amondarain engl 




Dig it all 2001José Ramón Amondarain

Shaking up images


2021-05-21 - 2021-09-26

Curator: Francisco Javier San Martín



Agitar las imágenes [Shaking Up Images] is the first retrospective exhibition that provides a complete overview of José Ramón Amondarain’s work over more than three decades, bringing together more than 200 pieces produced over practically all the creative stages of this Donostia artist. Its curator, Francisco Javier San Martín, and the artist himself have carefully selected the works that represent each of his different series. According to San Martín: “Three decades of carefully observing the world and contemporary society, yet no less carefully the inner front of art and the work of contemporary artists or modern tradition”.

It is perhaps surprising for those who follow the artist’s work that the exhibition focuses on sculpture, given that Amondarain is better known for his pictorial work, although sculpture has always been present in his studio work and, in one way or another, in all his exhibitions. The aim is therefore to highlight this aspect of his work and to position it in relation to his artistic production as a whole.


The pieces on display occupy the magnificent space of Kubo Kutxa Gallery, appropriating and inhabiting it in a layout chosen and studied by Amondarain to achieve a result in accordance with his idea of what an exhibition should be. The idea of a large space occupied by a strategically designed forest of sculptures, or the grouping of the pieces, are important as part of the definition of this project in which the artist takes stock of his career.

The works are primarily from the artist’s collection, but the selection is completed with contributions from private collections, as well as several institutions, such as Artium, Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao or Fundación Naturgy, which have generously loaned their pieces on a temporary basis.


“Shaking images” is one of the artist’s expressions and with it he wants to claim his position of dialogue with Art History through appropriation, deviation, copying or parody, as well as with everyday images. “Shaking images” implies gathering elements from others, in this context of hyperabundance, and putting them into action. Any appropriation within the contemporary context is inevitable or irrepressible, but it is also functional and productive. The work on display in this exhibition has been created upon this fine line.


The exhibition is displayed in the three spaces of the Kubo Kutxa Gallery. The space at the entrance contains two series that deal with Amondarain’s relationship with the modern legacy and its updating through studio work: Anagramas [Anagrams] on the walls, polyester pieces in which the letters of artists’ names have been rearranged to produce a phrase related to their work, or rather to Amondarain’s perception of their work. And in the space of the exhibition hall, his series of Aviones [Airplanes], small aeromodelling pieces covered with characteristic motifs of painters especially close to the artist, in which painting becomes camouflage as well as a tribute.


In the main hall of the gallery, a densely overcrowded group of sculptures on pedestals shows a good cross-section of the variety of Amondarain’s sculptural work. On display are large-scale works, such as El corte [The Cut] or Punto ciego [Blind Spot], Háptica [Haptic] or Cuánto de quién [How Much of Whom], as well as tiny experimental fragments, from early sculptures in lead or oil paint to recent works in a variety of materials, some of which were produced as this exhibition was being prepared. A series of prints in the form of posters or manifestos on one wall shows processes of work, ideas or suggestions, complicity and seduction accompanying the artist’s work in the studio and operating as a diary in images. Sparks of imagination feeding a desire to return to the studio.

And finally, in the third room a projection provides us with a series of images that Amondarain has employed to produce his works throughout the course of his artistic career. This unique look back helps us to intuit his way of working by the manner in which they are articulated with each other, within an environment that is voluntarily devoid of works, in which what we have seen in the previous room encounters a world of frankly revealing references.  

José Ramón Amondarain | Dig it all, 2001 | Photography © Lopez de Zubiria





Gemelas 2006José Ramón Amondarain  (Donostia / San Sebastián, 1964)


He graduated in Fine Arts from the University of the Basque Country, specialising in Painting. His training continued at Arteleku (Donostia) and he later enjoyed a residency in the study programme at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (Berlin).

His work has been displayed in institutional galleries such as Sala Rekalde, Bilbao; Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao; Museo Patio Herreriano, Valladolid; DA2, Domus Artium, Salamanca; CAAM, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias; Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Koldo Mitxelena, Donostia; Museo Galdiano, Madrid, and Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Vitoria-Gasteiz.

He has participated in various international fairs, including ARCO, Madrid; ART BASEL, Basel; ART FORUM BERLIN, Berlin; ART AMSTERDAM, Amsterdam, and ART BEIJING, Beijing.

His work can be found in the Museo Artium in Vitoria, Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid and in collections such as the Fundación ”la Caixa” in Barcelona, CA2M in Madrid, Unión Fenosa in La Coruña and Bank of Spain.

He was the recipient of the Endesa Group Scholarship in 1993 and Botín Scholarship in 1999, among others, and also that of the Spanish Academy in Rome in 2018-2019.

Amondarain is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant Basque artists, but he transcends the local to be present within the international debates that have occurred in recent decades in the field of painting. He is a good example of a multifaceted artist with the ability to embrace a wide range of material and conceptual procedures.


José Ramón Amondarain | Gemelas, 2006 | Photography © Lopez de Zubiria




Free guides tours


Every Saturday


17:30 Basque / 18:30 Spanish

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JOSÉ RAMÓN AMONDARAINCatalogo amondarain


Shaking Up Images


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