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Indepth Arts News:

"Xavier Mascaró: Recent Sculpture"
2002-11-23 until 2002-12-26
Marlborough Gallery, Chelsea
New York, NY, USA United States of America

One of Xavier Mascaró country’s most promising young artists, Mascaró has received much acclaim in Spain for his powerful and enigmatic compositions. The exhibition will include approximately ten works, all of which date from 2002. Mascaró’s favored material is forged iron, though this medium can be combined with elements as diverse as rock, lead and crystal, as well as video and sound. According to the artist, his work speaks of “love, memory and the epic dimension that our cultural references acquire.”

In a distinct personal language, Mascaró explores themes of aggression, emotion and religion through iconic forms – ships, ladders, horses and armor, among others – that are intrinsic to Spanish culture, but which have universal meaning. Rendered in almost skeletal form, the works seem old and yet they are appropriated to modern times.

The centerpiece of the show is a monumental sculpture entitled Maletilla (bullfighter’s apprentice) that depicts a bullfighting ring and is constructed of forged iron and measures over eight-feet high with a diameter of over thirteen feet. Weighing over four tons, the interior of the work includes a monitor with a video by Mexican film director Victoria Clay-Mendoza. The footage, which illuminates the inside of the sculpture, features “kids becoming bullfighters” and can only be seen through two doors that are slightly ajar. This is accompanied by the melodic sound of a child’s music box. In Spain, it is almost a ritualized experience for children to mimic the actions of a bullfighter, a creative act of make-believe and the ultimate aspiration of many. This work, with the spectator’s specific process of viewing, cinematic material and carefully chosen music, evokes a sense of nostalgia and memory for this moment in childhood.

In addition to Maletilla, Mascaró will exhibit a sculpture, entitled Cross in a Cross, composed of forged iron, lead and glass, which the artist describes as a geometrical game based on the iconography of the cross. Also included will be Temple of Heaven, an iron birdcage-like structure that Mascaró calls a small space for introspection, and Tercera Piedra (Third Stone), of iron and rock, which is based on the science of archaeology and the seduction of materials.

Mascaró was born in Paris in 1965 and studied fine arts in Barcelona, Spain. Presently living in Madrid, he has exhibited twice with Galería Marlborough, Madrid and he has had numerous solo shows since 1987. He recently participated in various group exhibitions of monumental sculpture, including Cinquante ans de sculpture Espagnole, Jardins du Palais Royal, Paris and Parque del Retiro, Madrid, 2001; Les jeux dans l’art du XXème Siècle, Espace Bellevue, Biarritz, France (June-September 2002); Europe’s Image, Myth & Reality, Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague (June-September 2002); and La Parade des Animaux, Jardins du Casino, Monte-Carlo (June-October 2002).

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