Ignasi Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) studied Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. Since the 1990's, he has exhibited namely at the Drawing Center (New York), MACBA (Barcelona), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Le Printemps de Septembre (Toulouse), Galerie Meessen-de Clercq (Brussels), Galerie Estrany de la Mota (Barcelona), Galerie Elba Benitez, Gagosian gallery (New York), Frac Lorraine (Metz), Centre National d'Art Contemporain Villa Arson (Nice), Fondation Maeght, (Saint-Paul de Vence), la Pinacoteca do Estado of São Paulo.
He has also participated in several international biennials such as the 52nd Venice Biennial in 2007, the Sharjah Biennial in 2007 or the 11th Sydney Biennial in 1998.

Ignasi Aballí received the Joan Miró prize in 2015 for his "successfully completed reflection on the limits of painting in representation, for his meticulous attention to the significant consequences that can be generated by the smallest change made in a strategy of re-giving meaning, as well as for his role as a mentor for younger artists".

A retrospective of his work from 2005 took place at Reina Sofía (Madrid) in 2015 and he will be presenting an exhibition at the Joan Miró Foundation in 2016.

Ignasi Aballí
Born in 1958
Lives and works in Barcelona


SOLO SHOWS

2018
presque invisible, Galerie Thomas Bernard, Paris
Exhibition continues, Galerie Kula, Split, Croatie
Translations, Galerie Meessen De Clerq, Bruxelles, Belgique

2017
Caso de estudio, IVAM Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia, Spain.
Cualquier título, Proyecto Paralelo, México DF, Mexique
Sin Principio / Sin Final, Museo de Arte de la Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá

2016
Something is Missing, Gallery Nordenhake, Berlin
Infinite sequence, Foundation Joan Mirò, Barcelona

2015
sin principio / sin final, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
presque visible, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Ignasi Aballí. Premio Joan Miró 2015, Fundación Joan Miró, Barcelona
Gabinet : Ignasi Aballí, Es Baluard, Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma

2014
Ver visiones (Seeing visions), galerie Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona
Double readings, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Something is wrong, Galerie Pedro Oliveira, Oporto

2013
Three hours of light, Empty Cube, Lisbon
Mirar (el otro lado), Galeria Elba Benítez, Madrid

2012
Prólogo, Galeria Proyecto Paralelo, México D.F., México
This is not The End, Artium, Vitoria

2011
CMYK Color System, Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona
En el aire, Fundación RAC, Rosón Arte Contemporáneo, Pontevedra

2010
Pòsit, Espai Guinovart, Agramunt, Lleida
Teoria, Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo
Transparència, ACVIC, Centre d'Art de Vic, Vic, Barcelona
Transparent states, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels

2009
Zona euro, Banco de España, Madrid
posible / probable, Galeria Elba Benítez, Madrid
Inside job (avec Karin Sander), Galerie Nächst St. Stephan / Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna
Nothing, or something, Suitcase Art Projects, Today Art Museum, Pékin
Coming soon, Galerie Vartai, Vilnius
Cien mil pares de ojos, Galeria Manel Mayoral, Barcelona

2008
Classificar, Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona
Tiempo muerto, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Fotografía para jardines, Real Jardín Botánico, Madrid
Sin actividad, Museo de Portimão, Portimão
To show, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
52 paraules, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona

2006
0-24 h, Museu Serralves, Porto 0-24 h, IKON Gallery, Birmingham
0-24 h, ZKM, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe
Inmigrantes, Clockshop, Los Angeles

2005
0-24 h, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona (Macba), Barcelona

2004
Nada-para-ver, Museo de Bellas Artes de Santander, Santander
Un año, Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid

2003
Desapariciones, Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona

2002
Presencias, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Oporto
Manipulaciones, Nouvelle Galerie, Grenoble
Desapariciones, Espacio Uno, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

2000
A diario, H, Associació per les Arts Contemporànbies, Vic, Barcelona
Malgastar (To waste), Sala d'Art Josep Baguès, El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona
Libros, Glass cabinet, Galeria Estarny de la Mota, Barcelona

