We are pleased to present the exhibition of Paula Cortazar (Monterrey, Mexico, 1991) and Luke Kelsey (Wales, UK, 1985), winners of the second edition of the SWAB / ESPRONCEDA Art Prize. The artists made their stay in Espronceda at the end of this summer and the work on display is the result of their artistic residency.
Cortazar and Kelsey’s exhibition establishes a joint narrative based on the figure of the line. Present in the strokes of both artists, in this exhibition the pictorial and sculptural lines converge between their creations. Although both their work is characterized by the use of drawing as the basis for their work, in Cortazar’s case the artist is mainly based on the search for her own drawing in nature and develops her sculptures as three-dimensional or volumetric sketches. Through observation and taking inspiration from landscapes, she patiently creates her stone pieces. The element chosen for her residence in Espronceda has been alabaster —since there is a long tradition of this material in our country— which has given her sculptures different shades: from white to ochre, through more pink tones. Cortazar works each fragment manually, intervening the stone minimally to maintain part of the modeling that nature itself created and thus preserve the traces of each one of these stones.
Kelsey’s work is part of a series of paintings in which the artist investigates essentiality through form and color. His work is based on a previous commitment to drawing, central to exploring the different compositions that he brings to his canvases. The result is a series of paintings featuring basic colors, pure and harmonic forms, and a language that refers us to the immediacy of symbols or signs. With his abstract brushstrokes, the British painter wanted to make an art focused on the use of light and the line to captivate the viewer’s emotions.
SWAB / ESPRONCEDA Art Prize was born with the aim of creating alliances with galleries, art fairs and the art market. It also offers artists the possibility of
experiencing an art residency in Barcelona, where they can enjoy a period of reflection and research. This collaboration with Swab is an example of Espronceda’s philosophy, which for years has led the need to create alliances and new forms of collaboration between entities in the art world, as well as the need to support artists in their careers. The 2021 award officially opens with the presentation of the artists Paula Cortazar —in collaboration with Gallery Nosco— and Luke Kelsey —Groc Projects—, as the first edition in 2020 was cancelled due to the consequences of Covid-19. Therefore, in this edition we also present dossiers with information on last year’s winning artists: Gillian King and Andrés Weissman.