When gallerists Eva Albarrán and Christian Bourdais decided to create Europe’s first collection of architectural houses on a hundred-hectare estate in Matarraña, their aim was not only to create an experience integrating nature in its purest state with architecture, but to turn these lush landscapes of extreme beauty into a stage of inspiration and creation for artists. A place of encounter and experimentation in which art coexists with nature and with the architecture itself. For the spectator accustomed to the closed spaces of the galleries, the Solo Houses experience is unique. The way of interacting with the works is completely different and you can even feel as if you are part of their scenography. A highly recommendable experience whose second edition has been a great success.
In 2019 Solo Houses launched its first Solo Summer Group Show and thanks to the great reception this 2021 has wanted to repeat the experience with seventeen key artists from the international art scene, whose aim has been to enhance the artistic and architectural landscape of Solo Houses, merging with the artistic environment of the Carte de Tendre. Solo Summer Group Show II seeks to vindicate the role of women artists, supporting female empowerment in the world of sculpture by featuring nine female sculptors. The show celebrates the diversity of a new generation of women artists with a series of recent and specific works.
This exhibition, which began in July, will run until the end of the year, which seems to us an unbeatable plan for this autumn, in which to enjoy a stay in one of the two houses of Solo Houses, Solo Pezo or Solo Office KGDVS and get lost in this interesting artistic proposal that hides its forests.
In addition to these nine women artists, we will be able to see works by other artists who are already part of the Solo Houses landscape. We leave you a detailed tour of the pieces that we will be able to see.
Like the Carte du Tendre of 1654, the grounds of Solo Houses are transformed into an imaginary land, called Tendre, in which the different stages of love are traced in the form of roads and villages, in a topographical and allegorical representation. Along the route, artworks mark the stops along the way to the land of Tendre.
Map. Solo Houses
- Pezo Von Ellrichshausen, Deci, 2016
“We once imagined a room with no walls and no ceiling, barely confined by three slender columns. The room would be generous to the point of losing two of the columns against the horizon. Before long we corrected our modesty; the room would have to retreat against the only known corner of its triangular plan, doing our best to take care of that simple 3:4:5 ratio between its sides. Ten years later, and purely by chance, we redrew what we remembered of this naïve idea. Naturally, time knocked down two of the columns. Now the third column, which would no longer have any direction, would conceal the entire enclosure and its surroundings. This vague and solitary column, with something of a penitentiary fort and something of a decorative obelisk, will not only serve to enclose every landscape that touches it but also to cancel any remote possibility of leaving it”.
Mauricio Pezo (Chile, 1973) y Sofia von Ellrichshausen (Argentina, 1976). They live and work in Concepción, Chile. In 2008 they curated the Chile Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and their work was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and is part of the permanent collection of MoMA in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.
2. Angelika Markul, Murmure, 2020
Murmure is a sound installation inspired by mysterious earthly sounds. This “sound composition” uses as its main elements recordings of mysterious sound effects that can be heard in the four corners of the world. The sounds produced by the wind, the earth and the cliffs emitted by the landscape come from both the depths of the lake and the distant cosmos. The setting chosen here recalls the legend of the Hejnal of St. Mary’s Church, which has become a musical symbol in Kraków where, in the past, every morning and evening, a watchman played the trumpet. His function was to signal the opening and closing of the city gates and to warn of danger. In 1241, when the Tatars were approaching the city, the trumpeter warned the inhabitants, who were thus able to close the city gates in time. However, before the watchman had finished playing, an arrow from the Tartars pierced his throat. Every day, every hour, this melody continues to be played from the top of the tower of St. Mary’s Church. However, to commemorate the event, the melody is played at the moment when he was attacked so many centuries ago.
Poland, 1977. In his artistic practice, Markul explores places that have disappeared, unexplored and dangerous. Mixing reality and fiction, and sometimes science fiction, they are the continuation of a process of reflection that began more than ten years ago, addressing issues such as memory, bodies and places, destruction and the cycle of life and places, destruction and the cycle of life. Caught between these two paradoxes, her process is invariably motivated by the desire to capture images, but also to sculpt them, thus making the obscure and the hidden visible.
3. Peter Downsbrough, TODOS, 2019
Peter Downsbrough presents a new sculptural project for Solo Houses where his distinctive parallel lines, in the form of black painted metal tubes, are interspersed in the space and the adverb TODO and the letter S are added. With this simple gesture Downsbrough plays with the meaning of the words reproduced in the sculptural piece, and allows the viewer to transform their meaning in their presence by creating a playful situation between the meaning of the words, the place they occupy in the space and the relationship between both elements in the audience.
