NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce The Passerby, an exhibition of new works by Ester Partegàs (La Garriga, Barcelona, 1972). It comprises two bodies of work, The Passerby, an installation occupying the main gallery, and a series of airbrushed paintings titled Studies on Mysticism.
Similar to some of her previous projects, The Passerby (2017) recreates a common public space, in this case a street market that alludes to the generic, anonymous and ubiquitous landscapes we are so familiar with. The work itself consists of translucent polyurethane scrims that have been directly cast from the common polyethylene tarps used to protect and shelter people and goods. Hanging from steel structures that recreate the labyrinthine layout of a market, the viewer is obliged to move amongst the tarps, engaging with the myriad of lights and colors their creases and textures convey. In the words of the artist “the sculptures capture a meeting of the material with the absent body of the citizen, and stand for the remnants of encounters of people and goods coming together and separating. It is in these fleeting experiences where the communal becomes intertwined with the individual, and the political blends into the private body. For me, these typically over-looked materials serve as clues to a shared social and affective reality”.
Studies on Mysticism (2017) is a series of airbrushed works painted directly on the surface of flattened product wrappers, such as chewing gum or cookie boxes. On these, Partegàs reproduces the original product background graphics omitting any foreground registers – such as words or logos – with the purpose of revealing the transcendental metaphysical promise the products present.
For the current exhibition Partegàs’ keenly observes the minutiae of our surroundings, what George Perec coined “the infra-ordinary”, which has been an ongoing inquiry in her practice. Through a material transformation in one case, and the recuperation of hidden signs on another, Partegàs conveys a sense of light and space foreign to the hustle of everyday living. With these works, she points to a potential for the metaphysical and the divine to present themselves in the most overseen and ignored. She proposes a place where fiction and reality meet; a place where the material and immaterial might coexist.