LUCE at Galería Alegría

Artist: LUCE

Exhibition title: Estudio de verano, Galería Alegría

Venue: Galería Alegría, Barcelona, Spain

Date: April 14 – July 1, 2022

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Galería Alegría, Barcelona

Cities are fascinating places because, among many other things, they are hotbeds of simultaneity. Their permanently mutating geography is intensified by the multiplicity of occurrences, the endless number of objects that pile up in their dark corners, and the possibility of creating infinite new routes around their streets and alleyways. A truly accurate map of a city would have to go beyond the standard two dimensions, and it would in fact look something like the bold scenic mazes proposed by LUCE (Valencia, 1989) in Estudio de Verano (“Summer Studio”), Galería Alegría, his first exhibition at our gallery.

LUCE likes to lurk around the city, wandering in search of places where he can modify, reinterpret or intervene in the space and thus change the territory. LUCE is also a gatherer, seeking out and repurposing those discarded materials that build up on the city’s edges. But, above all, LUCE is an artist who uses his imagination to subvert our preconceived ideas about the possibilities of life in the urban space.

In Estudio de Verano, Galería Alegría, LUCE offers us a compelling depiction of a possible landscape. He shows us that, between the cracks of our day-to-day lives, a different kind of place can emerge. A space for imagination, action and the affects, allowing us to establish a new relationship with the place we inhabit and move around every day, often without paying much attention to it.

This exhibition was conceived as a labyrinthine scenography. We see how painting emerges in the spaces between billboards and in the strange poetics of the abandoned object. Created with paint found in the street, these huge tarpaulins showcase all the luminosity, poetry and gesturing of movement, as opposed to the coarse, impersonal nature of the material itself. When walking beside these paintings, we are reminded of the Situationists’ quest to uncover the beach beneath the cobblestones of Paris. In this exhibition, LUCE is aiming for something similar: he hopes to reveal the beauty that might spring up from beneath the urban fabric of a metropolis that is not always a welcoming place to be.

Somewhere between scenography, cartography and utopia, this exhibition plays around with the hidden potential of the urban space. In cities that are becoming ever more hostile and changeable, LUCE defends the imagination as a vital lens through which we can observe the surrounding landscape. The imagination is a key tool when it comes to drawing that other map, a more complete, precise and human one, encompassing all the occurrences that can possibly take place within a city.