St Paul st Gallery AUT

Past Exhibitions

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez

Curated by Alan Joy

16 July 2009 - 7 August 2009

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez (installation view), 2009.

ST PAUL St is proud to present a solo exhibition with works by Alberto Garcia-Alvarez (born 1928 in Barcelona, Spain; lives in Auckland) from July 16 – August 7, 2009.

After completing his education at the Escola Superior de Belles Artes de Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Garcia-Alvarez travelled through Europe where he received several scholarships; the most important being a 12 month stay in Italy. After 1960 he lived in California, where he held solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the San José Art Centre among others. In 1973 Garcia-Alvarez moved with his family to Auckland where he started teaching at Elam School of Fine Arts. He had as a teacher a huge influence on a whole generation of artists. He also had numerous exhibitions, including at Auckland City Art Gallery and Govett Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth, and executed a number of public commissions, the most prominent being the mural at the Physics and Mathematics Building of Auckland University.

Since 1994 (the year of his retirement from Elam School of Fine Arts), Garcia-Alvarez has dedicated his time exclusively to the “daily practice of painting” without any ambition to show his work publicly. The exhibition at ST PAUL St is therefore a great opportunity to rediscover the work of an important artist who has contributed considerably to the history of art in New Zealand.

Paintings are certainly at the centre of his practice. He often works in series to explore the possibilities of a particular approach. Canvases with gestural marks stand next to more constructed paintings, explosions of colour beside canvases with cut out triangles in opaque fields of singular colour, linear structures alongside cloudy, painterly configurations of indeterminable depth. Besides paintings, Garcia-Alvarez continuously worked on small sculptures, often bricolage-like constructions of simple wood, painted in yellow and red. They can be seen as variations on the theme of the cross. Another field of explorations were lithographs and experiments with photographic plates.

The exhibition at ST PAUL St will showcase the wide range of Garcia-Alvarez’s practice; however, the main focus will centre on his large scale works on paper. The exhibition is curated by ST PAUL St with Alan Joy