BELÉN RODRÍGUEZ. Algodón naranja en la bella sombra


Title: Algodón naranja en la bella sombra.

Dates: 23.11.19- 23.01.19

Opening: Saturday November 23, 12 noon

For the first time Alarcón Criado will present the works of Belén Rodríguez through her latest exhibition Algodón naranja en la bella sombra. The show highlights the historical importance of Seville in overseas trade and puts focus on the palpable cultural hybridisation in textile productions; the round-trip journeys with manufactured goods, which were a cultural legacy for centuries, in the south of the peninsula. Islamic air strapwork, vegetal abstractions and iconographies of very diverse origin are brought together in this exhibition. When addressing the research for this show the artist explored new technical resources.

It is difficult to unlink the influences that make up a culture, as it is to untie a tightly armed fabric. The word algodón (cotton) came to our culture through the Arab world and composes the landscape around Seville.

Bitter orange (naranja) was the first to reach the peninsula, centuries before the sweet orange or tangerine appeared. Time was given to the naming of a colour referred to by metonymy. From its Sanskrit origin, it had to pass to Persian, and from Persian to Arabic before arriving in Spain in the Middle Ages.

Bella Sombra (beuatiful shade) is the informal name with which the gorgeous Ombú tree that is planted at the gates of the Andalusian Centre for Contemporary Art in Seville is also known. It is said that Hernando, the son of Columbus, planted it more than five hundred years ago.

Leafing through a book about textiles of the world, I find a 17th-century Peruvian tapestry that belongs to the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Its peculiarity is in the tremendous miscegenation it represents. It was assembled by Andean weavers in the traditional way, but their motives bring together the three great influences that arose as a result of the Manila galleons; native fables, imaginary Asian animals, scenes from the Old Testament, hunters, shepherds, caryatids holding cornucopias, the Phoenix and the lotus flower.

Like the Manila shawl, which is said to be Mexican after its Chinese origin – our cultural elements have gone through paths difficult to decompose to become what they are: the seated fringes on the Chinese embroidery silks come from North Africa.

The exhibition unravels, pictorial and sculpturally, essential cultural ingredients, in clear reference to the textile world. Cottons, silks, fringes, fans, remnants of recycled tie-dyed textiles from my own works. Pictures in which strips of fabric are crossed that remind us of both a coffered ceiling, such as a kimono, a mummy, the structure of a palm tree, or the composition of a fabric through the microscope.

Belén Rodríguez 2019


BELÉN RODRÍGUEZ, Magister Art by the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She also has a degree in Fine Arts from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid. Some of her individual Exhibitions are: I turn Chilli Red in Josh Lilley (London, 2019); Paintung in Patio Herreriano (Valladolid, 2018), Rodríguez, in Galería Bacelos (Madrid, 2016), and Circa in Das weissehaus (Vienna, 2011). She has received the First Prize Ciutat de Palma Antoni Gelabert, from Palma de Mallorca and the Artistic Production Award, Banco Santander Foundation (2013), the Generations Award from Caja Madrid (2011) and has participated in different international Artist in Residence Programs such as Flora ars + natura in Bogota, Artista X Artista in Havana, Hooper Projects, Los Angeles; Spanish Academy in Rome and BMUKK, Tokyo.