Forming Time: Glenda León

The image shows the inside of a room seen with a bottom-up perspective. The walls and floor of the room seem to be made of concrete, there are several white paintings with blue shapes hanging on the walls; a tree branch is laying on the floor. It is an installation view of the exhibition 'Glenda León: Ever Shape is a Shape of Time' Fundació Mir Mallorca.
Glenda León: Every Shape is a Shape of Time, installation view, Fundació Miró Mallorca, 2023.

Review
Glenda León: Every Shape is a Shape of Time
June 21 – October 29, 2023
Fundació Miró Mallorca

How much care, to produce riddles for us. 
Small works on paper, one is tempted to say ‘drawings’. But this is hair mounted with transparent adhesive tape.

Spontaneity and swing caught on paper. Poetic, visual games, a body, a web, a sunset. There’s no intended reading, perhaps no intention in producing. The works relate to music, nature – plants, the body, the horizon –, and art.

The Fundació Miró Palma shows the work of Glenda León in relation to, and dialogue with the work of Joan Miró. The series Every Shape is a Shape of Time (2000-1), in particular, relates to the curved lines and dots by the Spanish painter. León’s works, however, present a material development: three-dimensional, collaged, and reflective due to the adhesive tape.  With the hair as inherently female material, the shine of the tape, and the subtleness of gesture the works may constitute a female reply.

The image shows a drawing composed of lines on staff. The framed work is an art work by Glenda León.
Glenda León, Every Sound is a Shape of Time (2020-23), detail. Courtesy of the artist.

The recent series, Every Sound is a Shape of Time (2020-23), presents mountains on staves. Or heart beats. What is the sound of mountains; what is the form of the pulse; what is the form (shape) of sound? Some works resemble landscapes, some maps, some are broken, some dotted. It’s earth quakes, butterflies, and clouds. The shape of the world in combinations of lines.

The works in the series Contours of the World (2022-23), show the surface of real and fictional phenomena in the world: the Heaven Lake in China, the footprint of a goat, Miró’s dream. The poignant blue of the works strongly recalls Miró’s paintings Bleu I, II, and III at the Centre Pompidou. Again, the two bodies of work differ in material, paintings there, silk screens here. The paper, precise printing and the writing on the bottom of León’s works give an air of calligraphy. It’s a mounted album, a diary of ideas and visions. 

The reference to nature in Léon’s work points out the natural element in Miró’s work. While jazzy, perhaps mathematical at first glance, Miró shares the close relationship to nature, which the Foundation’s grounds themselves make perceivable. Mirage: History of the Broken Mirror (2023) is a striking example of the relation between the two artists: the work consists of a tree branch hanging above a 2 x 3 m broken mirror; reflecting the blue-and-white silk screens with its crashed lines on the surface, the latter transforms into a painting by Miró.

Glenda Léon’s work is a sculptural response to the oeuvre of Joan Miró. The two artists share colour, shapes, and a sense of place. The specific reference to nature and the employ of material may be interpreted as decisively Spanish, exciting but calm, aesthetic but free. Presenting the two together is coup of genius promoting the respective artistic approaches and a specific sense of site.

The image shows the inside of an exhibition room. The walls and floor of the room seem to be made of concrete, there are several white paintings with blue shapes hanging on the walls; on the right-hand wall, a large mirror with a tree branch hanging above is installed. It is an installation view of the exhibition 'Glenda León: Ever Shape is a Shape of Time' Fundació Mir Mallorca.
Glenda León: Every Shape is a Shape of Time, installation view, Fundació Miró Mallorca, 2023.