*1986, lives and works in Santiago de Compostela
Irene Grau’s methodology focuses on color as a transforming agent of space, and its perception. A meticulous analysis of an in situ intervention and its transformation through color is quasi-ubiquitous in her work - an approach in the tradition of radical monochromatic painting, as well as mural painting, performative process, and landscape - the latter in a broad sense. The title of her recent doctoral thesis, The Painter on the Road, perfectly sums up her interest and attitude toward the medium of painting, and Irene Grau’s process could perfectly be described as a conceptual plenairist, who states that her work is "what remains" of a wider experience, going far beyond the physically traveled landscape or an explored architectural structure. Solely transmitting an experience may well lack of concrete information, yet her work leaves enough clues to the viewer to allow access through process, intervention, and the document thereof, in order to visually and conceptually understand the artist’s modus operandi and artistic questioning and concerns.
In 2010 she was the recipient of an Academic Excellence Scholarship, followed by a 2011-2015 FPU Fellowship (Training program for Academic Staff) from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, allowing her to pursue her doctoral studies.
She received her PhD in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia in 2016.
Grau’s work has been shown nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions in Switzerland, Brazil, France, Portugal, Spain and the United States since 2008. Her work is in numerous private and institutional collections in Europe, Asia, and the US.
For her solo exhibition Lo que importaba estaba en la línea, no en el extremo (What mattered was on the line, not at the end), she won the Award for best exhibition project of the Off Festival PhotoEspaña'15 with Ponce+Robles gallery in Madrid, and she has recently been included on Forbes’ list of 30 artists under 30, the Forbes 30 under 30 list in Arts - Europe 2016.
Noteworthy national and international exhibitions include: El curso natural de las cosas at La Casa Encendida (2016); MAP / Manifestation d'Art Public #5 (Cerbère, Francia, 2015); -metría at the Centro de Arte de Alcobendas (Madrid, 2016); ▲ at Maus Contemporary (Birmingham, AL, US); Lo que importaba estaba en la línea, no en el extremo (2015) and Los ojos de las vacas, curated by David Barro, both at la Galería Ponce+Robles, (2014) in Madrid; Idolatria Va at Galeria Laura Marsiaj (Rio de Janeiro, 2013); In medias res at the Ducal Palace of Gandia (2013); and Mutatis mutandis at Galeria Moura Marsiaj (Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2012).
access Irene Grau's current CV here
Green Stretcher on a Pink Wall
two ultrachrome prints on baryta-coated Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper,
mounted on 2mm Dibond
each photograph ca. 56.7 by 76 cm (approx. 22 5/16 by 29 7/8 in.)
edition of 2+1AP
Also available is the unique Green Stretcher shown in the series, sold together with AP#1/1
enamel on wooden stretcher, 130 by 80 cm (approx 51 3/16 by 31 1/2 in.)
edition of 1 +1AP
archival pigment print on Ilford Gallery Prestige Smooth Pearl paper,
mounted on 2mm dibond
143 × 270 cm (56 3/10 × 106 3/10 in.)
collection of the Centro De Arte Dos De Mayo, Móstoles (Madrid), Spain
collection of IBERDROLA, Madrid, Spain
Irene Grau is included in the upcoming exhibition "Cuestionamiento I Territorio", curated by Martim Dias.
Through April 24 at the " Sala de Arte Joven de la Comunidad de Madrid".
"I paint in order to seek a space, and in this process the painting is integrated into structures simply to show the color - color, nothing else. But that color always extends over a surface, which no longer has to be flat, and 'that' which happens between the color and the surface is what for me takes on an essential relevance. That halo that seems to go beyond the support and project itself over some other place. Painting, like walking, is a process of relationship with space."
- Irene Grau
por favor continúe para el texto en español
beta pictoris gallery is pleased to announce that Irene Grau has joined the gallery.
An action repeated twelve times: twelve peaks of paint.
Irene Grau ▲
A series of twelve ultrachrome prints on baryta-coated Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper
46 by 68 cm (18.125 by 26.75 in.), ed. 5+2AP
Cerulean Blue 368 ft asl.
ultrachrome print on baryta-coated Ilford Gold Fibre Silk paper
46 by 68 cm (18.125 by 26.75 in.), ed. 5+2AP
"Pinto para buscar un espacio. En este proceso la pintura se integra en estructuras tan sólo para mostrar el color -color, nada más-; color que se extiende siempre sobre una superficie, que ya no tiene por qué ser plana, y 'eso' que ocurre (entre el color y la superficie) es lo que adquiere para mí una relevancia esencial. Ese halo que sobrepasa el soporte para proyectarse sobre otro lugar. La pintura, como el caminar, es un proceso de relación con el espacio."
- Irene Grau
beta pictoris gallery se complace en anunciarque Irene Grau se ha unida a la galería.
