Culture

The unpublished work of Alberto Corazón comes to light

It is not easy to try to structure or order the enormous artistic and conceptual corpus of someone for whom the creative process was neither more nor less than “a process driven by emotion”. When they are things like emotion, or memory, or drive or feeling, bad. Bad to order. Disorder and chaos, which were possibilities well to Alberto Corazón’s taste, are not ordered, but not the confusion, to which he was so allergic. So the extraordinary exhibition of unpublished work that will open its doors this Friday in Cuenca, the Elegy that his friend the composer Alfredo Aracil has created in his memory and the text / tribute that the day 18 at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando his also friend and professor of Aesthetics and Theory of the Arts at the UNED Simón Marchán Fiz will be nothing more than individual vanishing points – extremely valuable – towards that kind of impossible mission: ordering the memory of Alberto Corazón (Madrid, 1942 – 2021).

Died last 10 of February, this painter, sculptor, designer and writer who loves talk, food, drink, tobacco, football and feminine beauty – order does not have to be strictly that – used to say that the most sensible thing a person could do was travel and listen to music. This triple tribute in his memory alludes to all of this. On the one hand, the exhibition Alberto Corazón. The poacher, organized by the Roberto Polo Collection-Centro de Arte Moderno y Contemporáneo de Castilla-La Mancha (CORPO) and curated by Rafael Sierra and by the writer Ana Arambarri, the artist’s widow, presents at the Casa Zavala de Cuenca until 18 December more than fifty works, mostly never exhibited before.

'Medidor del tiempo', 2002.
‘Time meter’, 2002. Alberto Corazón

Some of the paintings are unfinished, others are painted on the front and back, like the canvas Still Life . Pure economy of means? Pure regret? The latter would be said more, taking into account Alberto Corazón’s fondness for suddenly abandoning one work to immediately get into another, brush at the ready, cigarette at the ready, gintonic at the ready, in the study, in the garden, in the living room, or at the table of a albergo in Milan after having negotiated with the waiter, and in front of a colossal Sassicaia of 2005, that it would not be a caravaggio but that ―Alberto Corazón elbowed one day assured completely serious in a restaurant in Madrid – “it was quite close to him.” This is precisely where the title of the Cuenca exhibition comes from: from the revealing essay Is memory a poacher? Caravaggio’s ‘Basket of Fruits’ as a pretext , in which the author displays what could be called a whole philosophy of the pictorial fact . In fact, an entire room is dedicated to this topic, a true personal obsession.

In another the Cliffs emerge, another of his favorite subjects ―Very opportunely embedded now between the gorges of Júcar and Huécar―, paintings executed in the summers of Almería, “with all that spirit of the land and the desert that he liked so much,” explains Arambarri. A little further on, the installation appears . Now I better understand my long journey , carried out in lead in 1996, and the painted aluminum sculpture Remembering Matisse , by 1995. On another of the large white walls hang versions of The Artist’s Table , another of his recurring pictorial themes. Acrylics, graphites, oils, bronzes, leads and aluminum populate Casa Zavala, in what is an exercise in stripping the brand of the house: that essential “mental eraser” that Alberto Corazón spoke about and that he used so much to remove, to clear, to rethink … even to resign.

'Cesta de frutas de Caravaggio', 2016.
‘Caravaggio’s Fruit Basket’, 2016. Alberto Corazón

Intimately linked to the spirit of this first posthumous exhibition of the artist and designer (between 1963 and 2013 signed the brand image of ministries, means of transport, public establishments, festivals, theaters, universities, book covers, etc., changing the visual image of an entire country) is the Elegy to Alberto Corazón, who has set up his friend Alfredo Aracil. The composer has collected in his structure the sequences of flashes of light from some of the most beloved lighthouses in the artist’s personal cartography, to which he used to travel to rest or work, and has turned them into sounds: Mesa Roldán in Almería, Punta Chair in San Vicente de la Barquera (Cantabria), Cap Gros in Sóller (Mallorca), San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice and Cabo de San Agustín in Asturias. A kind of invocation, Aracil explains: “More than an elegy in the classic style, which usually consists of telling the world who the character was and how important the character was, it is almost like a conversation with him, a meeting… or a dream of reunion . Aracil considers it as “a cartography of memories and signals that he could identify”. “What I have done is to translate the lights of those headlights into sounds. Those light sequences are something that can be identified, and each lighthouse in the world has a different one. And that, in the end, has ended up becoming a score. ”

The third vanishing point of this tribute to Alberto Corazón will come next 18 October at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, of which the artist was a permanent member since 2006. Professor Simón Marchán Fiz will read a tribute text in memory of his old friend. “When he passed away,” says Marchán Fiz, “a lot of emphasis was placed on his work in the field of graphic design and industrial design, but I want to underline his activity in the fields of painting, sculpture and engraving, and also his importance in Spanish visual culture, a facet of his that has perhaps been somewhat obscured, through the covers of books and those artist’s books that he made throughout his life and which ended up being converted into objects of art, such as the catalogs he made for Antonio Saura and Equipo Crónica. ”

The professor at UNED intends to“ tie together ”the different creative worlds of the artist who disappeared eight months ago:“ I see Alberto’s work Heart as a whole, as a corpus with recognizable constants, but from a personality and a creativity that takes many cadences and many directions, and those different directions are what I am going to try to tie in my speech, because I think there have been some eq uivocal around his figure. ”

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