Permanent Collection

Luis Gordillo

Sevilla, 1934

Amid the many transformations Spanish painting underwent during the 1980s, Gordillo's unique oeuvre provided many young artists with a sense of direction. An individualist, Gordillo developed a vigorous style that allowed him to set free his mental energy. As a result, he did not fall prey to trends—neither did he hesitate in borrowing pictorial and structural methods from diverse tendencies, such as informalism, figurative art, surrealism or pop art, which he reformulated at his convenience to produce a new formal grammar and an iconographic program that is surprising in its audacity and inner force, and capable of attracting even the most aloof of viewers.

"3 (5 x 5 - 1)", 1981
3 (5 x 5 - 1), 1981

3 (5 x 5 - 1) consists of three panels, each covered with twenty-four individually-painted sheets of paper. The main traits of Gordillo's work can be traced in this giant kaleidoscope. Some sheets reveal abstract marks or contain non-referential fields of color. Others represent primitive signs or depict schematized faces, hinted at by the presence of a nose, a mouth or an eye. And still others include landscapes and "automatic" drawings. Some compositions were planned beforehand, others seem to be the product of chance, and a third set forms an "exquisite corpse" as the lines of some individual drawings transcend the boundaries between sheets of papers.

These distorted, fragmented and reinterpreted figures dominate the composition as a whole, inducing the spectator to scan the vignettes in no particular order, randomly choosing to fix his or her attention on one image or another.

Javier Maderuelo

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Catálogo del Museu Fundación Juan March, Palma de Mallorca.