Communication with the purpose of culturally promoting artists included in the Fundación María Cristina Masaveu Peterson Collection, works protected by intellectual property rights. Their total or partial reproduction or processing by any means, or their transmission or cession in any form is forbidden without the authorisation of the holder of the rights to the works

La arquitectura como lienzo


Author: Pelayo Ortega (Mieres, Asturias, 1956)
Title: La arquitectura como lienzo (Architecture as canvas)
Year: 2008
Technique: ink and collage on cardboard. 20 pieces
Size: 50,5 x 69,5 cm
Category: Pelayo Ortega y la luz

In 2008 the painter Pelayo Ortega collaborated with the Maria Cristina Masaveu Peterson Foundation in the development of an ambitious experimental workshop called “Architecture as Canvas”, designed to offer an original interpretation exercise in relation to history and the architectural form that allowed a unique version of the well-known pictorial work of the Asturian artist to be projected onto the façade of the Revillagigedo de Gijón Palace (Asturias). In addition, the FMCMP combined this creative contribution with the educational dimension, also granting four scholarships for this project to four students from the Instituto Europeo de Diseño (European Institute for Design) in Madrid (María Grande, Enrique Garde, Roberto Collado and José Luis García) who, under the tutelage of Carlos Brenes and Tomás Peña, translated the sketches of Ortega into digital images and animations, generating a new look for their narrative, dynamic and symbolic tensions. Over several nights of that cold Christmas in Gijón, the work was projected, in large scale, on the main façade of the Revillagigedo Palace, showing a new image of this space under the rhythm of a musical work that revealed imaginary maps and unprecedented readings of its emblematic architecture.

These 20 half-format sketches by Pelayo Ortega, now part of the FMCMP Contemporary Art Collection, produced with inks and collages on cardboard, were the genesis of that beautiful work, starting point for a complex experimental framework where the painter collaborated with the technicians at all times to configure the final projection. With that suggestive appropriation of usual formal and chromatic combinations commonly seen in his palette, time and again Pelayo Ortega approaches the thesis of constructivism, playing with nuances of colours close to each other in the scale or with pure colours, of great intensity, in a process between intuition and reason, action and rest. These are works that successfully synthesise these legacies of yesterday and today which, in the case of this international painter, are never direct but are shaped through a personal language that admires the beauty of contemporary society, the media and the urban landscape.

The twenty sketches, individually and collectively, are a work characteristic of this painting that Pelayo Ortega has been developing over the last two decades, breathing daily experiences in a continual attitude of ethical and aesthetic reflection that leads him to question who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Refined compositions, with great presence of the drawing, based on complex formal nods, gestures, marks and chromatic alterations that, finally, are always extraordinarily sober and serene. The breaking of boundaries, the use of different scales in the same picture, the construction of bird’s eye view scenes, the controlled disorder, the thick line and certain iconographic constants such as the staircase and the chair, replaced here due to the demands of the commission. The composition, more formally contained than in his usual paintings, does not lose that masterful capacity for synthesis that defines his artistic capacity and essentiality.