Alberto Garcia-Alvarez

Disasters

05 JUL - 30 JUL 2022

Alberto Garcia-Alvarez’ studio building was designed by Malcolm Walker in 1990. It is set into the slope of Alberto’s garden, and the gradient of the land means visitors have to step down into the artist’s workspace. 

The roof structure is exposed and pitches up to large clerestory windows, emphasising the feeling of descent into an artistic engine room. 

There is a yellow sign taped to the door reading: DISASTERS

The energy in the studio is calm but focused, rather like the artist himself. Classical music is playing. Large paintings on canvas and paper hang or lean on the walls. And between and around the large works are smaller pieces … an empty frame, a scrap of paper with scribbled text, a colour swatch, a painted wooden construction, artworks on strings.

Although I’m always fascinated by what Alberto is working on, I try not to be intrusive when I visit. And rather than talk about specific artworks we often discuss history or philosophy … which is like receiving a masterclass. 

As I notice relationships between the artworks on the walls I get a sense of Alberto’s thinking. My eyes move around the room, back and forth, up and down, trying to take it all in. 

The studio is a private space and I always feel lucky to be invited in. 

As Alberto and I were planning this exhibition of modestly-sized wall-based pieces – the earliest from 1961, the most recent from 2021 – my mind returned to the yellow sign on the door.

I asked him whether DISASTERS was a reference to artists’ having to persevere and make mistakes before succeeding. We laughed and wondered whether it was a great title for a show or an absolutely terrible one.

Several days later Alberto wrote: 

“Disasters. The title alludes to my studio space, not my artwork.

The first impression on entering my studio is disorder; a disaster. The floor is covered with pieces of paper, some with paint, others with unfinished works waiting for further doing.

The walls have finished paintings from months or years back, as well as wooden constructions and other items.

You can see large tables with paints, brushes, tests of paint mixtures and more than 30 large paintings against the walls or on the floor. All this, plus the furniture, occupies an area of 90 square metres.

It looks disastrous but it is not a disaster.

I would say that my disasters affect me alone. They are intrinsically part of my attitude and evolution, and my process of creating things.

I encounter disasters; they are sudden happenings that change my decisions while in search of the unknown and they result in acceptable ends: visual discoveries that require experiencing at many levels.

My disasters include the ugly.

Ugly things tend to be powerful and on occasions virtuous. What we do not like tends to be considered ugly; that which we do not know or is outside our expectation in terms of proportion, symmetry or beauty.

Ignorance makes us sceptical and distrustful, particularly of things that produce far-reaching personal or public loss. But what we do not like today may change quite radically and become the fashion of tomorrow. 

Familiarity with a  subject helps us to understand it.

But yes, disaster is disaster no matter how we describe it … and I like it when it relates to my art creations.

It does not imply that I do not like order, logic, quality or beauty. I do. It’s just that I don’t need those qualities as a premise or objective for my work.”

Photography by Kallan MacLeod

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Twilight – Crepúsculo – 2019-3
2019
mixed media on aluminium
580mm H x 370mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-2019-2
2019
mixed media on aluminium
585mm H x 455mm W
615mm H x 480mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
1998-8
1998
enamel on wood
610mm H x 475mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
COVID-19
2020
mixed media on aluminium
345mm H x 590mm W
375mm H x 615mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-1973-2020
2020
mixed media on wood
680mm H x 420mm W x 100mm D

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-1973-2020
2020
mixed media on wood
680mm H x 420mm W x 100mm D

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-115
1994
mixed media on aluminium
600mm H x 455mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-97
1992
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
565mm H x 425mm W
580mm H x 440mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
We Don’t Know
c. 1986
galvanised metal and spoon
285mm H x 190mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2016-261 (Hector of Troy)
2016
mixed media and aluminium on board
335mm H x 235mm W
430mm H x 340mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2017-P 351
2017
aluminium and mixed media on wood
440mm H x 340mm W
610mm H x 520mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
1936-1939
1998
wood and metal spoon
250mm H x 90mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
MY YO
1988
mixed media on cotton canvas
515mm H x 385mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A80
1991
mixed media on aluminium
600mm H x 455mm W
640mm H x 495mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-85
1991
mixed media on aluminium
600mm H x 460mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Untitled
1996
mixed media on wood
595mm H x 570mm W
630mm H x 610mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2018-71
2018
mixed media on canvas
875mm H x 730mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Untitled
2019
mixed media on aluminium
585mm H x 330mm W
615mm H x 4100mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Le Panto - 001
1989
mixed media on board
605mm H x 195mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Untitled
1993
mixed media on paper, mounted to aluminum
675mm H x 550mm W
835mm H x 710mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
1982-35
1982
oil on wood
700mm H x 620mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-49-95
1995
mixed media on board
320mm H x 280mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-2019-October
2020
mixed media on board
310mm H x 230mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
1995-22
1995
mixed media on paper
500mm H x 370mm W
745mm H x 605mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2012-030
2012
mixed media on paper
490mm H x 390mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation

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Disasters
2022
installation view

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Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2021-87
2021
mixed media on canvas
705mm H x 650mm W
730mm H x 680mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-368
1991
mixed media on wood
580mm H x 400mm W
635mm H x 450mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-91
1989
mixed media on aluminium
585mm H x 445mm W
615mm H x 475mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Untitled
2000
mixed media on board
210mm H x 140mm W
275mm H x 205mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
AGA-207
1997
mixed media on wood
520mm H x 435mm W x 80mm D

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Nova Velorum
1999
mixed media on canvas
380mm H x 295mm W
430mm H x 345mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2018-110 XVII
2018
mixed media on wood
860mm H x 220mm W x 60mm D
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2018-110 XVII
2018
mixed media on wood
860mm H x 220mm W x 60mm D
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
San José - California
1961
tissue paper and mixed media on card
350mm H x 260mm W
490mm H x 390mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-1987-1990
2013
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
755mm H x 440mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A-1987-1990
2013
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
755mm H x 705mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2014-02
2014
mixed media on wood
460mm H x 305mm W x 30mm

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Leche
1993
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
450mm H x 370mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
A125-94
1994
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
450mm H x 370mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Untitled
1993
mixed media on photo-sensitive aluminium lithography plate
440mm H x 370mm W

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Promithius
2016
mixed media, paper and aluminium on board
330mm H x 165mm W
PRIVATE COLLECTION

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
2012-043
2012
mixed media on paper
420mm H x 315mm W
550mm H x 425mm W (frame)

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Alberto Garcia-Alvarez
Disasters
2022
installation view