USA, 1940. His work is expressed through language, photography, graphic work, video, installations and sculpture, investigating the traditional use of space and language as objects. His works maintain a complex relationship with architecture and typography, drawing on the achievements of the early avant-garde (Bauhaus, De Stijl) and Minimal art.
4. Shilpa Gupta, WheredoIendandyoubegin, 2012
Like the text, the meaning is not intended to be conclusive and works at different levels on the continuity between time and peoples. It questions the hard lines between geographies that are overemphasised today, when the communities that struggle with them have existed for much longer than countries. It celebrates the continuities between two individuals, whether between a mother and daughter and the daughter who becomes a mother and the roles are reversed, or between lovers or neighbours on the other side of a wall, but under the same sky. Observe the interconnectedness between thoughts and even old manifestos that trigger new ones. Whether it is the blurring of peoples and gender, the work calls for the elimination of separations that remain more in the realm of perception and rupture when confronted with reality.
India, 1976. Gupta is interested in perception and how we transmit and understand information. His media range from manipulation of found objects to video, interactive computer installation and performance. His work often focuses on television and its constant flow of meaning. By shifting the primary status of art from an object-based commodity to a participatory experience, Gupta creates situations that actively engage the viewer. She is also drawn to the definition of objects, places, people and experiences, and questions how these definitions are reproduced through processes of classification, restriction, censorship and security. Her work communicates, through cultures, the impact of dominant forces at work in local and national communities, prompting a re-evaluation of identity and social status.
5. Claudia Comte, The Big Marble Fire Coral, 2021
In the marble sculpture The Big Marble Fire Coral (four long fingers), aspects of the forest and the ocean are intertwined through rigorous processes of translation. Comte’s sculptural process begins by roughly carving his wooden forms with a chainsaw, a tool that is not known for its precision, but rather for its speed and strength. The sculptures are then painstakingly sanded to a pristine sheen that reveals the hidden grain of the wood. The coral form installed in Solo Houses has undergone several stages of softening and hardening through a technological sequence of carving, scanning, milling and polishing. The form was initially made from organically sourced tropical wood and 3D scanned, enlarged and carved from a large block of white Michelangelo marble using a milling robot. By rendering his coral sculptures in marble, Comte returns these forms to the ocean. Marble is marine life, composed of the microscopic animals that regulate the ocean’s carbon cycle, forming the sediment on the seabed and calcifying over thousands of years to reach the marble quarries we find today in Carrara (Italy).
Switzerland, 1983. His work is defined by his interest in the memory of materials and a careful observation of how the hand relates to different technologies. Her work is best known for her in situ installations. The artist’s practice is guided by a system of rules and measurements of her own creation, in which the works relate specifically to each other. Comte’s minimalist approach to art-making is equal parts methodical and dynamic; the works are imbued with a strong sense of playfulness. His artistic output incorporates a wide range of media, from sculpture to painting to various multimedia installations.
6. Iván Argote, Our Melting Bodies, 2019
This is the phrase that can be read on the billboard that forms the work. Unlike conventional billboards, the text is perforated on the metal that supports the billboard and gives a glimpse of the surrounding landscape. The work reflects the possibility of combining commitment and sensitivity in the same structure, giving a message in which the support complements the meaning.
Colombia, 1983. His work explores the relationship between power, tradition, politics and history across an artistic spectrum through different formats – video, photography, drawing, sculpture and public installation.
7. Gloria Friedmann, L’horizontale Bleue, 2021
With the creation of this blue space, Friedmann intends to pay homage to the surrounding nature: the natural park. To imitate it by reproducing one of its forms: the horizon line. L’Horizontale Bleue is a projection on nature and at the same time a project on nature. Man was made in relation to a straight line. His eyes are parallel to the horizon, we are like the air bubble on a mason’s level. L’Horizontale Bleue is a space that houses a library, with books on ecology, the history of the region, as well as ancient and contemporary art and architecture. Chairs and tables are available for consultation, or even hammocks if you prefer to recline to read. “I would like this space to become a kind of time machine, for its visitors to ‘lose’ their time in it.
Germany, 1950. Self-taught and primarily a sculptor, this prolific artist developed an experimental energy in activities as diverse as painting, installations, photography, performance and video. The deliberately multifaceted aspect and mordant spirit of her approach combine seriousness and futility, in a language that she has cultivated in a manner that is both erudite and comical. Diving into a historical genre (landscape), abandoned by contemporary sculpture, he made a name for himself in the early 1980s through his installations and performances whose subject matter was nature, of which he considered himself “part”. However, he focused on “non-human” nature, that which exists “outside” itself, in his own words, and in particular on the acts of violence he suffered.
