Name
Julia Spínola
Country
Spain
Julia Spínola’s (b. 1979) sculptural and graphic works are the result of an intuitive, empirical process that seemingly does not adhere to any rational logic or pre-formulated ideas, allow either for metaphor or symbolism, but expresses itself in—as she calls it—a pre-verbal language. Images are crystallized in the imagination and are set in motion, or rather set themselves in motion. This process begins with observing people’s movements in public space, in particular the poses, gestures, and codes linking together certain actions. Like a recording machine, Spínola translates these movements and structures formed within the body into abstract constellations of lines, which, in turn, produce rhythmic images and forms. Since 2008-9, the artist has created collage drawings, such as the series Geológicos, which mainly address physical laws (gravity, pressure, weight, movement/transference, tension/relaxation), and Leftovers, which also incorporate photographic details. These linear constellations are subsequently manifested in sculptural configurations.

Rehearsing these gestures usually takes place in non-public performative actions in the studio, which are captured photographically. The photograph titled Prase merits attention here as a seminal work. It shows the artist’s hands engaged in different, even opposing actions. The left hand holds onto a round object, the other is held open under a running stream of water. As in the well-known game Rock, Paper, Scissors, the confrontation requires a very specific course of action: here it is not about winning or losing but questioning movement, permeability versus compactness, open or closed form. This led to a series of works: Phrase (object). Vertical-Horizontal, Phrase (object). Mouth, Phrase (object). Line, all 2012. In these ephemeral, sculptural arrangements of everyday objects or abstract forms, executed in various ways in situ on the sidewalk, variations on syntax are worked through in a literal manner.

Another series of works developed since 2013 is devoted to searching for the extension of an object “into the world outside of itself.” Here the underlying focus was the question whether there exists, for every nuance of color in nature, an artificial equivalent on an industrially produced color chart, representing a fruit, such as an apple. For an exhibition at Kunsthalle Sao Paulo, the artist created the work Carta de cor, São Paulo (2015), consisting of a table painted in different shades of yellow and a number of lemons in the same nuanced hues. The moment in which the artist locates the lemon’s exact hue on a color chart is when the lemon is found outside of itself—it becomes the color and, conversely, the color becomes the fruit.