Another year done… this was my fiftieth on the planet. By the traditional reckoning of my grandparents day, with the “two score and ten” now down I’m left with another score to go if I’m lucky. My birthday was marked by Colleen with a surprise trip to Madrid to fulfil my long held wish to see Francisco Goya’s “Black Paintings”. Madrid was a wonderful city to visit. Seemingly very relaxed and very friendly to tourists with live flamenco dancing and plenty of unplanned art gallery visits as additional extras to Colleen’s plans. We waited for the weekend to pass to hopefully minimise the numbers of visitors at Museo del Prado when we visited; I know that a visit to any gallery will take us a while as we always take time to enjoy what’s on offer. The room in the Prado that held the Black Paintings, despite their damage and sometimes botched restorations, hoovered up over two hours of my time – just looking at techniques of composition, painting, over-painting and glazing. It was some of the most rewarding looking at of paintings that I can remember; it left me feeling like a technical minnow in the face of a giant and it was an absolute, though mentally exhausting, joy.
As Madrid was a new city to us we also thought it would be a good opportunity to trail around some commercial galleries with an eye to contact those that seemed appropriate to contact when we’d returned home… (I’m always on the look-out for new exhibition venues!) Unfortunately we barely left the centre of town as there was so much to see so that remained undone.
When we were home I then had a few finishing bits and pieces to sort out for the December ‘Paradis est Ici’ show at my Paris gallery so thoughts of potentially annoying Madrid galleries again went filed under ‘P’ for procrastination.
So to the start of December, while at Galerie Brugier Rigail, Paris for the opening of my show and co-owner Laurent Rigail told me that they’d been contacted by a new contemporary art space offering me a two month long solo show at the start of 2016. It’s a new contemporary art space in Madrid called La Neomudéjar. Coincidence or synchronicity?
Outside the Museo del Prado