Guillermo G. Lledó
Spain, 1946
Guillermo Lledó studied at the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He held his first exhibition at the Cultart gallery in Madrid in 1970. Until 1976, he worked almost exclusively on hyperrealist, urban paintings. In a way, he never completely abandoned this subject matter, although he began working in different disciplines and shifted the focus of his interests. Both his paintings and sculptures frequently feature images of doors, manhole covers, hydrants or mesh surfaces, given how one of the defining characteristics of his aesthetic ideology is precisely the fact that he does not distinguish between the two practices. Starting in the late seventies, Lledó developed an interest in a type of Minimalism informed by Constructivist teachings, bringing to it his sensibility for materials and his capacity for restraint and austerity. It has often been said, and rightly so, that he makes the material the concept of his artwork. Thus, he used oil paint on wood to create the peculiar sculpture Madera pintada 1 in 1981. In the piece Madera 4 (1982), he barely treated the wood, but arranged it into even, regular lumber cuts. Several years later, he made Tragaluz (1988)—representative of a new direction in his work—by combining metal and glass in a production that recalls industrial techniques. He was the director of the Education Department’s Unit of Visual Expression as well as of the Professional Certification in Art Education programme at the Complutense University of Madrid during the academic years 2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003. In 2004, he wrote his doctoral dissertation on the topic At the Limits of Representation, which he sums up as follows: “The dissertation examines and defines an aesthetic-expressive component that appears in a certain type of contemporary artwork. It is created using constructive methods and distilled forms possessing a type of significance that occupies the border between presence and representation. These two antithetical concepts co-exist dynamically within this type of work. They determine an unusual way of operating that has a decisive impact on the meaning conveyed by the artworks and the value they acquire. The dissertation lays out the overall, artistic discourse enabling the emergence of this type of production, as well as analysing and identifying the poetics that play a role in its makeup. Finally, it examines the resulting artwork and defines the aesthetic and expressive component that sustains its modes of action”. Recipient of the First Prize in Painting at the Alexandria Biennial in 1978, he has exhibited, although not exclusively, at the same gallery in Madrid—Egam—since 1971.
Manuel Navarro