Ángel Padrón · Mundo y Suelo I

Ángel Padrón

MUNDO Y SUELO I (World and ground I)

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“Space is flexible and changing, not only in its forms but in its meanings and territories, passable, transitable, and consequently circumstantial in its shows of pretence.”

A conversation in the margins, Ángel Padrón.(1)



Search within /for/ a hypothetical geography.

Dalia de la Rosa


With the notion of “Inconcrete Time”(2), artist Ángel Padrón highlights temporality in his own work and speaks to us without intermediation of the vulnerability of what we understand as historical space or History – the narrative of events that occur successively and in a specific order, which has, therefore, subjective connotations. This temporal inconcretion becomes painting, although not all of his work is –he makes use of other technical devices–; painting that is being gestated, in formation, and which is essentially anachronistic for him.


Densified time / Running time / Time curve / Historical time


With the notion of “a hypothetical geography”, artist Ángel Padrón highlights the spatial path of the worlds he exposes in his work and speaks to us without intermediation –of course– of a topography that is a positive/negative, both empty and full of reality and artifice. This duality produces a compendium of geographies that are an assumption, an intention to be territory, being at the same time that which it claims to be. Each image is a thickened surface, perpetuated, extracted /…/.


Dense geography / Encircled geography / Apocryphal geography / Geo//graphies


World and Ground explores the duality between beginning and end from a circular perspective, like a path that will surround an island, which enters and exits, which is always arrival and entrance. This exhibition in two fractions, I/II, delves into the history of a series of pieces that span a time arc of several decades, a constellation of time that produces a constant intensification of the image. An image that persists, which is concrete, but which is the same place – the one it represents and the one it generates – in two different times. The sensation of passing through a place twice produces a state of alertness and vertigo when faced with the circularity of the environment that sur/rounds us, because “being in the world”, as Stefan Zweig would say, does not guarantee a single stellar moment because much of what happens is indifferent and trivial. Thus, the fact of being in the world, in the world of things, does not have to occur on a concrete and real ground; it is possible for life to occur in the distant moment of triviality, in the lightest of moments. World and ground can be separated, floating world, ground without territory:


world/memory    world/ground       world/reserve

world/image  world/image


The striking through of image is not a process of erasure, but rather a state of splitting. In this fraction I of World and Ground, Ángel Padrón opens up timelines, folding them over on themselves through a process of visual synthesis as if they were “metaphors where life develops”(3); a hypothetical life within a territory – also folded over on itself – limited, curved and flexible. This stage I offers two gestures, the first of them delving into a cluster of images that belong to the series(4) Desde la Reserva (River Deep Mountain High), which begins around 1995 and plays with the idea of landscape as a space of cultural artifice, with images of the territory generated in memory and ecentralization symbolic references. These works, produced from the idea of reserve, are subversive in themselves, based on the concentration of the artist’s gaze, and contain all the irony that Padrón exposes in his pictorial practice understood as a place of resistance and conflict. In other words: landscape as a place of exploitation, landscape as a place of sublimation, or landscape as a place of demystified and de-hesperidised transit.

These pieces are boundary forms, retaining walls for a natural space that tends to be an island. We do not need to feel impatient to discover which images take place in this constellation of pieces; it is better to open ourselves up to equivocation, to encounter, to the non-neutral position, to read them through our own experience of the territory and the multiple social and economic bonds that we forge with it. This means that Desde la Reserva …. Is a process of pictorial ecentralization that does not attend to the purity of the visual because it is not looking to go to the essence, but rather towards the notion of trait. This way of approaching painting, in Deleuzian terms, does not start from the essence that determines the gaze –as something unique–, but from the concept of trait as something that is shared collectively over time and history, and which becomes a fold(5). That is, the painting



The second gesture of Part I of World and Ground settles the gaze(6) in a blue space, a symbolic and synthetic place to observe the world: islands, mountains, roads, lights, rooftop. A blue nature that attends to a representation more anchored in the reality of an island topography. A blue nature that knows itself to be a cultural edifice. A blue nature that is both recognisable and not. A blue nature that folds and folds back /on itself/ through different decades. A blue nature that is a construction of things. A blue nature that is not absolute, but which is all the images of the world. A hypothetical geography, a curve, a bend in the road that winds up the mountain.


Mountain that bends  Island that folds

Territory that is sought within its gaps.

World  Ground

[1] PADRÓN, Ángel. (2008). doing/un/doing. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Government of the Canary Islands. Department of Culture and Sports, p. 8.

[2] Ibid, p. 11.

[3] PADRÓN, Ángel. (2008). doing/un/doing. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Government of the Canary Islands. Department of Culture and Sports, p. 12.

[4] The concept of series in Ángel Padrón does not incorporate a beginning or end; it is a way of working that stretches across time. The artist works from series that can intersect, fold back over on themselves, and even merge.

[5] Here, “fold” is taken from a temporal perspective – although the philosopher developed this conceptual body around Leibniz and the Baroque – and the link with a reality that Deleuze conceives on two floors or folded levels. That is, the fold is the separation between these two stages of reality: on the one hand there is the universe (matter), constantly folded upon itself and composed of the succession of atoms that can also be understood as universes. That is, the world is that which is folded in numerous ways. And, on the other hand, there is the soul that also folds upon itself. Both, matter and soul, construct a system of interaction that are defined according to the physicalities and essences of each historical period marked by its own traits.

[6] As Manolo Padorno would say in Las cinco proposiciones del desvío (Five propositions of deviation) and in relation to his poem Boda entre el objeto y la mirada (Wedding between the object and the gaze), it is the process of concreteness, of cleansing or even of rigorous asceticism that allows the gaze to settle within a sensed enclosure. Padorno conducts an exercise in “enclosure” so as not to be distracted from what is important, from the relationship between the gaze and the world of things.


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