1999
No movie, Galeria Elba Benítez, Madrid

1998
Nada es mucho (Nothing is a lot), Galeria Antoni Estrany, Barcelona

1997
Olhando nada, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Oporto, Portugal

1995
Galeria Antoni Estrany, Barcelona

1994
Clausura, Galeria Elba Benítez, Madrid

1993
Galeria Antoni Estrany, Barcelona


GROUP SHOWS

2018

Oroi. Queda mucho pasado por delante,

Colección Macba. Bajo la Superficie, MACBA Museu d'Art Contemporàni de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Descubriendo un diálogo en el tiempo, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid, Spain
Ignasi Aballi + Oriol Vilanova. Reversible, Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona, Spain
Accrochage-Accrochage, Galeria Estreany de la Mota, Barcelona, Spain
Un Campo Oscuro, Centro José Guerrero, Grenade

ARCO, Madrid, Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Galeria Elba Benítez
Group Show, Galeria Estarny de la Moda, Barcelone, Espagne
Résonance (partie2), FRAC Haute Normandie, Sotteville-lès-Rouen

2017
Passagens: A Coleção de Serralves no terminal de Cruzeiros do Porto de Leixões, Galeria Estreany de la Mota, Barcelone, Espagne
Coleccion Macba, Sota la Superficie,
MACBA - Musée d'art contemporain de Barcelone, Barcelone, Espagne
The walk,Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Bruxelles, Belgique
Montag ou la Bibliothèque à venir, Frac Franche-Comté, Cité des arts, Besançon, France
L'air vibre du bourdonnement des insectes, Rochechouart departmental museum of contemporary art, Rochechouart, France
Casos de estudios, IVAM-Valence Institute of modern art, Valencia, Spain
VV.AA. Displays of Affection II: Imaginar el futuro, Estrany de la Mota Gallery, Barcelona, Spain
Coleccion Macba, Sota la Superficie, a Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain
Entusiasmo. El reto y el empeño en la Colección MACBA , Musée de Badalona, Badalona,  Espagne
Improbable Libraries,La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain
Hacer amar plantar arboles. Coleccion Valzuela, Centro de Arte Alcobendas, Madrid, Espagne
VV.AA. Displays of Affection I: Cartografiar la memoria, Galeria Estrany - De la Mota, Barcelona, Spain
Them Or Us, Galeria Municipal do Porto, Porto, Portugal
La Colección Bragales en blanco y negro, Casas del Águila y la Parra y Torre Don Borja, Santillana del Mar, Spain
El borde de una herida. Migración, exilio y colonialidad en el Estrecho, Centro Cibele de Cultura y Ciudadanía, Madrid, Sapin
Phenomenon 2, Biennial for contemporary art, Anafi, Greece
Du verbe à la communication, La collection de Josée et Marc Gensollen, Carré d'art, Nîmes
Discursos Premeditados, Colección Fundación Caja Mediterráneo,
Museo de bellas artes de Valencia, Valencia
Seleccion Natural ? This is the Cover of the Book, Centre Cultural Blanquerna, Madrid
Da Fuga e da Encontro: Inversões da Olhar, Espaço Novo Banco, Lisbon
(Ex)Posiciones Críticas, CGAC Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
Estudios de luz: indicios, reflejos y sombras en la colección Serralves, Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Castelo Branco
Ventajas y desventajas de la historia para la vida, Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, Évora

2016
Las horas perdidas, Artista X Artista, La Habana
Resonating Surfaces, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo
The Past is the Past, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
The Future is the Future, Galerie Thomas Bernard - Cortex Athletico, Paris - exhibition views HERE
Impermanencia. La mutación del arte en una sociedad materialista, Bienal of Cuenca, Fundación Municipal, Cuenca
27 - Linhas de Dialogo,
Obras das Coleçoes Fundacion Coca-Cola e de Fotographia Contemporanea do NOVO BANCO
, Espaço Novo Banco, Lisbon
Variaciones sobre tema mexicano,
Torre Iberdrola, Lisbon
Una mirada en abierto, Centre contemporain La Conservera de Ceuti, Murcia
Dialogues of the Gaze, Fundacio Suñol, Barcelona
ARCOmadrid, Madrid

