Focusing on the dialogue between visual art and literature, the exhibition consists of twenty 40x30 cm portraits created by the Spanish artist Gonzalo Orquín, born in 1982, inspired by some of the greatest authors of 20th century Italian literature: Italo Calvino, Natalia Ginzburg, Tommaso Landolfi, Carlo Levi, Giorgio Manganelli, Elsa Morante, Alberto Moravia, Anna Maria Ortese, Cesare Pavese, and Pier Paolo Pasolini, to whom a large site specific work was dedicated in remembrance of the forty year anniversary of the author’s death.
Over the course of his lengthy period of study for this exhibition, the artist selected a series of contemporary faces to present in relation with texts and themes from the chosen literary works by way of the painted word. The subjects depicted are therefore friends, acquaintances, or people encountered randomly, whose faces are placed in relation with the selected novel. It is precisely to underline the importance of the word that Orquín chooses paper as the medium for his pieces, the quintessential medium of the writer, along with words themselves, which are literally stitched, at times clearly legible and at times in the form of some more abstract image, onto the canvas.
Color Offset, Letterpress Sleeve
Catalogue published on the occasion of the exhibition Librografie, inaugurated in October 2015 in Rome’s Casa delle Letterature.
Orquín was born in Seville, Spain, in 1982. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Seville from 2000 to 2004 and the University of Perugia in Italy in 2005. He moved to Italy from Spain in 2004.
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has described his works as "pronouncedly domestic, intimate, post-coital, and romantic. Set in common place interiors of muted tones, his subjects which include cats, dogs, solitary men and women, as well as gay and straight couples, display a contemplative depth of emotion.”.
His first exhibition was in 2000 in Seville, when he was only 18 years old. His next exhibition was in Sulmona, Italy, in 2006, and most of rest of his more than 20 recent exhibitions have been in Italy as well, though he has been featured in galleries in France, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the United States.