For his fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, José María Sicilia is presenting his latest work under the title Ma.This expression comes from the Japanese meaning ‘interval’ or ‘gap’ between two spaces or two moments.The actual hanging has been devised to emphasise this concept. In the ground floor rooms, five paintings have been placed side by side, presented full front, which challenges visitors right from the outset, while in the rear room, three works dialogue between each other in a more usual triangulation.
All the works in this exhibition are a continuation of the research carried out over several years on converting invisible events (birdsong, words, the level of radioactivity) into shapes. A constant feature in the artist’s work is that he observes the light and transcribes it in different ways.The latest series deepens that work, based on a physics experiment at the beginning of the 19th century - known as the Young’s interference experiment - which enabled the nature of light waves to be understood. By using the mathematical data from this experiment and incorporating it into special software, Sicilia generates shapes which are, in a way, formal representations of light. As if he were revealing light itself.
The information gathered is then transferred into a machine with which the artist embroiders silk gauze which he applies to brightly coloured fabrics. Playing with the transparency of the fabrics and their fragility, the artist’s hand gets to work and draws with coloured thread in the same way as with a paintbrush.We see once again the melodic phrasing of gesture present in the series El Instante of birdsong but this time with an unprecedented lavishness of colour.We can feel that Sicilia has highly developed graphic thinking; colour is a huge field in which a line wanders.The fluidity of the pattern of lines allows dreams to wander and to find a place in the space of the painting.
When seeing these works, one is also prompted to think of topology, the branch of mathematics which describes positions in space and «expresses itself, at its best, though prepositions» as philosopher Michel Serres says in his book Atlas: «topology follows space (...) it uses closed (inside) and open (outside), gaps (between), orientation and direction (towards, in front of, behind), proximity and adhesion (near, on, against, next, touching), immersion (amidst), of the dimension ... all excessive realities with relationships».We find all of this in Sicilia’s work.We see plans and maps, discover networks, meshes and nets, circulation and irrigation systems observable in nature. In that respect, the artist’s new works are events rather than objects.