In commemoration of the V Centennial of the discovery of the State of Florida by Ponce de León and the founding of the oldest city in the United States, St. Augustine, by Spanish admiral Pedro Menéndez de Avilés 450 years ago, the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation
and the Institut Valencià dArte Modern (IVAM) are pleased to present the exhibition Miquel Navarro. City Metaphors. Selections from the IVAM Collection.
The new Spanish sculpture from the seventies and eighties which drew on the legacy of Spanish masters like Julio González, was characterized by the expansion of the field of sculpture installations to encompass installation art, and by interventions dealing with nature and actions on the body. The work of Miquel Navarro (Mislata, Valencia, 1945) holds its own particular value, one that has strongly prevailed over time with firmness and discipline in the international art scene.
His unmistakable representations of cities or clusters as he refers to them constitute a prototype he uses for his sculptural installations when grouping together small pieces, configured as diverse urban buildings, ranging from houses to factories, from ornamental to representational. Their structure is based on what is clearly an imaginary urbanism, a key aspect of Navarros works, now part of the IVAMs permanent collection thanks to his generous donation of 515 pieces. This collection of works reflects his different stages allowing viewers to appreciatehis creative style.
Miquel Navarros work uses principles of construction that link it to sacred forms. The first of these principles is the works relationship to the external world, to nature itself. His aim is not to create bodies or objects that already exist in the tangible world, but rather to construct vital signs that reveal the order, harmony, permanence and the structure of things. With these key ideas in mind, his work could be summarized as installations and assemblages arranged as sculptural landscapes which range from the rural to the urban, from nature to the industrial.
In this sense, his work -as the exhibition City Metaphors suggests explores the simultaneity of different seasonal environments to create a sort of Cubist chronology where antiquity and modernity merge in figures such as buildings, industry and cities that merge past and future. Hence Miquel Navarro uses the citys heartbeats to situate himself within contemporaneity. In this exhibition the artist seeks to establish a dialogue with his work via a dynamic language of sculpture that frames him as a creator of dreams, ideals and metaphors. This selection of works from the IVAMs Collection will reveal two fundamental aspects of Navarros work: the fusion of his sculpture with architecture and his vision of the city.
Miquel Navarro was born in Mislata, Valencia (Spain) in 1945, where he studied at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Carlos. He began his career exhibiting his work as a painter , but from the seventies onwards he dedicated himself almost entirely to sculpture. His practice reflects on the role of architecture in shaping geographical space. In the eighties he began to work in public space and developed works for cities such as Valencia, Barcelona, Bilbao, Málaga, Zaragoza and Brussels.
Throughout his career, Navarro has received numerous awards such as the Premio Nacional de Artes Plasticas, the Alfonso Roig Prize, and the Julio Gonzalez International Prize from IVAM. He is an Academician of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid. His work is featured in important collections and museums, such as The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York; the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM) in Valencia (Spain); the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid (Spain); the Musée National Centre dArt Georges Pompidou in Paris (France); and the Museu DArt Contemporani (Macba) in Bar celona (Spain).
He has had solo shows at the Palacio de Cristal at the MNCARS in 1989; IVAM in 1990; MACBA in 1997; Pinacoteca do Estado in Sao Paulo in 1999; Museu de Arte Moderna in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2000; Museo Guggenheim de Bilbao (Spain) in 2004; and at the San Diego Museum of Art in San Diego (USA) in 2012. Navarro took part in the Biennale di Venezia (Italy) in 1986. He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions such as the XII Biennale de Paris, Musee dArt Moderne de la Ville in Paris (France) in 1982; Three Spanish Artists, at the Serpentine Gallery in London (England) in 1986; Die Spaniche Kunst in der Sammlung der Fundacio Caixa de Pensions, Städische Kunsthalle Mannheim, Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf (Germany) in 1989; Visions Urbaines, Centre George Pompidou in Paris (France) in 1994; Forjar el Espacio, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) in 1998; Den Haag Sculptuur 2000 in The Hague (Netherlands) in 2000; Rumbos de la escultura española en el siglo XX, Fundación Santander Central Hispano exhibitions space in Madrid (Spain) 2001; and Antropoceno, III Bienal del Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia (Argentina) in 2011.