8. Olivier Mosset, Cimaise, 2010
For Mosset, a great work is one in which the viewer sees “nothing beyond what is there”. With Cimaise, the artist presents the work in five different ways, in which the five concrete blocks vary their position: in a circle, in a row, in parallel, in the shape of a panopticon, in the shape of a pentagon and superimposed. Each of these presentations is the same work, with the material and shape of each of the blocks taking centre stage. The blocks follow one another, manipulated to the point of neutrality and transformed into monumental sculptures, which seem to be waiting for the absent painting.
Switzerland, 1944. Lives in Tucson, Arizona. Swiss artist, a reference point for French Minimalism and one of the founders of the B.M.P.T. group, which defended the work as the final result of the creative process, downplaying the importance of authorship. Mosset’s work is characterised by the use of practical systems of neutral, repetitive patterns, renouncing the historical-aesthetic basis of art.
9. Cristina Lucas, Composition Earth is Different Than Territory, 2021
Aware of the mission to create a new link between the human being and the earth, the structure created for Solo Houses by Cristina Lucas brings us closer to the most intimate material dimension that connects our “corporeality” (Physicality) with the landscape. It presents a structure made from the 26 elements of the periodic table that make up the human body and are essential for life. These elements, in turn, are contained in the earth’s crust and are used by industry in a multitude of devices that are very close to our daily lives. For this reason, he continues his line of research between chemical elements, the economy and ecology. He proposes to take care of them, to recover them, to revitalise them and to incorporate this gesture into the intergenerational justice that Roman Krznacek expresses in his book The Good Ancestor. The project seeks to connect these elements not only linked by symbolic connections, but each possessing its own capacity to act in an environment while being part of an endless network based on direct exchanges of mutual influence. Its ensemble explores material forms that intertwine cultural and economic structures with ecological and sacred ones. Processes of transformation that lead us to more complex sensibilities, where the relationships between nature, society and culture are enriching and powerful.
España, 1973. With her work Cristina Lucas reminds us that art is a form of seduction that helps us to become aware of what is happening in our society. Interested in the mechanisms of power, she analyses the main political and economic structures, dissecting them to reveal the contradictions between official history, reality and collective memory. She confronts the flow of in formation by trying to structure it in cartographies, installations or images, creating possible, though always unfinished, readings.
10. Mona Hatoum, Orbital, 2021
Mona Hatoum uses steel reinforcement bars to form the skeleton of a 3-metre globe, dotted with concrete fragments that give the impression of having been constructed from the remains of destroyed buildings. The globe is tilted at an angle similar to that of the earth’s axis, suggesting a world in a permanent state of destruction. The lumps of cement and conglomerate attached to the steel rings also suggest orbiting planets, giving it a dynamic celestial direction. The globe seems precariously balanced, as if it is about to roll, giving it an apocalyptic and transcendental character.
Lebanon, 1952. Mona Hatoum’s poetic and political work materialises in a diverse and often unconventional range of media, including installation, sculpture, video, photography and works on paper. Hatoum became known in the mid-1980s for a series of performance and video works that focused intensely on the body. In the 1990s, his work became increasingly oriented towards large-scale installations and sculptures, which aim to engage the viewer in conflicting emotions of desire and repulsion, fear and fascination. Hatoum has developed a language in which everyday and familiar objects are often transformed into strange, surreal and threatening objects. Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1952. During a brief visit to London in 1975, the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war prevented her from returning home. He has lived in London ever since.
11. Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Evento, 2009
The artist has created a monument to the barricades erected in Spanish cities during the recent demonstrations with the most valuable of all sculptural materials, bronze, which has always been used for the construction of memorials. His Barricada Collage, La naturaleza de lo social (2014) is irritating because it consists of “natural” vacuum prints of everyday objects reconverted for the street struggle, elevating the ensemble of branches, tyres and bottles to a monument of insurrection and resistance. Often it is precisely the historical monuments in public space that seem so obvious to us, as Robert Musil wrote: “The most striking thing about monuments is precisely that one does not notice them. There is nothing so invisible as a monument.”
España, 1970. Today he is best known for his public interventions, sculptures and videos, in which he reflects on the relationship between art and power. He defends the need to reflect on the past in order to try to understand the richness of the present and, above all, to close chapters of our history that have marked past generations and continue to condition the lives of many of them.
