Planets (grey, black, yellow)

Antonio Ballester Moreno

Planets (grey, black, yellow), 2022

The work of Antonio Ballester Moreno (b. 1977, Madrid) points to a world of primary colors and childish forms where materials like unprocessed jute or clay yield an oeuvre of singular beauty and austere shapes. Reduced forms and shapes defined by solid fields of color, characteristic of the artist’s practice, suggest a deep interest in the human connection with the image and the roots of pictorial representation at large. Making schematic images the point of departure of his work, Antonio Ballester Moreno explores the nature of human perception, examining the way we understand and construct the world that surrounds us.

Working with universal and permanent forms, such as spheres, lines, or horizontal color fields, Ballester Moreno appropriates the basics from the cycle of life, creating images of light and shadow, day and night. The interchangeability of these forms, where the moon becomes the sun, the sky becomes a field of grass, day becomes night, associates the work with the passing of time. Rejecting the legacy of modernity and instead depicting time from a biological perspective, characteristic for its slowness, the work shapes a powerful opposition towards post-industrial modes of life actively challenging our present understanding of time as capital, where biological time is considered waste. Painted on untreated, raw jute with layers of liquid paint, a process reminiscent of dyeing clothes, the porous nature of the canvas, rich texture, and strong material presence appropriates the basics from the cycle of life, taking us back to the once familiar, to the universal, to what we all share.

Antonio Ballester Moreno lives and works in Madrid. His work has been exhibited at La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara, Mexico; and Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (CA2M), Móstoles, Spain; among others. In 2018 Ballester Moreno co-curated and participated in the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo. His work is in the collections of the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; Art Situacions, Barcelona, Spain; DKV Collection, Spain; Banco de España Collection, Spain; Olor Visual Collection, Barcelona, Spain; CA2M–Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Móstoles, Spain; MUSAC–Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León, Spain; Olbricht Collection, Berlin; Collection Reydan Weiss, Essen, Germany; and the Jerry Speyer Collection, New York; among others.