Irene Grau ▲, primera exposición del artista en los EE.UU., se abre 4 de noviembre.
Irene Grau opta por un símbolo como título del proyecto. El símbolo▲. El triángulo, un signo que hace referencia a la montaña y a su representación en el mapa. Con esta nueva serie de doce fotografías, la artista nos invita una vez más a salir al exterior, lejos de la comodidad del estudio, a descubrir la pintura fuera, en una suerte de proceso pictórico que tiene lugar en el exterior. Como en sus anteriores series "Lo que importaba estaba en la línea, no en el extremo" (2015), "Color Field" (2014) y "Esmalte sobre bastidor en paisaje" (2014), Irene Grau nos adentra en un viaje, una caminata para ser más precisos.
Una acción que se repite doce veces: doce picos de pintura.
Irene Grau (n. 1986) realizó sus estudios en la Accademia di Belle Arte di Palermo in Sicilia, Italia, y en la Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, España, donde cursó también máster y doctorado. En 2010 recibió una Beca de Excelencia Académica y en 2011 la beca FPU del Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte para realizar sus estudios de doctorado. Grau ha expuesto su trabajo a nivel internacional en exposiciones individuales y colectivas desde 2008, recientemente en Rio de Janeiro y en São Paulo, Brasil; Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, y Valencia, España; y en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santo Domingo, República Dominicana, Su obra se encuentra en numerosas colecciones de Europa, Asia, y EE.UU.
Irene Grau. Salir a buscar la pintura.
Ángel Calvo Ulloa
please scroll down for Ángel Calvo Ulloa's text in English
Ángel Calvo Ulloa
The Mexican philosopher José Vasconcelos said, "traveling by foot is the fundamental measurement, the first measurement of all distances, in all civilizations".
Irene Grau goes up the mountain to paint, because her need to walk is interwined with her need to paint. She did this in her series Color Field, in which she travelled long distances by foot, carrying her art, in order to install and then photograph her works surrounded by nature, in the presence of each other. We also see this relationship in Lo que importaba estaba en la línea, no en el extremo (What Mattered Was on the Line, Not at the End), where the route she traveled determined the color and size of what was painted, and where the line defined the difficulty of the route relative to its natural topography.
To share a small digression, it is impossible not to think of Kirk Douglas when we see these paintings in the natural world. For this is how we came to know as "the mad, red-headed artist", in Vicente Minelli's Van Gogh, or perhaps through Jacques Dutronc, in the version by Maurice Pialat.
Vasconcelos also observes that "almost all other external forms in every civilization depend on the distances that one can travel by foot and the time it takes to do so". Perhaps it is in the photographic record where we, the spectators, form a vague idea of what the artist´s experience has been, of painting in the studio, and then of beginning a journey which restores them to a natural setting. It could be that Grau´s journey is a reverse journey, which reminds us of a canvas painted en plein air that returns home under the artist´s arm. It would not be so far-fetched to say that the painting of a precise historic moment is measured by the length of an arm, literally and figuratively the length of an artist's 'reach', which allows a canvas to be transported to the chosen spot. "On the tip of the tongue, on the inclement tip of the tongue, sheer and wild, create a concert there. Bring up the instruments and the seats, but don't perform anything... Let the instruments listen, up there, to the utmost volume of the tongue..."
Irene Grau's current work is up the mountain again, creating little mounds of pigment which increase the height of the mountain itself. In each snapshot, details are given on the total height that has been scaled in order to deposit those mere 10 centimeters of pigment, which once photographed, are then removed. Again Grau takes her painting out of the studio, in this case in an original state, to situate it below a triangular form. The triangle defines the mountain itself, and it is also the graphic representation of Saussure's semiotic model that explains the composition of the linguistic sign: sign, signifier, signified. So it is not merely an incidental relationship that Grau establishes, between the image she creates, the symbol that represents it and the canonical image of the sign, in this case, the geometric shape of the triangle. How could it be anything other than the triangle?
Perejaume would say: "Put the gold back in the earth, scatter the bronze, the marble and the ivory across the mountains, so they may represent that which we most lack today: the place whence they came".
In all of this, there is a returning to the source, a return to that from which landscape emerges. Irene Grau has discovered that what she wants to paint is up there, and for this reason she resolutely goes out looking for it. On the walls of the Neue Galerie in the German city of Kassel hangs Courbet's disconcerting 1862 landscape painting Meadows Close to Ornans (Prairies près d'Ornans). I cannot help but find all of Irene Grau's intention encapsuled in this work. It concedes not even a shred of human presence to give us any idea of scale, but the fresh air and the smell of grass seem to seep into the room. Courbet was a studio artist, but perhaps these meadows returned in their time, under the artist´s arm, to the place from which they were wrested. Or perhaps not.
Irene Grau during the ▲ project
photographs by David Garabal