Carlier | Gebauer

Néstor Sanmiguel Diest

09 Jan - 06 Feb 2016

© Nestor Sanmiguel Diest
An Introduction
9 January - 6 February 2016

carlier | gebauer is pleased to present the solo exhibition with the Spanish artist Néstor Sanmiguel Diest. An Introduction is the artist’s first exhibition with carlier | gebauer.

Néstor Sanmiguel Diest is a founding member of the A Ua Crat collective and a leading figure of the 1980s avant-garde in Aragon. This intimate selection of paintings precedes a larger exhibition with the gallery in February 2016.

Formally trained in couture and pattern-making, Sanmiguel Diest originally hails from an applied arts background. Traces of his former profession appear at times as a subtle motif in some of his works, such as the drawing El Vestido de Mayte (22/10/99) but his work as a pattern maker — combined with his voracious interest in literature and philosophy — has exerted a broader influence on the artist’s schematic thinking and the quasi-mathematical structures that inform his creative process.

Sanmiguel Diest has developed a lexicon of lines and patterns that he uses to formally delimit fragmented spaces. Superimposed layers of information act as screens, simultaneously revealing or hiding a succession of pictorial stories or texts. For example, the painting Reflejo de Lucrecia en el Canal relates to his ongoing engagement with the historical legend of the suicide of Lucrecia — an enduring subject for visual artists like Titian, Rembrandt, and Botticelli, among many others. Sanmiguel Diest also employs literature — and text more broadly — as a plastic instrument. The titles of his works are often embedded within the works themselves and are revealed over the course of their making with different solvents. The artist constructs his paintings and works on paper as palimpsests, alternately layering strata of found materials like magazine clippings, newspapers, industrial reports, mail, formulas, and texts atop one another in interplay with layers of ink, paint, graphite, solvents, and ballpen. As Sanmiguel Diest never knows precisely which words or images this process will uncover, he refers to the method as a form of automatic writing.

Néstor Sanmiguel Diest (born 1949) lives and works in Aranda de Duero. At first his art practice revolved around actions, documents, paintings, texts and manifestos linked to collectives such as A Ua Crat and Red District. In the 1990s he began to focus exclusively on the medium of painting. He has exhibited his work at MUSAC (2007), and has also taken part in the recent exhibition Locus Solus: Impressiones de Raymond Roussel at the Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS).

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