AboutThe paintings by Tàpies, Alcaraz and Rubert in the extensive exhibition opening in the Galerie Michael Haas and Kunst Lager Haas show evident contrasts but also, after a second look, of some commonalities as well. The works of the two younger artists refer in form and content to the paintings of Antoni Tàpies. The surrealism of Tàpies’ early pictures can be seen in the pictorial worlds of Gino Rubert, while the specific way of working with different materials is just as central to the sculptural pictures of Jordi Alcaraz as it is for Tàpies. The play with the perception and (de-) construction of reality is common to all three artists.
Antoni Tàpies, who was born in 1923 in Barcelona and died there in 2012, is considered the most important representative of Spanish Informalism. He mixes sand, cement, marble dust and glue in his paintings. He scratches off the paint and reapplies it until the surface resembles rough brick. In his lifetime Tàpies intensively studied Far Eastern philosophies. In his search for expression he integrated individual letters, signs, crosses, as well as material objects or items of clothing. Antoni Tàpies’ collages and murals seem secretive, meditative. He described himself not as an abstract artist but as a realist who seeks to make reality comprehensible in his works.
Jordi Alcaraz, born in 1963 in Catalonian Calella and still living there, likewise uses free forms in his collages to convey the complex and various possibilities of perceiving reality. He works in images, words and various materials, particularly glass, mirrors, metal, stone, wood and paint, as well as books that deal with these materials and phenomena. His graphical process gives rise to voluminous works that claim the space around them, in which metal lines form relations with other materials. The reflections, subtle shadings, contrasts between dark and light, smooth and rough surfaces, and transparency and solidity that thus emerge enter into dialogue with one another, determine each other reciprocally, and are consciously left fragmentary. The works can be considered paintings, and yet they retain qualities of sculpture. Alcaraz’s works are a study of three-dimensionality, in which the dialogue between the surface and the interior of objects has become a running theme.
The artist Gino Rubert, born 1969 in Mexico to Spanish parents and living in Barcelona, is above all a painter. He also works in the media of drawing, video and installation and writes stories. His pictorial world shows modern people – young women and usually a man in the form of the artist – and the many baffling and complex circumstances they find themselves caught up in, alone or with others. The artist does not spare the viewer, who gets drawn into the small and large dramas in Rubert’s canvasses through a play of gazes and becomes a voyeur. The themes Rubert treats in his dream-like scenes under the surface of a realistic painting style are emotions and fears, desires, dependencies and conflicts. Like Tàpies and Alcaraz, he also uses the technique of collage: He brings reality palpably in his pictures in the form of photos or textiles. These real but oddly foreign additions shift the pictures into surreality.