12. Héctor Zamora, Truth Always Appears as Something Veiled, 2017
Héctor Zamora creates a labyrinth structure with reference to the drawing of a labyrinth discovered on a stone found in Knidos, Turkey. This type of labyrinth provides a circular route leading to the centre, and back, without presenting alternative options or shortcuts, labyrinths that stand in opposition to those in the West, which create a network of options for the walker. The perforated brick walls partially obstruct the view, offering a new perception between the hidden and the open. This visual permeability aims to recover the semi-translucent and semi-open walls of the labyrinth, and establishes a contrast with the classic concept of “labyrinth”, in which the wall makes it impossible to see and forces one to walk through it in search of its centre.
México, 1974. The arwork by Héctor unites conceptual rigour and plastic sense with a skilful handling of the tensions between language and form, process and narrative. He explores his ability to activate discourses in a late-capitalist framework through action and the study of their social and historical implications, which has made public space the ideal location for his work.
13. Christian Boltanski, Animitas, 2014
Two hundred Japanese bells were placed according to the configuration of the stars on the night Boltanski was born. When the wind blows, the bells tinkle suspended from thin metal reeds producing a delicate chime, while the plates attached to each one reflect the light. Animitas was established in 2014 in the Atacama Desert of Chile and has since been repeated in other contexts, including a snowy landscape in Canada, a forest in Japan or at the Dead Sea in Israel.
Francia, 1944. French visual artist working with mixed media installations. Interested in and influenced by memory, mortality, childhood and the passage of time, his artworks, which include photography, sculpture, painting and installation, often function as narratives reflecting both social spectres and personal traits.
14. Kiki Smith, Cat’s Cradles and Stars, 2021
The sets of strings make up a three-dimensional man dala, a spell or a journey to enter the stars. At first, I made drawings of my hands on plexiglass plates. I superimposed the plates to create cyanotypes in which some images are present and others become more ghostly. Only after making them did it occur to me to make images of the inverted cradle string game (known in the Anglo-Saxon world as Cat’s Cradle) by painting the strings on top and the stars.
Germany, 1957. Kiki Smith has been known since the 1980s for her multidisciplinary work exploring corporeality and the natural world. She uses a variety of materials to continually expand and develop a body of work that spans sculpture, printmaking, photography, drawing and textiles.
15. Camille Henrot, Inside job, 2019
Henrot materialises the image of a bird feeding its young by inserting its beak into the open mouth of the chick. Sub scratches the tender yet violent nature of this exchange between parent and offspring by incorporating two shapes reminiscent of menacing shark fins emerging from the water and a beak-like shape extending between them.
France, 1978. The French artist’s practice oscillates seamlessly between film, painting, drawing, sculpture and installation. The artist references self-help, online second-hand markets, cultural anthropology, literature, psychoanalysis and social networks to question what it means to be both a private individual and a global subject. Henrot is interested in grappling with emotional and political questions, and in observing how ideology, globalisation, beliefs and new media interact to create a structural anxiety. The dynamic modes of information distribution and interpersonal connections, the relationships between individual experiences and macroscopic dynamics, as well as between images and language, are at the core of his works.
16. Ugo Rondinone, Kissing the void, 2012
The artwork is composed of a field of small stones painted in a single fluorescent colour that form a flat geometric shape, surrounded by a rusted steel frame. Rondinone is based on the principles of land art in which the work was aesthetically linked to the landscape and the surrounding nature, using natural materials, which he renders artificial thanks to the brutal contrast introduced by the colour in this work.
Suiza, 1964. The artist uses various techniques in his work: sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, writing and sound. Primarily known for his works with clown figures or totems of coloured stones, his artistic practice incorporates melancholic and poetic gestures that question the notion of time almost as a rite of passage.
17. Esther Stocker, Untitled, 2021
Stocker’s “crumpled sculptures” attempt to bend and distort ordered space in a way that breaks with the strict geometry imposed by modernist forms. With this intervention, the artist questions the supposed rigidity of a system, while at the same time challenging the viewer’s perceptive faculty. Clarity gives way to disorientation and solidity gives way to fragility. The maceration of the system becomes itself.
“Behind every chaos there is always a sense of order.”
Italy, 1974. Her work consists mainly of paintings and installations with an abstract and geometric perspective, two closely related genres. The artist’s installations are three-dimensional projections of her paintings, made exclusively with a palette of black, grey and white. Could they be described as spatial and sculptural paintings or rather as pictorial spaces? Esther Stocker breaks the genres of art. Her research focuses on the vision and perception of space from a social and contemporary approach. In addition, her influences come from new technologies. Her geometric structures are based on eternally self-repetitive modules that create an apparently ordered visual rhythm, to which the artist adds anomalous elements to generate a related but new rhythm.
To enjoy this experience we offer two accommodation options, Solo Pezo for up to 5 people or Solo Office KGDVS for 6 people.