I first came across the work of Silvia Lerín (Valencia, España, 1975) at the National Fine Arts Award - Art Nalón in 2007, one of the most prestigious awards for young artists in Spain, organized annually by the Youth Association of the City of Langreo (Asturias). In that occasion, the jury unanimously adjudicated the Award to this Mediterranean painter, with already a substantial work trajectory, as a result of the magnificent collection of paintings around geometric abstraction enriched –in addition-by one of her pictorial projects: "removable mural".
The invention of the "removable mural" goes back to her work during the summer of 2006 and consists of a type of mural that can be actually removed, transported and reproduced in different locations without danger to the artistic piece itself. There are two parts to this process: the first step –in her studio- consists of a partial execution of the complete piece on cotton canvas, this partial execution is afterwards adhered to the wall. The second step is to finish the rest of the painted mural in situ.
The possibilities of reproduction for the "removable mural" in conjunction with the architectonic construction and urbanism are as versatile as they are infinite.
Once the Art Nalón 2007 Award was granted, and, as the director of the Municipal Gallery in Langreo Eduardo Úrculo, I dared the artist to create a "removable mural" adapting it to a gigantic wall of 103 m2 at the Central Park of the Langreo community. Lerín, who is already an experienced muralist (1), accepted the challenge with the same professionalism and rigor expected from any other professionally renowned painter. She created an artistic piece with such high quality in its resolution and so in tune with its environment; that, despite the fact that was originally planned as an ephemeral work of art, it can still be admired in the gardens of the Municipal Gallery in Langreo.
That fortunate intervention led to an exhibition at the gallery Dasto in Oviedo (Asturias) around end of 2007 with the title The limits of the blue (2), and, in January 2008, the exhibition corresponding to the aforementioned Art Nalón Award, which took place at the Cultural Center Escuelas Dorado (Langreo), titled 45 degrees. In both occasions, the young artist from Valencia, exhibiting great creativity and work capacity, painted the respective "removable murals" indoors, resulting in a very fruitful dialogue with the rest of the pieces exhibited.
From the 45 degrees series exhibited at the Cultural Center Escuelas Dorado comes painting Number 9, a superb painting (3), now at the Municipal Gallery in Langreo, that makes possible, with the previously mentioned outdoors mural, the public and permanent presence of the artist in Asturias. During that same 2008, Silvia Lerín came back once again to share her work with the Asturias public in a collective exhibition at the Revillagigedo Palace in Gijón.(4)
The current exhibition titled Pielpintura (Paint-Skin, the paint acts as skin) includes pieces from 2007 to this year. This new event allows us to display and share Lerín work in a different and important city in Asturias, and constitutes, adding to her previous visits, her fourth attendance to our region, which reflects the close relationship between the artist and our land. We hope this relationship to continue and to grow.
Silvia Lerín, studied at the Fine Arts Institute San Carlos, part of the Polytechnic University in Valencia, where she graduated from, and found around the mid 90s her best artistic expression: the geometric expression.
The painter intelligently grew her work in this concrete tradition of the occidental contemporary art. It is characterized by the rational and constructive plastic art investigation, and it is based on the pure geometric morphosyntax, which had its powerful eclosion between 1910 and 1930 and lived very fruitful revivals during the 1960 and 1980 decades.
The work of Silvia Lerín, displayed in about ten years, possesses, within this abstract current, a defined singularity. The artist, in her search for harmony between contraries, wisely introduces very diverse intuitive elements in her straight geometries, not only in the composition of her pieces but also in her chromatic elements. This way, her pieces, created through combined techniques, take shape subtly thanks to planes and segments that, in their different combinations, generate breaks, ruptures, cracks, overlaps, juxtapositions, confrontations, connections and intersections, and at the same time the active fields of intense color receive careful modulations and interesting tones of matter and texture.
The strong armors of her paintings look for different effects, sometimes tension, some others equilibrium, which tend to propagate beyond the limits of the painting, helped by a deliberate absence of a frame that even though should be there to protect the piece, is also true that it would limit the piece from the conceptual point of view.
On the other side, the spectator finds the attention to the tactile qualities, in particular the introduction of marble powder and the presence left on the painting by her work procedures, that led the artist to evoke skin as part of the title of this series, something that partners her poetry with that of other big creators of the current artistic movements, such as Sean Scully (Dublín, 1945).Not by chance, the Greek word kroma meant color, but could be used as well to denominate skin (5).
Similarly, that reference to the skin is also related to the pieces of canvas the artist mounts in her "removable murals", true skin bits that are attached to the wall and become the shedding of the artwork. Summarizing, the interactions between the orderly structure of the image, the sensuality of the pictorial dermis and the energetic color are what distinguishes the work from Silvia Lerín, and opens it to the world of feelings and human passions. In all of her pieces, the artist from Valencia expresses a passionate confrontation of energy, a fight between serenity and equilibrium against impulsiveness and instinct, transforming her esthetic world into a metaphor of life. The end result is art work defined by strong drawing, refined execution, sumptuous color, supreme elegance, deep mystery and never-ending emotion.
The exhibition offers as well the opportunity to appreciate other paintings on paper and a small sample of her graphic work. From this sample, I would highlight the engravings from the series Divisions (2008). The exhibition also displays, as it is becoming regular in the individual exhibitions for this artist, one of her spectacular "removable murals", and the very interesting graphical documentation of the other three aforementioned murals: the one in the gardens of the Municipal Gallery in Langreo (2007), the one at the Dasto gallery in Oviedo (2007) and the one in the exhibition hall of the Cultural Center Escuelas Dorado in Langreo (2008).
Based on her current artistic work, Silvia Lerin is at the zenith of her career, with a brilliant and expansive trajectory not only followed and loved in several Spanish cities, but also cities in other countries, such as Berlin. The artist creates and offers the world a really accomplished and well formulated painting, executed with overwhelming confidence and assurance in its own medium, which makes her one of the best and most promising figures of the young Spanish artists.
"Removable mural", Official College of Architects of Murcia, Spain, 2007. "Removable mural", private home, Valencia, Spain, 2007.
Project implemented with a scholarship from "Art to the North 07" Arte AlNorte'07
M. T. Beguiristain, Cat. Exp. Silvia Lerín 45º, Langreo, Langreo Town Hall , 2007, p. 21.
Awarded artists from "Art to the North 07"
Dominguez, Vicente, Cat. Exp. Ramón Isidoro, Transparency, Lugo, Lugo Town Hall, 2003.