Erró.The planetary eye

Del 28th April to 21th October 2012

Curator: Marie-Claire Uberquoi

Erró. The planetary eye is the first exhibition the Stämpfli Foundation has dedicated to an artist from its own collection. Internationally renowned, Erró has developed a personal language that he uses to satirize the confusion in today’s world. In Spaces 2 and 3, the exhibition presents a selection of paintings and collages from some of his most emblematic series like The Political Paintings, Le tour du monde de Mao, Les lettres d’amour japonais and Les femmes fatales. These pieces highlight the main characteristics of his work, focusing on the manipulation of thousands of images from the mass media, comics, advertising or the history of art.

The exhibition is set in the context of the Stämpfli Fundació’s permanent collection that includes an important nucleus of works linked to Figuration Narrative, a movement that emerged in Paris in the 60’s in response to American pop art. Space 1 brings together a selection of paintings by some of its most illustrious representatives, like Eduardo Arroyo, Jacques Monory, Peter Stämpfli and Erró himself, among others.


Works from the Foundation’s collection related to figuration

The 11 artists brought together in this room share the same bond with figurative painting, whether they are stylized, cut out and recomposed images of reality (Peter Klasen), enlarged details that transform reality (Peter Stämpfli), dreamed up representations (Jacques Monory), social themes (Antonio Seguí), futuristic vision (Erró) or allegorical figures (Barnard Rancillac).


The Political Paintings

Accustomed to working on thematic series, over a period of several years Erró created the works belonging to The Political Paintings (1967-1996), which together make up a sort of saga of our recent history. Playing with an overwhelming accumulation of images, Erró examines reality to offer an outstanding outlook on some of the most significant political and social events of our times.

Le tour du monde de Mao

In the early 70’s Erró came upon some important documents on the Popular Republic of China’s propaganda that would inspire him to create one of his most famous series, where he depicts Mao in different cities of the world. This work resulted in some extraordinary paintings where the juxtaposition of unrelated images produces a visual shock not exempt from irony.

Les femmes fatales

In 1963, while he was living in New York, Erró began to add comics to his work, sharing his interest in popular culture this way with pop art artists. Since that period, comics have been a customary reference point in his creations. The Les femmes fatales series is part of a tribute to American comics, particularly to “Superwomen”, the myth of Western civilization’s aggressive woman.


Les lettres d’amour japonais

This series of oil paintings plays an odd role in Erró’s career, although it is in perfect harmony with his interest in telling stories through painting. In 1970, he became fascinated by an old book found in Japan that included letters and pictures of young couples. Based on these documents he made a series of oil paintings that evoke the relationships of love and friendship between these mysterious heroes. Later on he discovered that his protagonists were prominent intellectuals who, in the 1920’s, rebelled against the sclerosis of Japanese society.

The collages

Since the very beginning of his career, Erró has been a virtuoso of collages that he makes using astounding documents from political propaganda, catalogues, comics, illustrated dictionaries, etc… In the tradition of the surrealists, Erró invents surprising associations by mixing images with no apparent relationship between each other, so that each composition sparks off a kind of electric charge in the spectator. Conceived as autonomous works, these collages are also used as a model for his paintings.

Relationship with the art world

Erró has always maintained very close complicities with the history of art, offering a reinterpretation of extremely well-known works in his paintings, to create powerful and often subversive images. Miró, Matisse and especially Fernand Léger are some of the artists that inspired him.

Photos of the exhibition

Photos of the inauguration: