The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid, España) hosts a retrospective on René Daniëls (Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1950), to be held at the Palacio de Velázquez in the Park of El Retiro. René Daniëls. An exhibition is always part of a greater whole demonstrates the complexity of this artist's work while attempting to contextualize the eighties in a new way.
Gathered to this end will be a sizeable selection of the artist's paintings, gouache drawings and graphic work along with a large number of sketches, notebooks and documents from his archives covering the period from the mid-seventies to 1987. Also shown will be some Super 8 film recordings made by Daniëls which open a window onto the punk counterculture and its derivates, a movement then at its height on which the artist drew for his work.
René Daniëls graduated in art in 1976, and eleven years later suffered a brain hemorrhage that put an end to his pictorial activity. During that brief period, he produced an unusual and fascinating oeuvre whose reputation continues to grow today, influencing younger generations of artists. From his beginnings, Daniëls explored the possibilities of the pictorial medium with a highly personal style that connected art history with everyday life and popular culture, reserving an important role at the same time for ambiguity and double meanings.
Although the artist resorted at first to expressionist brushwork, his work from the early eighties onwards is characterized by transparent layers of thinly applied paint, often with fragments of canvas completely untouched. These works might appear to be unfinished, inviting the viewer to "conclude" them and discover new meanings in them over and over again. From then on, the three elements regarded by Daniëls as significant for his art -literature, visual art and everyday life- acquire primacy.
Date: until March 26.
Location: Palacio de Velázquez, Park of El Retiro. Madrid, Spain.
Opening hours: from Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 6pm.
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