Carlos Vega: See You Now

Vega, Siete Partidas

March 12, 2015

Orlando, FL - - The Orlando Museum of Art is pleased to present this thematic exhibition by the contemporary Spanish artist, Carlos Vega. The exhibition celebrates a period in Spanish history when Christianity, Judaism and Islam coexisted and flourished on the Iberian Peninsula. Vega explores this dynamic period of intellectual exchange and spiritual tolerance in complex works that are both beautiful and rich with symbolic meaning. See You Now! is a call for exhibition visitors to consider the aspirations of this golden age of humanism and embrace them again today.

Vega expresses these philosophical ideas in paintings and relief works that are poetic and visually seductive. His distinctive works use of a wide range of materials and a creative practice that combines elements of craft, sculpture and painting.  Included in the exhibition are a number of his large scale wall reliefs that are fabricated with sheets of lead. The lead is cut through, punched and etched with evocative images of figures and natural forms. Through the cut areas the viewer glimpses a second layer of painting and collage. This technique allows Vega to present layers of images that form relationships underneath and across the surface of the work. Other works also present densely layered iconography in assemblies of canvases, wooden planks and transparent plastics.

The exhibition presents sections that focus on three leading intellectual figures of medieval Spain: Maimonides, a Jewish philosopher; Averroes, an Islamic philosopher; and Alfonso X, King of Castile, Leon and Galicia. Each of these individuals advanced knowledge in such fields as mathematics, science, law and philosophy; and were widely influential throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. What is perhaps most important for Vega, however, is that their search for knowledge transcended their cultural and religious differences. For a short period, prejudice and bloodshed was set aside. Vega believes we are at a new crossroads where cultures can chose to rise above strongly held differences or sink further into the morass of hate and conflict. 

Vega was born in Melilla, a Spanish city on the coast of north Africa. He studied at the University of Fine Arts, Seville; the University of Fine Arts, Madrid; the Talleres de Art Actual, Madrid; and completed graduate work at the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has been included in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe. He is represented by the Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.

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