2015
A.N.T.H.R.O.P.O.C.E.N.E., Galerie Meessen de Clercq, Brussels
Afinidades electivas, Juliao Sarmento coleccionador, Fundación EDP, Lisbon
Múltiples mundos, Galería Carreras Mújica, Bilbao
Llueve, nieva, pinta, Centre d'art La Panera, Lleida
Frieze, Galería Elba Benítez, London
ArtBo, Galería Elba Benítez, Bogota
25 años, Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid
Là où commence le jour, in the framework of Lille 3000-Renaissance, Musée LAM, Lille
Afterimages
, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
Another Part of the New World, Collection CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo of the Regional Government of Madrid and the Moscow museum of modern art
, MMOMA, Moscow
Especies de espacios, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Macba), Barcelona
Arquitecturas y espacios en la colección RAC, CentroCentro Cibeles, Madrid
Little is left to tell (Calvino after Calvino), Blueproject Foundation, Barcelona
Arte contemporáneo en la colección Himalaya, Museo de Albacete, Albacete
Old News (Again), Cneai, Chatou
Measuring the Immeasurable, Galeria Sabrina Amrani, Madrid
Pliure (Epilogue ? La Bibliothèque, l'univers), Fondation Gulbenkian, Paris
Rituels, répétitions, contraintes, tentations, Plateforme Roven, Musée régional d'art contemporain Languedoc-Roussillon, Sérignan
Arco, Elba Benitez, Madrid
Arco, Estrany de la Mota, Madrid
Múltiple / Polígrafa Obra Gráfica, Espacio Monitor, Caracas
Video Régimen, Coleccionistas en la era audiovisual, Museo Lázaro Galdiano, Madrid
Presque la même chose, Kunsthalle Mulhouse
Naked Photographer, Galeria Maisterravalbuena, Madrid
La colección, CentroCentro Cibeles, Madrid
Gathered fates, Galeria Nordenhake, Berlin

2014
St. Jerome, Galerie Meessen de Clercq, Brussels
La biblioteca y el saber, Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastián
Tiempos abiertos, DA2, Domus Artium, Salamanca
Las lágrimas de las cosas, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres
Paisatge.0, Galeria Palma XII, Vilafranca del Penedès
Colonia apócrifa, Imágenes de la colonialidad en España, MUSAC, León
Der Leone Have Sept Cabeças, CRAC Alsace, Altkirch
Homo ludens, Galerie Meessen de Clercq, Brussels
Doble dirección, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Frieze, Galería Elba Benítez, London

2013
Algunas lagunas, Galería Proyecto Paralelo, México
Without reality there is no utopia, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco
Diálogos, Museo Patio herreriano, Valladolid
Of Bridges and Borders, Parque Cultural de Valparaíso, Valparaíso
Nomès llibres, Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona
Sin motivo aparente, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Madrid
For my eyes only, VJP Collection of Contemporary Art and Design, UGM Maribor Art Gallery, Maribor
Jetztzeit (el temps d'ara), Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Sobre papel / On paper, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres
Glass of water, Futura Centre for Contemporay Art, Prague
Caché derrière les apparences, La Galerie du 5ème, Galeries Lafayette, Marseille
Mínima resistencia, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
El gabinet d'un aficionat, Història d'una col.lecció, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
93, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela
Iceberg, La realitat invisible, Fundación Francisco Godia, Barcelona

