- Artist: Susana Solano
- Creation date: (1990)
- Object type: Installation
With her artistic debut in 1980, Susana Solano emerged as a representative of the vibrant new art scene that began to flourish in Spain after Franco’s death in 1975. The country had by then been politically and culturally isolated from the rest of Western Europe for over forty years, and leading artists such as Pablo Picasso, Juan Miró, Salvador Dalí, and Julio González had lived and produced their art in other countries for long stretches of time.
With painting as a basis, sculpture became Solano’s primary medium, and from the 1980s on she exhibited her works at a number of important international exhibitions, such as Documenta in Kassel and the São Paulo Art Biennial. Inspired by minimalist art, she followed the modern tradition of Spanish sculpture, taking up the mantle of such artists as Julio González and Eduardo Chillida. As with these artists, iron serves as a key material for Solano.
The piece at hand consists of four distinct elements that surround a dominant cube held up by an iron frame. The entire composition consists of straight lines and angles that both open and close in front of the viewer. All four side elements are identical. The material has been treated in various ways, producing luxuriant tones of brown and grey. Closing around itself, the sculpture invites contemplation rather than dialogue. It is both positively and negatively charged and appears as both a bulwark and a prison. At the same time, its altar-like appearance adds a sacral aura. Solano thus continues the traditional fascination in Spanish art for the ritualistic, though using a modern design.