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Yang Yongliang2021

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Press Release

Riera i Aragó: Silent Voyages

At the onset of the new year, Matthew Liu Fine Arts is honored to present the latest solo exhibition "Silent Voyages" by Spanish artist Riera i Aragó. This exhibition is not only a profound exploration of the intertwined aesthetics between nature and machinery but also showcases his innovative spirit in abstract art and a unique interpretation of modernist thought. Through sculpture and painting, the artist challenges the boundaries of visual arts, revealing the complex dialogue between man-made objects and natural forms, and provoking thought on the harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature in a rapidly advancing technological society. In his creations, mechanical structures are no longer merely industrial products but become mediums to explore the broader meanings of nature, existence, and creativity.


Since the early 1970s, Aragó has dedicated himself to exploring themes of deep-sea environments, machinery, and aircraft, which reflect the trajectory of his life. His unique creative method, which integrates elements of natural scenery into his works, is also evident here. For example, he skillfully incorporates fragments and wood from the beach into his bronze sculptures or integrates dismantled ship iron pieces into his artworks, showcasing his attention to form and structure as well as a multidimensional exploration of material characteristics—such as texture, luster, and weight. Unlike Olafur Eliasson, who emphasizes interaction between humans and their environment, and Rebecca Horn, who focuses on the interplay between machinery and human emotions, Aragó places greater emphasis on the layered interactions of "form" and "space-time," narrating the journey of life's continuous adventures and rebirths through the currents of time. In contrast to Futurism and Kinetic Art, which explore the relationship between humans and machines, Aragó's works reveal a perspective that transcends the functionality and autonomy of machinery. His creations are not just about means of transmission or navigation but are narratives of "possibility," a viewpoint also reflected in the artist's in-depth exploration of states of suspension and gravitational balance.


The exhibition gathers Aragó's recent works, especially those created during the pandemic, focusing on the unique properties and innovative forms of materials, blending traditional materials such as steel, iron, copper, and wood with elements of modern technology to showcase new heights in materiality, form, and spatial arrangement. Initially, visitors are introduced to the artist's study of aviation themes, including the iconic "Aircraft" triptych and the "Model of Buried Submarine" sculpture, which integrate mechanical elements into natural contexts, symbolically bridging "reality" and "imagination" and setting the tone for exploring the intertwined themes of technology, artistic movements, and human spirit. As the exhibition progresses, the second section leads to an exploration of the "form" and "abstraction" of flight, where sculptures like the "Golden Airplane" and wall pieces such as "Three Boats I" deepen this theme, showcasing the artist's unique insights on iron and copper materials and the dynamic existence of aircraft in space. In the final section, the artist delves deeper into the discussion of "nature" and "technology" with a series of paintings and sculptures of islands, ships, and submarines, providing a comprehensive summary of deep-sea and space exploration, and inspiring profound reflection on the relationship between humans and the environment.


Aragó's creations reflect the impact of technological advancement on human life and a detailed exploration of the essence of "existence." Leveraging his avant-garde perspective on abstract art and deep insights into the core of modernist philosophy, he uncovers new philosophical and aesthetic meanings in the interaction and balance between machinery and nature. This exploration gives his works a unique sense of the times and depth of thought. Through a distinct visual language and innovative use of materials, he tells a story of the interplay between the visible and the invisible, machinery and navigation, and art. "Silent Voyages" marks an important milestone in Aragó's artistic journey, inviting audiences to deeply experience the profound philosophical and aesthetic values worth savoring in his works. Aragó's works are not only a reflection on the relationship between technological progress and the natural environment but also a hymn to life, the universe, and the infinite possibilities of human creativity.


His art has not only been widely acclaimed in Spain and internationally but also exhibited in several prestigious museums and galleries, such as the City Museums Heilbronn in Germany, the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles in France, the Fundació Joan Miró in Spain, and the Mu.ZEE in Belgium. Moreover, his works are part of the permanent collections of significant institutions including the Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles, the Barcelona City Council in Spain, the West Flanders Tourist Board in Belgium, and the Boeing Company in Chicago. These exhibitions and collections not only underscore Aragó's remarkable achievements as an artist but also highlight his significant position in the realms of modern and contemporary art.

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