2012
Interval, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto
De la generosidad, Obras de la colección Helga de Alvear, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, CGAC, Santiago de Compostela
Lugares en pérdida, Centro Huarte, Huarte
Particles, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Cómplices del Arte Español Contemporáneo, Fundación Canal, Madrid
Explosion, Action in painting, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Cantastoria, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City, Utah
Cartografíes, Dibuixant el pensament, Caixaforum Barcelone - Madrid
The Unseen, 4th Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou
La imagen especular, Tirar del hilo, colección Artium, Artium, Vitoria
2 galeristes, 299 artistes, 24 comissàris, 23 agents..., Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Barcelona
Nexus, Galeria Miguel Marcos, Barcelona
Episodis crítics (1957-2011), Col.lecció Museu d'Art Contemporàni de Barcelona, Macba, Barcelona
Language games, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres
Trayectorias, Diez años de video y fotografía en la colección Coca Cola, MEIAC, Badajoz
Confluencias, CDAN, Centro de Arte y Naturaleza, Fundación Beulas, Huesca
Jonge Spaanse Kunst, Elisa Platteau, Brussels
Ondas en expansión, Derivas del conceptual lingüístico, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla

2011
2011 Lumens, Valls, Tarragona
Sin realidad no hay utopía, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla
Medianoche en la ciudad, Artium, Vitoria
Atlas, How to carry the World on one's back?, ZKM, Karlsruhe
Of Bridges & borders, Fronteras en mutación (III), CCEBA, Centro Culural de España, Buenos Aires
La Cuestión del Paradiga, Genealogías de la emergencia en el arte contemporáneo en Cataluña, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida / La Capella, Barcelona
I was a male Yvonne de Carlo, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León
La vie mode d'emploi, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Relats encadenats, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Reflejos, OTR Espacio de Arte, Madrid
Aproximaciones I, Arte Contemporáneo español en la colección Helga de Alvear, Fundación Helga de Alvear, Cáceres
Barcelona colecciona, Fundación Godia, Barcelona
Relatos encadenados, Centre d'Art La Paner, Lleida
Les mille rêves de Stellavista, Centre d'art contemporaine la Synagogue de Delme, Delme

2010
Voz entre lineas, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Sur le dandysme aujourd'hui, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela
Grande hazaña!, ¡Con muertos!, Sala Puertanueva, Córdoba
Territories of time, Galeria Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
La memoria del otro, Museo de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile
Nuevas historias, Kuntsi Museum of Modern Art, Vaasa
Estancias, residencias, presencias. Una construcción particular, TEA Tenerife Espacio de las Artes, Santa Cruz de Tenerife
Entretiempos. Instantes, intervalos, duraciones., PhotoEspaña 2010, Teatro Fernán-Gómez, Madrid
89 Km, Colección CGAC, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo, Vigo
A l'ombre d'un doute, FRAC Lorraine, Metz
Signes i escriptures, Fundació Suñol, Barcelona
The shadows of speech, National Museum of Contemporary Art of Korea, Seoul
La fuerza de la palabra, Instituto Cultural Cabañas, Guadalajara, México
Nuevas Historias, Det Nationale Fotomuseum, Copenhague
Objects are like their appear, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Nel Fratempo. Istanti, intervali, durate., MAN, Museo d'Arte di Nuoro, Nuoro
Antes que todo (Before everything), Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Madrid
Medianoche en la ciudad, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Pere(t)c, Fundación Luis Seoane, La Coruña
Atlas ¿Cómo llevar el mundo a cuestas?, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

2009
Zonas de riesgo, Caixaforum, Madrid
Colección I, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Madrid
Books books books nothing else than books, Ursula Blickle Foundation, Kraichtal
On second reading, Galeria Estrany de la Mota, Barcelone
El temps com a matèria, Col.lecció Macba, Macba, Barcelone
La colección, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
IV Bienal de Jafre, Jafre, Girona
Serralves 2009, 'a Colecção', Fundación Serralves, Porto
Huésped, Colección Musac en el MNBA, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires
Voyage sentimental 3, Frac Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Marseille
25 obras, 17 artistas, 4 relatos, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Under Control, Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois
Mirant des de fora (On the outside looking in), Fundació Suñol, Barcelona

