Susana Solano
Spain, 1946
Susana Solano has had a major impact on sculpture in Spain. Wood, bronze, lead, plaster, and canvas are important materials for the artist; but iron, presented with all its possible finishes—galvanised and rusted surfaces, rolled, in mesh form, or cut into sheets—became the main protagonist of her work early in her career. She occasionally uses different metals together to achieve interesting contrasts. The surfaces of her sculptures bear visible marks of the fabrication process, a sensual touch that forges a link between her work and the craft tradition. More intuitive and expressive than theoretical and formalist, Susana Solano selects and uses materials according to her needs. The scale of her work also reflects the story she wants to get across to viewers. Her work emerges from study of the void and creates a relationship of tension and dynamism in space. In this context, she devotes special attention to the aspect of construction and emphasises the privacy, intimacy, and silence of spatial enclosures. Her works—whose forms may suggest altars, cages, architectural constructions, or structures that resemble furniture; or ponds, craters, or other elements of landscape—form part of her biographical memory. From them there flows a lyricism that is very intimate and at the same time enigmatic; powerful and forthright. The first stage of her career—which lasted until the late 1980s and was characterised by the prevalence of tactile surfaces and organic, voluptuous volumes—was followed by a period in which geometric severity and an almost monumental scale came to predominate her sculpture. Fontana núm. 3 is an example of her work in the first period, while Fa el 5, executed five years later, is a piece from the latter stage. It is important not to overlook the importance of Solano’s drawings, which, as in the case of Senza Uccelli, accompany pieces that bear the same title. Her sculptures clearly reflect the physical and mental effort, intuition and knowledge that underpin all her work. ‘My ideal space is a single space, with no history, which I can fall in love with; a space I do not know, an atmosphere of thought. I would now like to concentrate on a life where there is nothing, and to work with as little as possible.’
Virginia Torrente