la memoria

Memory: Transition Oils (1989-1990)

This phase is a transition because Pilar Lara continues using oil painting, the technique of the previous phase, now frequently on a panel. However, it is used in a radically different way, and above all, at the service of entirely new themes, which are a prelude to the ones taking shape at the dawn of the fourth stage.

The expressiveness, the visceral painting and the dramatic quality disappears…Everything is calm. The paint, sometimes almost without matter, barely covers the painting in order to turn it into a huge but simple frame, without detail, or to reflect vaguely, as in a blurred memory, those anonymous old photos, inserted in the work, that will later characterise the final change in her production around 1990, opening the following stage. Only the first work of this series, ‘Big Bang’, includes the original photograph. This and the next two are the only works that echo the preceding phase: a reference to the origins of the universe in which the original explosion seems to be transformed into a funeral wreath, significantly associated with a child’s photo; a black being gazing with curiosity at the photo of another child; and another photo, again a child, floating over the immensity of the sea. Children’s photographs are recurring in most of the works of this series, perhaps as a symbolic representation of the original or lost innocence: a girl in a first communion dress, in a frame inspired by Art Deco, with an angel holding the sacred host; a girl sitting in contrast to the scene of a donkey pulling a plow; or a group of five children at the bottom of a flared hole- the perspective of time and memory?-. The compositions become increasingly inscrutable, with an unclear intention. They seem to be formal experiments rather than premeditated works, as in others where a frame belonging to another work is included in the composition.  There is something on Pilar’s mind. Maybe she is searching for it without giving up work, hoping that inspiration catches her red-handed, in front of the easel, as Picasso would say.

‘Burladero’ is perhaps a glimpse of that path, a preview of the series ‘No me abandones’ [Don’t Abandon me]: a photograph of a married couple, typical from the beginning of the 20th century, becomes the burladero of a bullring. The handling of the painting’s outline through the use of slats that simulate wooden beams supporting the parapet is an indication of the forward leap she is preparing. Two other works also imply a variation in the size of the original image in order to adapt it to the format, as she will later do, starting with the series ‘Monólogos’ [Monologues]: both works are portraits of women. In one of them, the artist reproduces a religious image with a reliquary on her bust. Indeed, some formal findings take place at this moment and Pilar Lara will go back to them years later. But here they are noted.

In any case, painting certainly becomes less important in Pilar’s work over the last two years and it starts to be an unnecessary mediation between the object or image that inspires the work and the artist’s gaze. The values and meanings that these photographs contain, their ability to recall the legacy received, to stimulate memory, are mostly lost when they are reflected on the canvas. Pilar begins to feel that the energy these documents possess must live in the work, without alterations, always completing its meanings thanks to the relationships established with other objects and the artist’s communicative intention.

As Pilar herself expressed a few years later: ‘After the period in which I was painting with an expressionist intention, I felt the urge to reconsider my job. The works were lively and gestural, but with little content. I came to the conclusion that it was a false approach and that I had to reverse the terms. So, in 1998 I started the first stage of this evolution, which lasted one year. I painted all the things represented and I felt that this means of expression was not enough, so I began to add some elements in their natural or man-made form until I stuck to the latter and removed painting (December 1997).

Big Bang
Sin título
Niño y cisne en un marco gigantesco
Niña de comunión
Sin título
Sin título
Sin título
Sin título
Sin título
Sin título
Burladero
Sin título
  • Big Bang
  • Sin título
  • Niño y cisne en un marco gigantesco
  • Niña de comunión
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Burladero
  • Sin título
  • Big Bang

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre tabla, marco y foto antigua (100x100)
    3/098
    1989
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (116x104)
    3/102
    1989
  • Niño y cisne en un marco gigantesco

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre tabla, marco y foto antigua (170x117)
    3/025
    1990
  • Niña de comunión

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (160x99)
    3/031
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo y marco (100x100)
    3/099
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo y marco
    3/100
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo y marco (80x40)
    3/101
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (162x132)
    3/103
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (205x134)
    3/104
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (93x83)
    3/105
    1990
  • Burladero

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo (92x77)
    3/106
    1990
  • Sin título

    Etapa pictórica (1981-1990)
    La memoria: Óleos de transición (1989-1990)

    Óleo sobre lienzo y marquito-relicario (81x65)
    3/107
    1990
  • Big Bang
  • Sin título
  • Niño y cisne en un marco gigantesco
  • Niña de comunión
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Sin título
  • Burladero
  • Sin título