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EDWIN MONSALVE. Topophilia

10/09/2020 - 17/10/2020
Galeria Fernando Pradilla starts its exhibition season with the show Topolia (Topophilia), the new project of Colombian artist Edwin Monsalve (Medellín, 1994). It is his second exhibition in Spain and it opens simultaneously with APERTURA MADRID GALLERY WEEKEND, organized annually by the Arte Madrid Association. The Topolia (Topophilia) project is framed within Monsalve’s research on contemporary nature and landscape iconography that the artist has been doing since the beginning of his career with projects such as Expedición/Extinción (Expedition/Extinction, 2008-2011), Naturaleza y articio (Nature and artice, 2012-2013), Prototipos para una naturaleza rehabilitada (Prototypes for a rehabilitated nature, 2013-2014), Sala de rehabilitación (Rehabilitation room, 2014), Naturaleza transmutada (Transmuted nature, 2014), La imposibilidad del paisaje (The impossibility of landscape, 2015), Narcissus (2016) y Geodesia (Geodesy, 2017-2018), among others. In all of them, Monsalve has aimed to expose the dichotomies that underlay in the reection of concepts such as space, territory, landscape, surroundings; transforming this conceptual material into aesthetic-preceptive constants that singularize his work and that translate his concerns on ecological, economic and political matters. In reference to Topolia (Topophilia) Edwin Monsalve states: “Not only what is observed from a high standpoint is landscape. It is also the psychological spaces, of symbolic construction and that remain in the memory. Therefore, Topolia (Topophilia) is a sense statement, a particular way to evoke and transform the place into landscape.” This remark by the artist ts with his thesis that holds the mental construction of the landscape, a subjective product “that every observer constructs from sensations and perceptions that it apprehends during the contemplation of a place, whether its rural or urban. Thus, from a cultural standpoint, landscape is not nature, not even the physical medium that surrounds us or where we stand, but an intellectual construct that we make through certain cultural phenomena. In the same manner that landscape is not nature nor territory, the ‘urban landscape’ is not the city, norany of its signicant landmarks, but the image that exudes from it, whether its individual or collective.” With these presuppositions Edwin Monsalve proposes a treatment of landscape that subverts the scenographic, romantic, exotic or sublime visions that have permeated the notions of this genre in art history, introducing a cultural dimension that transcends the topical idea of a geographic representation, to become an expanded concept that includes sociological, political subjective and emotional aspects; into reective looks on the way that mankind connects with the spaces that inhabits and transforms. For Edwin Monsalve the categories being and to be converge in Topolia (Topophilia); a term “that speaks about the affection to certain places in life, to those spaces that have been ours and have allowed us to remain. Something like the nostalgic notion that brings us the idea of landscape to our memories, and that have been the goal of my investigations.” The exhibition Topolia (Topophilia) includes various canvases of medium and large format, as well as an installation made from acrylic cubes over wood pallets. Graphite, mineral charcoal, gold and copper leaf are once more the materials that Monsalve uses to construct the abstractions of his landscapes. An innate explorer, the artist discovers a different way to look and reect each time on that house that we have “transformed into place, into landscape, into art.” Edwin Monsalve lives and works in Medellin. In 2017 he was awarded with the EFG Latin American Acquisition Award in association with ArtNexus, one of the most relevant prizes in visual art support for contemporary Latin American artists. His work has been exhibited in different Colombian museums, galleries and institutions, among which we must highlight the el Museo de Arte del Banco de la República (Bank of the Republic Museum) in Bogota, el Museo de Antioquia (Antioquia Museum) in Medellín, the Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation in Bogota, where he presented his site specic project Narcissus, which won the 4th edition of the Plastic and Visual Arts Biennial Award. In 2020 he was invited by the curator Juan Canela to make a solo Project at the ZONA MACO SUR 2020 Art Fair, presenting the project Estructuras de poder (Power structures, 2019 – 2020). Currently he is a professor at the Antioquia University and the Fundación Universitaria Bellas Artes.