The Valencian artist Juan Cuéllar presents his collection of dystopian images at La Nau

  • Vicerectorat de Cultura i Societat
  • 4 de juny de 2018
Alienación. Juan Cuéllar.
Alienación. Juan Cuéllar.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 5 June, at 20h, the exhibition “Dystopia” will be open at the Cultural Centre La Nau of the Universitat de València. It is a compilation of around fifty works (oils and drawings) of the Valencian artist Juan Cuéllar, realised recently and expressly about this topic. The exhibition is free of charge and can be visited in the Sala Oberta.

The professor of the Universitat de València Vicente Pla, commissioner of “Dystopia”, describes this exhibition as "a collection of invented memories that persist in the collective imagination as snapshots of a modernity that never ended”. In this regard, explains that Cuéllar “has submerged in the contradictory sense of a utopia considered as a future that will never take place as this designed form and that when it has come closer to being realised, it has operated faulty, incomplete and untidy to the limits of sinister.”

Among works predominates the technique of drawing, the central axis of the most recent production of the artist, along with some of his latest paintings.  The drawing is for Juan Cuellar a point of arrival in the process of searching for a material suitable to record the scenes of a possible past as well as unreal, tangible as well as evanescent. In these calculated compositions, the enlightening vision is continually denied, any evolution is stopped, without escape from the period of classical modernity of the twentieth century, time frozen and delimited by meaninglessness and contradictions that will never be solved.

Cuéllar explains that the trigger for this exhibition, that is not an anthology of his production, was the job insecurity that affects especially the art scene. From this confluence of personal experience and contact with reality, the artist began to create "dystopian scenes" of the present moment.

But apart from “dystopia” also becomes “dyscopia”, a neologism arising from the union of dystopia and scopos (according to RAE, object or target that someone looks at and attends to). In this way, his works are erected as targets of visual information, or incomplete vision, that discreetly invade scenes populated by standardised habits in the domestic sphere or in public spaces, of induced dreams, of naturalized familiar objects and of objectified nature. The descriptive virtuosity of the Valencian artist and his characteristic style, consisted of omitting essential elements to complete the information, inspire the powerful concept that sustains dystopia: the unappealable and definitive defeat of the imagination of reality as a source of certainty in the face of the eternal postmodern psychic loop of desire and disappointment.

Juan Cuéllar Costa (Valencia, 1967) studied fine art in the Faculty of San Carles (UPV) from 1987 to 1992. He has received important grants in the field of art and has had a total of twenty-two individual exhibitions, including Madrid, Venice, Chicago, Vigo and Valencia, among other cities. His work is present in the collections of institutions such as the Banco Sabadell Foundation, IVAM, the Valencia City Council, the DKV Collection, the Coca-Cola Foundation, Artium, the Municipal Museum of Madrid and the Council of La Rioja.