2008
Esto no es una exposición, Fundación Centro Huarte de Arte Contemporáneo, Huarte, Navarra
Parangolé, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid
Absens, Galerie Meessen De Clercq, Brussels
Weder Entweder Noch Oder, Wüttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart
Partilhar territorios, V Bienal de Arte e Cultura de Sao Tomé e Principe Frágil, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia
Why is there something rather than nothing?, Galleria Galica, Milan
Order, Desire, Light, An exhibition of contemporary drawing, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin
New perspectives on Spanish contem­porary photography, Kulturhuset, Stockholm
Yo soy el final de la reproducción, Sculptur Center, New York
La sombra de la história, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago de Compostela
Zones de risc, Caixaforum, Barcelona

2007
Tricky, Galeria Estrany-de la Mota, Barcelona
Premio Nacional de Arte Gráfico 2006, Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernándo, Madrid
Entre la palabra y la imagen, Museo da Cidade, Lisboa y Centro Cultural Villa Flor, Guimaraes
Clearly invisible, Centre d'Art Santa Mónica, Barcelona
Still life. Art, ecology and the politics of change, 8ème biennale de Sharjah, Emirats Arabes Unis
Numerica,  Palazzo delle Papesse, Sienne
Think with the senses-Feel with the mind, 52ª Biennale, Venice
Intocable, El ideal de la transparencia, Museo Patio Hereriano, Valladolid
Utopias cotidianas, Un proyecto del Centre d'Art la Panera, La Centrale Électrique, Brussels
Paperback. Ediciones baratas, Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña
Colección Macba, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Barcelona, Barcelona
Barcelone 1947-2007, Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul de Vence
Existencias, Musac, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León
Objeto de réplica, Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Arte gráfico en España, Premios Nacionales 2006, Institut Cervantes, Prague
No, Future, Bloomberg Space, London
Tiempo al tiempo, MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo, Vigo
Macba im Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt / Main
I am the end of reproduction, Castillo / Corrales, Paris
Dar tiempo al tiempo / Taking time, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Vigo
Fit to print. Printed media in collage, Gagosian gallery, New York

2006
Identidades Críticas. Arte español de los noventa, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid
Salir a la calle y disparar al azar, Barcelona
Una visión impura, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía. Madrid
Intouchable. L'ideal transparence, Villa Arson, Nice
Entre la palabra y la imagen, Fundación Luis Seoane, La Coruña
Old News, Centre National de l'Estampe et de l'Art imprimé, Cneai, Chatou

2005
Exhibition of Visual Art, Limerick City Gallery of Art, Limerick
Pintar sense pintar, Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
El espacio recuperado, Edificio de Tabacalera, San Sebastián

2004
Laocoonte devorado, Artium, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Looking Futher. Thinking Throught, Marc
En el principio era el viaje, Bienal de Pontevedra, Pontevedra
Darreres Construccions, Museu de Granollers
Laocoonte devorado, Museo José Guerrero, Grenada

2003
Col.lecció MACBA, Itineraris, Barcelona
Printemps de Septembre, Gestes, Toulouse
Contravoz, Trayecto Galería, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Group Show, Galeria Martin van Zomeren, Amsterdam
Colección de Arte Contemporáneo del Ayuntamiento de Lleida 01, La Panera, Lleida

2002
Endure, Smart Project Space, Amsterdam
Grace and Gravity, Galería Estrany De la Mota, Barcelona
La Col.lecció, Macba, Barcelona

2001
VideoRom, Bienal de Valencia, Valencia

2000
Emocion Escogida, Galería Palma XII, Vilafranca del Penedès, Barcelona
Ars Festival Penedes 2000, Cavas Chandon, Penedes

1999
El Dors Profús, Can Palauet, Mataró
Opera Aperta. 9 artistes / 9llibres, Librería Robafaves, Mataró
(Per)versions d'objectesil.lustres, Museu Empordà, Figueres
Mirant-nos des de fora, 5ª Biennale Martínez Guerricabeitia, Sala Parpalló, Valencia

