Artist: Aníbal Catalán

The Land, The Space, The Square
February 6 – April 13, 2014
Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
Boulder, CO, USA

Anibal Catalan: The Land, The Space, The Square presents a series of site-specific installations, paintings, video works, drawings and digital prints by Mexico City-based artist Anibal Catalan. Trained as an architect, Catalan creates new spaces using a variety of artistic methods and media. Stimulating dialoge between different media, he combines environments that exist amid two and three dimensionalities. Catalan redefines, or more appropriately, dissolves conventional notions of interior and exterior spaces. His works are unorthodox manifestations of architectural ideas oscillating between metaphysical explorations of urban space and real concern for environments we inhabit.

Catalan cites the 20th-century Russian avant-garde movements of Suprematism and Constructivism as important influences on his work. He adopts different aspects of each movement’s visual language and utopian sentimentalities through his integration of architecture, design and art. The title of the exhibition, The Land, The Space, The Square, is a specific reference to Suprematism—an abstract movement that utilized basic geometric forms and a limited color palette to emphasize pure artistic feeling over the visual depiction of an object. “The Square” is a direct reference to Russian artist Kazimir Malevich’s famous paintings of squares created in the early 20th century.

To accompany this new series of paintings, Catalan has created a large wall painting that spans the West Gallery. Using acrylic paint, he invents architectural landscapes on various surfaces. Bold color constrains and expands the spaces of the wall or canvas. The wall painting becomes a backdrop for the large sculptural installation that hangs between the columns of the main gallery. Made from industrial materials and fluorescent lights, it becomes a three-dimensional extension of the wall painting. Fragmented geometric shapes build layers of flattened area with implied dimensionality, and materiality dissolves to liberate the space. The viewer is invited into a shifting construction—one that is not closed or strictly defined, but open to multiple perspectives and interpretations.

Anibal Catalan was born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 1973. He lives and works in Mexico City. Catalan studied fine arts at La Esmeralda in Mexico City from 2001-2006 and attended the School of Architecture at Anahuac University from 1993-1997. His work has been exhibited internationally in both solo and group exhibitions including CAN Seoul, CAN Beijing, MARCO Contemporary Art Museum (Monterrey, Mexico), MASS MoCA, Museo de Arte Moderno (Mexico City), Les Rencontres Internacionales Paris-Berlin-Madrid (Centre Pompidou, Museo Nacional Reina Sofia), and Haus der Kulturen der Welt HKW. Catalan was the recipient of the prestigious Mexican FONCA Creator’s Grant 2011-2013. Most recently, he has been awarded a major commission with the Denver International Airport. The Land, The Space, The Square is the first solo museum exhibition of Anibal Catalan’s work in the United States.

An article about this exhibition is here