The first solo exhibition by Elena Mendizabal (1960, Donostia-San Sebastián) at Espacio Alexandra represents two lines of investigation within her art practice: the mineral and the reference to the body, half schematic and half fragmentary. CASTILLO (Castle) is made up by three pieces of ceramics and three works in oil on paper, drawing from the idea of the mineral, “the most elementary structure” according to Gilbert Simondon, serving as a metaphor for the person, the Self, the most complex process of individuation. The crystal and its tendency toward geometry inspire the architecture of the castle. Here, Mendizabal addresses the idea of the mineral as a metaphor for the self, complex shaped, freestanding sculptures with many surfaces, some of which are painted.
The works on paper are based on the photos of these ceramics, being a succession of colour bands, whereas the figure of the castle is an evolution of the image of the mineral and is metaphorically adjusted to ideas such as fantasy, isolation and formal beauty. The title also refers to the film The Glass Castle, in which this type of building appears as a mythical figure or an illusion.
Across the street, the exhibition TÚ (You) features three sculptures that are made up of two pieces of ceramics crossed by three bars of chromed iron; fragments of bodies crossed by the axes that refer, in a naked and schematic manner, to the three dimensions of the being (physical, mental and emotional). On the one hand, vertical bodies, a metaphor for vitality and the masculine principle, and on the other, one body lying on the floor, suggesting horizontal movement and growth.
PhD in Fine Arts and professor of sculpture at the University of the Basque Country, Elena Mendizabal lives and works in San Sebastián. Her art practice falls within the New Basque Sculpture. Among her recent projects, her solo show ‘El muro de las maravillas’ at Artium (Vitoria) and participation in Estampa 2017 (Espacio Alexandra, Madrid) stand out.