1998
Des Garçons Sauvages, Galeria Helga de Alvear, Madrid
Iluminar y oscurecer, St. Michael's Church, Honniton Festival, Honniton
Poussière (Dust memories), Frac Bourgogne, Dijon
Every Day, 11ème Biennale de Sydney
The Choice, Exit Art, New York
Coincidències, Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, Deurle


CATALOGUES
2013
White pages, 110 p. Edition CRU

2012
En el aire, 288 p. Editions Fundación Rosón Arte Contemporáneo, Ephemera
This is not the end, 268 p. Editions ARTIUM

2011
Listados, 176 p. Editions Belleza infinita

2010
Sobre el color. Tratado en blanco y negro para su uso y aplicación, 154 p. Editions Pinacoteca Sao Paulo

2009
Cien mil pares de ojos. Tratado en blanco y negro para su uso y aplicación, 88 p. Editions Galeria Manel Mayoral
Nothing or Something, 88 p. Today Art Museum

2008
Absens, 124 p. Editions Galerie Meessen De Clercq
Sin actividad Sem actividade Without activity, 116 p. Edition La Fabrica

2005
Ignasi Aballí 0-24 h., 328 p. Editions MACBA / Ikon / Museu Serralves

2004
Nada-para-ver, 64 p. Editions Museo de Bellas Artes (Santander)

2002
Desapariciones, 48 p. Editions Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía


AWARDS
2014
I Premio Ron Barceló-ARCO
V Premio Joan Miró 2015
Best gallery exhibition, Barcelona

2006
Premio Nacional de Arte Gráfico


COLLECTIONS
Frac PACA
Frac Corse
Frac Lorraine
Frac Normandie Rouen
FNAC - Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris
Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid
MACBA, Barcelona
Artium Vitoria
Musac León
Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla
Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona
Fundaçao Serralves, Porto
Centre d'Art La Panera, Lleida
Collection Cal Cego, Barcelona
Collection Fondation Helga de Alvear, Cáceres
Museo de Bellas Artes de Santander
Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid

Bartomeu Marí

Portrait of the Real through Absence

 

Since the late-1980s, the work of Ignasi Aballí has developed around two apparently contradictory or at least very different lines of practice. The first of these is the exploration he began at the beginning of his artistic career into minimal activity, miniscule gesture and the most imperceptible  modification, a concern that reveals an anti-formalism he shares with other members of his generation. The term 'generation' is used here to express the idea of a 'community', perhaps artificial, of Southern European artists, spectators in the battles between formalism (gestural, material) and conceptualism. The second line Aballí has followed is a cultivation of fiction as material and as a means of locating his work. In this, he has much in common with those who, in the late-1980s, helped to place film and video at the centre of the art scene. From painting to the object, from the object to its representation, from ready made to photography and from photography to fiction. These are very much two-way journeys undertaken to explore both the roots of understanding, which grow beneath perception, and the nature of artistic practice towards the end of a century surrounded by controversies about the death of art, the disappearance of criteria for beauty and stylistic revivals and references. Aballí eschews the comfort of style to take on the painstaking and laborious role of the scientist who must invent the very object of his science.

Towards the end of the 1980s, the art scene sublimated the domain of painting, converted into an excess of images, trends and stylistic groupings, as the predominant technique. While art continued to be rooted in the post-expressionist and abstract practices that have existed for so long in Spain, German and American painters had helped to turn art into a geographical area, one with evident physical qualities. This turned it into a problem of matter and form. Through inertia, matter and form became complementary: it appeared that one particular form corresponded to each different material. And later, with all other paths exhausted, came the explorations of limits, as if this were a country or a geographical landmark. Over the closing decade of the last century, a period marked by the explosion and fragmentation of art, the picture and its component parts became a practical battlefield. Material and form gave way to discourse and narrative. Contemplation was displaced by comprehension. Content took the place of formal combination, and the unspeakable - as it referred to the abstract - became pronunciation and reading. The language of the cinema, in particular in video format, restored the presence of photographic realism and the moving image.

