May 18th - June 24th 2006


Magnan Projects is pleased to present the premier solo exhibition in New York for Roberto Coromina. The exhibit will be on view from May 18 – June 24, 2006.

Well-known in Europe, Coromina approaches images and techniques from art history to create uniquely conceptual, contemporary artwork. Chamber Paintings showcases four series; each series references Old Masters in which Coromina questions themes of history and painting including perception, apparition, presence and absence.  Guillermo Solana (Director of Foundation Thyssen-Bornesmizasa in Madrid) observes, “The confrontation of painting within itself is the grand theme of Roberto Coromina.  It verifies itself in a typical post-modern scenario and carries cultural and sociological implications.  Its investigation can be seen as an appropriation of great icons of traditional painting”.

Hans Holbein’s anamorphic painting The Ambassador (1533) was the inspiration for a series of metallic ovals with shiny black silk screened images of classical self portraits.  Modern technology allows Coromina’s fascination with Anamorphosis – distorting the perspective of an image by elongation – to go further then his 16th century predecessor. The process of silk screening leaves holes that create a pixilated surface of color, enhancing the illusion and distortion of perspective.

Another series in the show includes ten scanned images from books of Old Masters (such as Velazquez, Vermeer, Goya, Rembrandt…) printed on photo paper and covered with acrylic paint.  Miradas #9, for instance, is an image of Rembrandt with painted red patterns distorting the face.  Playing with ideas of construction, Coromina “stressing the absence of these artists by invoking their presence.” (Miguel Cerecea)  Although the viewer recognizes the famous face through the fragments of applied paint, the gaze from the characters within the painting is also fragmented, drawing attention to what is present and what is absent.   

Coromina also created a series of ink drawings on paper meant to represent a salon-style gallery wall covered with paintings.  Inspired by Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts “Reverse of a Framed Painting” from 1670, Coromina implies that the backside of these paintings hide desirable information that is otherwise absent.

In the final series, Coromina transforms a painting into a three-dimensional object in what he titled “Paintings for Pedestals”.  By taking the painting out of its frame, the materials (pigment and canvas) acquire a new dimension as a pliable construct. Coromina combines this new found object with a modern day material – polyurethane resin – to create a sculpture.

Robert Coromina was born in 1965 in Zaragoza, Spain and graduated from Bellas Artes, Facultad Sant Jordi in Barcelona.  He lived in New York from 1994 -1998 and received an ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program) Grant in 2002-03.  He has exhibited extensively in Europe and has work in numerous private and public collections throughout Spain.  Coromina currently resides in Madrid, Spain.