The Museo de Arte Moderno is honoured to present the first exhibition by Santiago Iturralde (Buenos Aires, 1975) at an Argentine museum. An intimate, figurative easel painter, in Painting Laid Bare Iturralde presents a series of very detailed operations in which he actively interrogates each and every element that goes into pictorial representation and composition.
His analysis begins with small, subtle aspects – how light becomes colour in the forms he paints or how the shadows cast by the frames affect the image we see – before moving on to more expansive issues such as the exhibition space or how viewers relate to artworks. His gaze, which is very detailed and savvy in its use of colour, takes in every aspect of the grammar of representation, lending analytical value to the artworks and their exhibition context.
The images in these artworks include depictions of visits to famous museums across the world and canonical paintings by artists such as Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh who in the 19th and 20th centuries dismantled and reconstructed pictorial language in a quest to find their own voice, paving the way for the revolutionary languages of modern art. A century later, Iturralde employs his own forms of analysis to immerse himself in all the different technical, historical and conceptual dimensions of painting. He embarks upon an archaeology of representation that asks questions about what painting means today, the era of the selfie, when the mass reproduction of images has invaded the exhibition space. What is the place of painting in the contemporary gaze? What is the nature of the images we consume in museums? How does the consumption of painting and gallery visits on social media affect art and how it is perceived? What does it mean to produce new images and be a painter today?