Either emptiness or fiction. Either nothingness or the invention of a reality that could be described but not physically pinpointed. Either the mute, imperceptible action of the passing of time which, more than eroding, builds, more than extracting, contributes something, or the arrangement of a narrative architecture to turn it into something that explains, into an organiser of metaphors in which the literary and the cinematic are mixed. There are no actors in Aballí's fiction, or at least we see none on the stage; there are, however, situations, situations drawn from the spirit of the patient writer. In the late-1980s, object, word and image found themselves on centre stage, at the heart of the problem, the focus of attention and discourse in a way they had never been before. Invention - which dominated the photomontages and collages of the early part of the last century - was replaced by an excess of media: television, press... The burgeoning electronic media. The age of excess had specific correlations in an artistic creation that was becoming more and more the victim of parasitic advertising languages that scattered its aesthetic components all around. Aballí's work from this time also drinks of the excess of images and discourses of the moment, seeming to seek a counterpoint, the negative of this quantitative increase, to find intensity of content.

Aballí takes as his own the modernist maxim of 'doing more with less'. Against the shock or surprise of vision, the artist proposes the continuing perception that should be prolonged in memory. Against speed, he invites us to slow, thoughtful reading. Object, word and image seem to articulate Ignasi Aballí's entire artistic production, simultaneously and without hierarchies amongst them. But they are not interchangeable: one is not the equivalent of the other, neither are the relations between them relations of correspondence, but of co-existence, symbiosis. We can look at Aballí's work in relation to two traditions that became grafted one onto the other (or one into the other) over the course of the last two decades of the last century: whilst in his early work Aballí employed the practice of the pictoric system, he soon began to move more towards acts and conditions of production that distanced him from the typical problems and configurations of those times, from investigations into the limits, the frontiers of representation. Intrigued and fascinated by the contradictions inherent in what can be represented, Aballí began to cultivate the oppositions between reality and fiction, or hyperreality and materiality. Though apparently neutral, Aballí's works are in fact infused with sharp, uncomfortable and sometimes bitterly critical content about the world around us. On the one hand, we find works in which the artist disappears as a subject and allows the accumulation of dust or the sun's corrosive action on the materials to form them. On the other, we are confronted by an artist who meticulously collects, inventories and arranges information from the newspapers, gathers images reproduced to infinity or pays homage to the anonymity of others, turning them into the creators of illegible images. Also illegible are, in Rètol [Billboard] (2005), the key words the artist presents, in such a way that they repeat the loss of meaning caused by repetitions within art's subdialects. Taking as his starting-point the anodyne nature of the colours in universal catalogues, the artist produces Carta de  colors (ideologies) (2005), in which he enumerates the ideological or political  connotations that these colours have acquired through convention. Acquired  connotations, subjective yet accepted over time, seem to 'decorate' and domesticate thought. They can also spark off associations of highly unexpected meanings.

Absent and present as subject, in his more recent work Aballí links the abundance of images around us with the scarcity of meanings we can attach to them. The formulation of meanings for images appears to be a protected territory that the artist seeks to make public and available to the perceiver, for whom, in the end, the work is intended. Revelacions [Revelations] (2005) is a video recorded in a laboratory devoted to fast photographic development, and where we see the sheets of images emerging from the developing machine. The speed at which the rollers go round call to mind thoughts about industrial production, about the serial nature of objects produced. 'Mechanically', the machine develops images captured 'by the hands and eyes' of individuals, who also remain anonymous here. The work does not explore questions of identity: we know nothing about the photographers themselves, nor would this add to our understanding of the piece. The images do, however, make us think about the history of photography, a chemical technique, artisanal in its origins, that has since turned, having become popularised, universal, into a digital process in which there is neither chemistry nor development, neither products, nor workers, nor machines. The development process, its industry, its machines, the time required to produce and process everything, are all disappearing. The actions or consequences sought by the artist are those that leave traces, that is to say, that leave our environment, that have an existence, that we can only recognise in the rest. Similarly, 0-24 h (2005) gives the machine, in this case a security camera in a museum, the task of revealing to us actions that take place there whilst the centre is closed. We already have the chance to witness events that occur in the museum whilst it is open to the public, but Aballí closes the circle of perception by producing a 16-hour film that enables us to see the 'dark side of the moon' at this museum. This is a definition through enumeration, through inclusion of individuals (in this case units of time) of his universe; in a hyperrealist narrative of inaction, the work condenses the perception of the anonymous onlooker and that of the watchful eye that seeks to ensure that  nothing happens.

