on the other, a balance game when drawing a route. In both cases a metaphor of
general instability.

“Francesc Ruiz Abad is one of the best exponents of the emerging Catalan painting,”
says Albert Mercader when he writes about the artist as winner of the Arranz-Bravo 2015
Visual Arts Award. He describes him as an artist who comes from a young generation,
born in the nineties, which “opt for a painting without complexes or prejudices, open to
action, to transversality, to travel, to vital and community empathy”, thus making painting
recover centrality within a demanding contemporary art scene.

Ruiz Abad uses the journey as a central axis of his practice. Conceiving his paintings,
drawings and installations as collections of past adventures which are loaded with
fragments that he collects in notebooks, photographs and drawings.
Living and studying in Leipzig (Germany), Ruiz Abad is influenced by painters such as
Sigmar Polke and Oliver Kossack, whose works focus on irony, psychedelia and the
vital aspects of a painting that refuses the rigor of previous movements (characteristics
of neoexpressionism). Instead of being fully identified with a movement, Ruiz Abad will
develop a work without prejudice when facing painting and its tradition, describing
himself as a “ventriloquist” between techniques, styles, experiences and movements that
have served as a school.

A la corda fluixa starts with a main installation in the gallery columns that, like chapiters,
dresses the room. The chapiter is the “head” of the column, the architectural element that
holds the horizontal structure of the building and at the same time, due to its limited and
variant form, has been a redoubt of multiple architectural decorations.
In this case, the chapiters are distorted by a series of face paintings. Faces of different
natures and times that generate a game of looks and at the same time a personification
of space: “To face things”.

The paintings that accompany the rest of the exhibition are of an eclectic nature with a
variety of styles, measurements and registers. All of them share an interest in subverting
the collective imaginary of the oneiric, magical and dreamed: From the aesthetics of
surrealist movements to the use of cartoon elements in brandings and mass products.
Contrasting thus, the old against the new, the hard against the fragile and the immutable
against the organic. It generates a series of images suspended in time that seem to come
from our unconscious, spun through fine threads, through which the artist transits.

25 MAY 2019