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Jorge Barbi.41º 52’ 59” Latitude N / 8º 51’ 12” Longitude W


16 October 2009 - 14 February 2010
Exhibition rooms on the ground floor
Tuesday to Saturday (holidays included). From 11am to 9pm. Sundays, from 11am to 3pm
MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, CAM Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon and Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España, SEACEX.
Juan de Nieves

On October 16 opens at MARCO this solo exhibition on JORGE BARBI (A Guarda, Pontevedra, 1950), which will occupy all the galleries on the ground floor, and curated by Juan de Nieves. The exhibition is based on the idea of the path, the stroll, and the everyday observance of nature and its mutations, as a vast archive built by the artist over time. The plot is built from several series of photographs taken over the last few years, together with a careful selection of early pieces, and new specific productions for this show, with an aim to establish new interpretations of his work in what will be the first large solo exhibition of this artist.


After its closure in Vigo in the month of February, the exhibition will travel to Lisbon, where it will be on exhibit in Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian from May 6 to July 6 2010.


On the occasion of this exhibition, MARCO of Vigo, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España, SEACEX, will publish a catalogue, which includes a text by the curator, Juan de Nieves, and critical texts by Xosé Lois Gutierrez, Ignacio Fernández and Luis Ortega, as well as images and information of the works in the exhibition.


Members of the museum staff are available in the halls to provide visitors with information, in addition to the regular guided tours:

· Every day at 6 pm

· ‘A la carte’ tours for groups, by appointment at the tel. 986 113 900


Library-Documentation Centre

From October 16 2009 to February 14 2010

Selection of publications including artist’s solo and group shows catalogues



From October 16 2009 to February 14 2010

Tours and workshops for schoolchildren and families on JORGE BARBI’s exhibition


Included in a new line of solo exhibitions introduced in 2009, MARCO of Vigo begins the Fall Season with a large solo exhibition by Jorge Barbi, curated by Juan de Nieves, and coproduced with Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon and Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior de España, SEACEX.

Jorge Barbi embodies one of the most interesting careers of the last twenty five years on the artistic scene, both because of the parameters in which his creative practice has been developed — especially sculpture, photography, and site-specific installations — and for his independence from the rules of the market and the general artistic system, with an inalienable attitude from which he still keeps on strolling his particular path of poetic and conceptual introspection today. The reflexion on the passage of time, the object and its context, the dialectics form-content, and the concerns regarding mechanisms of perception, are some of the constants in his work.

The title of the exhibition at MARCO, 41º 52’ 59” latitude N / 8º 51’ 12” longitude W, refers to the geographic coordinates comprising the area where the artist takes his daily walks.

From the early 80’s onwards, Barbi has adopted the journey as a working method in order to observe a geography very familiar to him and from which he is able to extract a broad repertoire of debris and geographical accidents, a comprehensive cartography of the landscape and of the changing elements conforming it. Nature offers the artist with a whole series of objects he appropriates both because of their energetic power and for the possibility of introducing new symbolic values. Strolling around and observing animals, stones, seaweeds, plants, droppings, pieces of wood and also other objects of inorganic nature on a daily basis, make Barbi become a kind of scientist who thoroughly registers its transformations and displacements, which later, and starting from a thorough and slow process, he turns into poetic and enigmatic fragments.

The exhibition at MARCO, installed in all the spaces on the ground floor, brings together various series of photographs taken over the last few years, together with a selection of early works, and several pieces specifically designed for this show or newly produced.

The curator, Juan de Nieves, has tried to avoid the concept of customary ‘retrospective’ and the chronological sequences in the presentation of the works, in order to establish his own order, circular, specific for this project, which tackles the idea of process and, above all, a pathway with high poetic intensity. The installation process has taken deeply into account the exhibition concept, making the most of the combination of architectural structures, light conditions and visual resources that emphasise the relationships between the works, in a continuous dialogue with his most recent pieces. Sometimes, the pieces have become specific by means of the museum’s own architecture, by transposing the works into other formats, as in the case of the works — initially sculptural — Diluculum and Aquí tampoco se desvela ningún enigma, or the large installation titled Esperanza de vida animal, in one of the patios. In the centre of the panopticon, the polyurethane disc titled Estoy perdido, no me retenga, is almost a declaration of principles, while the central gallery shelters a nine-channel projection including over two hundred photographic images of the artist’s personal archive.