Newspapers provide ineluctable proof of the fleeting nature of time. To hold a daily newspaper in our hands is to accumulate traces of reality. The present lasts the distance of a glimpse, returning the next day with a new edition. Calendari [Calendar] (2005) narrates the elapsing of a  whole year through the photographs published every day on the front page of a particular newspaper. Displayed with neither captions nor identification, as if they were the numbers of days on a 12-month calendar, these images provide an X-ray of the whole month, a narrative on the outstanding personalities and events of each day. Meanwhile, whilst Aballí's interest in the cinema's efficacy had already been revealed in such works as Desaparicions [Disappearances] (2002), perhaps one of his most lyrical pieces, further confirmation is provided by two recent  roductions: Sinopsis and Próxima aparición / Próximamente / Coming soon, both dating to 2005. The cinema's efficacy lies in its ability to create plausible, unreal but credible, worlds, worlds we can believe in. Sinopsis [Synopsis] uses a typical resource of 1970s conceptual art: a combination of images and texts that neither illustrate nor explain each other. This incongruence, however, is false: each panel in the work contains the image of equipment, tools or instruments in the places where they are used when a film is being shot: lighting, sound equipment, ladders, tripods, wiring, false walls... These are the signs that work takes place, that the activity involves many people with different roles, tasks which are complementary and, of necessity, orchestrated, timed. But the (obscene) scenes are empty. It is night, or Sunday, or it the work has been completed and they have all gone, leaving everything lying around on the floor. At the bottom of the panels we can read synopses of films as they appear in the newspapers, in English and in Spanish. Some synopses coincide, but most do not. It could be any film. We know neither the title nor the names of the artists involved. There is no star system, no year, no nationality. The synopses remind us of scenes, characters, relationships or events, but in reality they inform us about the unknown. They try to seduce us into going to see the film in question. Synopses are always written once a film is ready for screening, but Aballí's work sets them side-by-side with traces of the filming process itself. Before and after are brought together to close a circle that offers us the possibility of gaining access to a new fiction, but one which also includes all those fictions that we will never see, perhaps 'returning to Desaparicions' those fictions that never actually became reality.

This could form an approximation to the work of Ignasi Aballí, now the subject of a first critical review by these three European institutions, a retrospective only due to material necessity, but which seeks to be interrogative in essence. 'Interrogating', exploring, the work of a young  artist also involves two types of exercise: one of analysis and another of invention. Artworks exist, but are also imagined; they are constructed in an indeterminate future. And although many of Aballí's works are remade each time they are shown, they are remade with their materials, under the conditions of perception and interpretation that are always associated with them. This exhibition is, in a way, an experiment. It is the result of providing a location for a work based to a large extent on the placelessness of art, and is imbued with the idea that art does not have a natural place, from which it originates and where it finally ends up; rather that the work has to be constructed in its own place, it must find the seat from which it is to be seen. For this reason, at each of the presentations that form part of this project, jointly prepared by MACBA, the Museu de Serralves and the Ikon Gallery, the very arrangement of the exhibition will undergo contortions and different forms of organisation. It is not a question merely of arranging the objects in the exhibition spaces, though: rather it is an inversion in nature - concerning architecture, time and culture - at each venue.