David Bestué | La España moderna

García Galería is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by David Bestué (Barcelona, 1980) in the gallery. The show takes its title from a magazine of the same name, in print in Spain between 1899 and 1914. The publication became Regenerationism’s main vehicle of expression at the turn of the century, publishing Miguel de Unamuno’s now classic essay “En torno al casticismo”, on the essence of being Spanish. Bestué concurs with the original publication insofar as he wishes to present an updated vision of certain ongoing issues on national identity, in a sense emulating the Regenerationist spirit.

The exhibition has been drawn up almost like a geographic trip through the country, where the artist collected samples, sometimes from physical features (landscapes or monuments), others from historical, spiritual, or even mythical ones. This allowed him to pose questions revolving around some clichés, or some supposedly eternal characteristics, of Spanishness. The answers to these questions deal with doubt, irony, and, occasionally, poetic rapture. In this way, all the works in the show somehow relate to Spain: its geography (Cubo en el desierto [Cube in the Desert]), its history (Cenicero Anfora [Amphora Ashtray]), its monuments (Partículas de El Escorial [Particles of El Escorial]), etc…

The pieces presented are the result of recent projects on architecture and engineering in Spain (Formalismo Puro, Realismo), or other more specific ones, such as those resulting from research Federico García Lorca’s stay in New York. Other works have been made for this exhibition. Most of them include specific materials from each place, and propose a particular itinerary through the physical space of the gallery.

David Bestué’s art practice fundamentally focuses on sculpture, although the sculptures are at times performative in origin, and sometimes have an ephemeral aspect that may only be accessed through photographic documentation. The materials chosen for their formalization are of particular importance, bringing with them new nuances by contrast, through ironic or historical interpretation, etc… incorporating in this way solutions which had initially seemed unthinkable.

David Bestué studied at Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Barcelona and his solo shows include La Capella (Barcelona), Gasworks (London), Arkitekturmuseet (Stockholm) and Sala Montcada (Barcelona).