Jorge Barbi (A Guarda, Pontevedra, 1950)

Solo exhibitions

1989 Casa da Parra, Santiago de Compostela

1989, 1991, 1995 Galería Gamarra Garrigues, Madrid

1996 Galería Abel Lepina, Vigo

1998 Galería Juana de Aizpuru, Seville

1999 Galería Doble Espacio, Madrid

2001 Galería Trinta, Santiago de Compostela

2003-2004 El muro de Planck, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid


1985-1986 Sendas, Serra da Grova, Pontevedra

1992 Roda de Isabena, Diputación de Huesca

1993 Pasto de vacas, La Liébana, Cantabria

1995 Hueso de enemigo, Soutomaior Castle, Pontevedra

1997 Casa de Juegos, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela

1998 Fisuras na percepción, XXV Bienal de arte de Pontevedra, Pontevedra

2002 Memoria de elefante, Doméstico’01, Madrid

2003-2004 El muro de Planck, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid

2005 Illa de San Simón, Vigo

2006 Green Paths, White Paths, Echigo Tsumari Art Triennial, Matsudai, Japan

2006 A cidade interpretada, Santiago de Compostela

Group shows

1984 VI Bienal de Arte de Pontevedra

1989 Presencias y procesos, Casa da Parra, Santiago de Compostela

1990 Revisión de una década 1978-1988, Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela/Casa das artes, Vigo

1991 Col·lecció Testimoni, Fundació ”la Caixa”, Barcelona

1992 Pabellón de Galicia, Exposición Universal de Sevilla Expo’92, Seville

1993 Ver a Miró, Fundació ”la Caixa”, Madrid

1994 Gran Formato, Galeria Gamarra Garrigues, Madrid

1995 Nordesía, Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid

1995 Escultura Gallega 1980-1990, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela

1995 Signos y milagros, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela

1996 Colección Arte Contemporáneo, Fundació ”la Caixa”, Albacete

1997 m.e.s.s.a.g.e. Positionen aktueller Kunst, Galería Schüppenhauer, Köln, Germany

1997 La escultura moderna en Galicia. De Asorey a los 90, Auditoriode Galicia, Santiago de Compostela

2000 Colección Arte Contemporáneo, Fundació ”la Caixa”, Palma de Mallorca

2000 Un bosque en obras, Sala de las Alhajas, Madrid /Museo Esteban Vicente, Segovia

2000 Luis Buñuel, los enigmas del sueño, Diputación de Huesca and Museo Pablo Serrano, Zaragoza

2001 La Noche, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, Segovia

2002 Arte en España 1977-2002, Colección Fundación Patio Herreriano de Arte Contemporáneo Español de Valladolid/Manege exhibitions hall, Moscow, Russia

2002 Cardinales, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo

2002 Vinte anos, vinte escultores, Centro Torrente Ballester, Ferrol

2003 Urbietorbi. PhotoEspaña en la calle, PhotoEspaña, Madrid

2003 Cuatro dimensiones. Escultura en España 1978-2003, Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid

2003 International Gallery, Baltimore, USA

2003 Olladas Oceánicas, Museo do Mar de Galicia, Vigo

2004 El Efecto Bola de Nieve. Una relectura de las Colecciones ICO, Fundación ICO, Madrid

2005 20 Desarranxos, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo

2006 Naturalmente artificial, Museo Esteban Vicente, Segovia

2006 Colección Caixa Galicia en el IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia

2006 Entre a palabra e a imagem, Fundación Luis Seoane, A Coruña /Museu da Cidade, Lisbon, Portugal–São Paulo and Porto Alegre, Brazil

2006 Acciones estratégicas. Arte actual na Deputación da Coruña

2006 A cidade interpretada, Santiago de Compostela

2007 Tempo ao Tempo, MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo

2008 Arte galega na Colección Caixanova, Instituto Cervantes, Paris

2008 Arte español 1957-2007, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo, Italy

2008 A sombra da Historia, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela

2009 A mancha humana/The Human Stein, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea (CGAC), Santiago de Compostela

2009 Rexistros abertos. Arte galega actual, Museo Provincial de Lugo

Public collections

Fundació ”la Caixa”, Barcelona

RENFE, Madrid

ICO, Madrid

Xunta de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela

Fundación Coca-Cola, Madrid

Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea CGAC, Santiago de Compostela

Unión FENOSA, A Coruña

Caixanova, Vigo

Caixa Galicia, A Coruña

Fundación Patio Herreriano, Valladolid

Fundación Mª José Jove, A Coruña

Curatorial text

“Over the last twenty five years Jorge Barbi has walked along the same landscape almost on a daily basis. This “stroll” involves an intimate physical and spiritual exercise. Here, the artist confronts the landscape of his childhood which has barely been altered since then, and with which he maintains a tight emotional relationship. Starting with this simple, everyday, though deeply rooted practice, Barbi has taken from this place — from its geography — the whole repertoire of images, objects and ideas that shape his artistic thinking.

Although most of his work is associated with a sculptural dimension — from the mere appropriation of found objects to a more elaborated handling — it was not until the late nineties that his work materialized in different photographic series based on a minute observation of nature and its transformations, and on his attraction to the formal versatility which all of the varied features in nature adopt.

Over the last ten years the recording of these images has constituted a large archive and also a ‘localized’ topography of temporal phenomena. In order to do this the artist has assumed a double function: scientist and poet for a specific time and space.

For the exhibition at MARCO of Vigo, the starting point is made up of various photographic series taken over the most recent years, as well as a careful selection of earlier pieces, the intention being to establish new interpretations of his work. In addition, the notion of retrospective remains questionable, not only in terms of a suggested quantitative logic but, moreover, due to the absence of a chronological scheme which would only tend to limit the evocative, poetic, and sensitive capacities of the work.

Within the project — understood as a manner of association of different artworks in space, the importance of emptiness, the emanation of an internal light or an external light, the different formalizations which most definitely these images can adopt — all of this will be present in a play of tension and equilibrium with which the exhibition becomes a true sensorial experience for the audience.

Four of the abovementioned series correspond to different natural features, which the artist has gone about discovering on his daily walks. In the materialization, the temporal dimension plays a crucial roll. Hence, in Charcas [Ponds] and Excrementos de gaviota [Seagull Droppings], the rocks house cavities in which detritus has slowly and persistently been deposited; likewise in the series Espuma [Foam] and Paisajes de arena [Sand Landscapes], capricious shapes are drawn alluding to time as fleeting and unrepeatable. With these images Barbi prolongs the surprise by symmetrically unfolding them in order to extract new unsuspected and disturbing shapes.

The series Antes/Después [Before/After] brings together the transformations produced both in the landscape and in the artist’s everyday surroundings. There is no subjectivity at all in these images, just the aseptic ascertainment of changes indicating the passage of time.

The found elements that generate these works are represented in a personal schematic map along a 20 kilometre coastline forming a concentrated circular topography which could be defined as an ‘archive of discoveries’, a truly poetic and visual diary kept by the artist over time.

This project also includes a selection of pieces of diverse nature made by the artist throughout his career. It does not intend to have a thematic link with the series of photographs mentioned earlier, but instead to favour the inclusion of works that can establish transversal connections. Therefore, the result will be closer to the idea of an emotional landscape. Hence, the following pieces will be included amongst others: Reconstrucción (1989), Little Bang (1993), or Solutio Perfecta (1997)”.


Juan de Nieves
Curator of the Exhibition


Juan de Nieves

Juan de Nieves (A Coruña, 1964) is an independent curator with a degree in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Santiago de Compostela. He was curator at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporaneo (CGAC) between 1994 and 1998, he was head of the exhibitions department for the Valencia Regional Government between 1998-99. Right afterwards, he joined Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló as Chief Curator, and Artistic Director from the end of 2004 to 2008. He has curated many exhibitions amongst which are: Atención: Algunas vueltas más para llegar… Un proyecto de Angel Vergara (EACC, Castelló, 2007); Cantos Cívicos. Un proyecto de NILC (MUAC, Mexico, 2008/EACC, Castelló, 2007); Daniel Buren. Les Cabanyes de ceramica i espill (EACC, Castelló, 2006); Contemporane@ 05. Interferencias en la ciudad y sus paisajes asociados (EACC, Castelló, 2005); Laughing Allowed (Galería adhoc, Vigo, 2004); Contemporane@ 02. Plataforma de proyectos (EACC, Castelló, 2002); Isaac Pérez Vicente: la luz en la sombra (CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, 1996); Incidentes (Casa de la Parra, Santiago de Compostela, 1995); Sida. Pronunciamiento y acción (Palacio de Fonseca, Santiago de Compostela, 1994); El proceso abstracto. Artistas gallegos, 1950-1979 (Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, 1993). He has also curated many different public art projects including Prototipo de espacio para gestionar las emociones en el hospital with Josep María Martín (EACC/Hospital Provincial de Castelló, 2006-2008); Gaiata pergrina with Antoni Miralda (Castelló, 2007); and Prótesis Institucional with Santiago Cirugeda (EACC, Castelló, 2005).