• Jose Ramon Amondarain
    Espazioaren Irribarrea
  • April 30 - June 4 

Galerie Gabriel Rolt is proud to present Espazioren Irribarrea (The Abundant Laughter of the Space), the second solo exhibition at the gallery of Basque artist José Ramón Amondarain (1964). In this exhibition we follow the artist in his explorations to unearth the grass roots of Picasso’s practice. Amondarain attempts to emulate the master by challenging him at his own game. He questions and interrogates not only the output of his fellow artist but also the methodology that he deploys in order to construct a language of his own.


Questions arise when faced with these works by José Ramón Amondarain. Can a copy of an iconic painting retain any value when we measure against it against its iconic original, that we may or may not ever have seen in the flesh? Can the imprint of an image supersede the artist who painted it? Hence, is there such a thing as originality in todays’ practice and even if so, isn’t everything not only a consequence of what has gone before but should always be measured in the way it affects us in our time. Timeliness and Timelessness don’t necessarily go hand in hand.  Especially, when we remember the day that Colin Powell had to defend the invasion of Iraq, in front of a reproduction of Guernica that was safely covered up outside the United Nations Security Council room. It goes to show that we, even today, fear the wrath of what has gone before, even before a copy.  


Amondarain has extensively referenced Guernica, arguably, the 20th centuries’ most iconic protest against the inhumanity of war, in his work. In 2012, the artist copied Picasso’s the 8 stages that lie buried in the finished work, essentially, works that never were meant to be but brought to life for the occasion. For his show at Gabriel Rolt, he takes his assimilation of Spanish compatriot’s work a step further. Based on the individual elements of 3,5 by 8-metre painting, Amondarain paints his own version, placed askew in the gallery space, ready to challenge the modern atrocities of war, fought at home but also still today especially in villages far away from the public eye.