Javier Rubio Nomblot
Concha Gómez-Acebo
CULTURAL. ARTE. ABC, 13 December 2003
Utopia Parkway Art Gallery

 

Since the beginning of her career, Concha Gómez-Acebo (Málaga, 1960) has defined herself through her painting in a series of interesting exhibitions with different themes whose focal points have always been women and the evocation of the journey, already defining and disturbing landscape full of literary and symbolic references, and inhabited by solitude and dream. The artist soon discovered her own language, and has remained faithful to it, composed of a rigorous treatment of proportions and expressions –of the form strictly speaking– and by expressionist deformation of intangible things. Thus this is why Calvo Serraller, has spoken about painting meant “as an opening, a hole of the real in pursuit of illusion”: realism in Gómez-Acebo’s work lead us to a metaphysic wilderness that produces imaginary worlds which in turn allows the development of a peculiar kind of intellectualized expressionism. This process is in itself a metaphor of the journey “interior, guided by reading, or exterior with reminiscences of the exotic”, as Mariano Navarro points out: “even though action happens in a familiar intimate setting, some icons –usually books– are perceived as places in transit to other places (the artist makes wise use of contrast) so that these paintings continuously appear wrapped in a mysterious unreal haze.

When visiting this last exhibition held by Gómez-Acebo it is useful to keep in mind those paintings of the year 92 that dealt with Greek, Hebrew, and Hindu myths, or that other one in 1998 dedicated to Tintin’s comics, or her series in 2000 concerning windows: the works that compose this exhibition are much more restrained, all objects have disappeared, and figure and landscape are set apart resulting in two different groups. In 12 months we can see twelve landscapes that according to Mariano Navarro, who wisely points out, brings out “a new way in her work”, because those “wide surfaces treated almost in a monochromatic way” reminds us of other painters working in this Gallery –Pina, Galano. Her earlier works were full of contrast, warmth and darkness. 31 women brings together thirty one portraits in small format arranged as a group. The portraits remain beyond dispute and represent an approach to women in their ripeness, although done not without certain harshness, to such a degree that Navarro even mentions the painter Lucien Freud. Inside the landscapes it is still possible to recognize those features that seem to disturb the composition, slits that every painting aims to pierce through in the limited channels of life.