Framedl project view. Kewenig Gallery (Berlin, 2023).
Alain Urrutia presents a series of paintings that retain their distinctive elements: a small format and a monochromatic palette. However, departing from the pursuit of explicit meanings in images, he shifts his focus toward how we perceive and engage with them.
Within the context of Western artistic tradition, painting has long been intertwined with the concept of the frame. This frame acts as a portal to alternate realities, giving paintings dimensionality and corporeal qualities. Simultaneously, it also functions as a window to other worlds, capable of transforming a painting into a three-dimensional, corporeal object, reshaping its character, and constraining its content. Recent times, however,have witnessed painting's emancipation from these historical confines. But is it not the format of painting itself that imposes its limitations rather than its surroundings? In this project, the notion of the frame arises from the images themselves. They collectively exude a cinematic nature, as Urrutia meticulously arranges compositions to make visual absorption effortless. Like a perfectly framed frame, each work reveals all that needs to be seen in a single gaze. Some paintings appear to capture fragments of a larger image, akin to a close-up or zoomed-in perspective, while others reference spatial boundaries imposed by foreign elements, obstructing a comprehensive view of what lies beyond.
Furthermore, these images form a suggestive sequence, progressing from beginning to conclusion. While their meanings may remain veiled, there is a sense that a story unfolds within a structured order. It begins with a frame that opens to the right, making room for the remaining images that appear to struggle to break free from the space that has been given to them. The sequence culminates with a focus on the lower corner of a baroque frame, a deliberate point of closure before concluding the visual journey.
Finally, almost with a volatile presence, one painting seems to transcend the narrow narrative. It portrays a cloud drifting ethereally through what seems to be open sky, enclosed by its unique frame. A gilded frame from the early 1900s houses this idea of sky—the frame where everything happens.
Carolina Puigdevall Claver
Frameed, 2023. Oil on linen on board in antique frame, 15x16 cm.
Frameed #1, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.
Frameed #2, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.
Frameed #3, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.
Frameed #4, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.
Frameed #5, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.
Frameed #6, 2023. Oil on linen on board, 23x17 cm.