C. GALLERY OPENS IN MELBOURNE WITH DEBUT SHOW ‘UNCONVENTIONAL ILLUSIONS’.
Under the creative direction of Rachael Fry of Criteria fame, C. Gallery has opened its doors to showcase prominent and emerging artists, both Australian and international, working to elevate quotidian mediums through unexpected forms. C. Gallery debut show, Unconventional Illusions, features the work of Swedish artist Jenny Nordberg and Spanish artist José Manuel Castro Lopéz.
José Manuel Castro Lopéz (b. 1959) is a Spanish sculptor working in solid granite and quartz. Through meticulous hand-carving, he creates illusory objects flaunting lush folds and sensuous draping which belie their humble materiality. Each object begins as a piece of so-called “country granite” found in abundance in the hills near Lopez’s native Galicia. Historically used to build cathedrals, Lopéz coaxes a spirit of a different kind from the stone itself, gently responding to its natural contours to create smooth and supple shapes that elicit the impression of human touch. “For me, stone is an element of inspiration around which my creation and my life evolve… softening la roca is a transgression and a magical way of relating to her; I am not the sculptor, they are the ones who manifest themselves. We understand each other,” explains Lopéz.
In Unconventional Illusions, the artist has created seven granite sculptures, including some that incorporate metal elements appearing to pierce and compress the stone. The effect is a fascinating and almost magical beauty; the velvety finish of the stones suggest a natural erosion, serendipity evocative of the Postmodern Environmental artists but brimming with personality and charm. Despite their material disparity, the work of Nordberg and Lopéz exist in a harmonious symbiosis: the gravity of the stone is offset by the atemporal glow of the silvered mirrors and their pewter reflections. Both artists elevate ordinary mediums to create beautiful and interrogative works of art.