PEDRO MARÍA ASENSIO “Art always walks alongside me”
Texto: Alicia Toledo
A versatile artist with an open and permeable understanding of art, Pedro María Asensio (Cuenca, 1950), who has been established in Ibiza for a number of decades, experiences and works his art as a constant exercise in renovation, which is why each of his exhibitions is refreshingly unique.
His range of art forms is truly immense. As well as painting and sculpture, Asensio includes in his repertoire engravings, installations, collections of found objects, etc. Whichever form it takes, Asensio’s activity follows a soaring rhythm and has spilled out of the art galleries to include contributions in literary works, clothes designs, tapestries and artistic sets and, significantly, educational spheres. As a teacher, Asensio directed the Can Misses centre between 1992 and 2000, using the arts with students with integration and expression difficulties. He also participated in an interesting European project, “Museums in the city” (1996-2000), aimed at schoolkids in Rome, Marseille and Ibiza, within which he developed a research project about educational applications aimed at knowledge in museums. In the meantime, his travels and training continued in Berlin (1986), Denmark (1998), New York (2000) and Rome (2004). It all began in his native Cuenca, under the influence of the exquisite group of artists –Grupo 59– which gathered around the prestigious Museum of Spanish Abstract Art of that city. In the 70s, after a brief training period in Barcelona, he moved with his family to the “white island”, attracted by the light: “that special Ibiza light – even if it sounds clichéd, it really is so”, Asensio confesses. In this little corner of the Mediterranean he has developed the best part of his work, which is abundant and varied.
A lover of beauty who is moved by human fragility
“Wherever I am or whatever I do, the vision of art is always with me – I could not free myself of it even if I wanted to”, he states. In his case, since very early on this artistic vision followed two pathways and, though they may seem divergent, they come together in many ways: an aesthetic tendency that connects with the search for the –almost metaphysical– purity of constructivism, and another more social and less absorbed tendency that considers the human being and his condition as an object of expression. Asensio the painter, a classicist in geometric abstraction and a researcher into colour, can be found in works such as “Ventanas de Nueva York” (New York Windows, 2002), “Futuros perdidos” (Lost Futures, 2005), “Eneagramas” (Enneagrams, 2008) or “Partituras de silencio” (Silence Scores, 2009). On the other hand, the Asensio who is preoccupied by the painful condition of existence, who shies away even from colour so as to expose human fragility in all its nakedness, can be seen in exhibitions such as “Disposiciones Transitorias” (Transitory Dispositions, 1992-1993), “28 gramos” (28 grammes, 1995), “Irreparables” (1996), “Don’t disturb” (2003), “Génesis de tristeza” (Genesis of sadness, 2004) and, especially, in his latest one, “El silencio de las horas” (The silence of hours, 2011). The latter, which could be visited at S’Alamera socio-cultural centre, spans his work of the last two years, and in it –Asension notes- “the solitude of the individual, his essential nakedness, appears unveiled”. This exhibition was in fact a truly detailed artistic explosion, emphasizing more than ever the creative incontinence of this artist.
Indomitable artist, tireless worker
“I’m a hard worker – confesses Asensio –, partly due to my own character, but also because of my dual line of work, running between aestheticism and humanism, all of which leads me to abundance and even distraction”. His studio at his house in Ses Salines is therefore full of projects and ideas, some of them in creation, others awaiting execution. Amongst them it is striking to see quite a number of models and reproductions of spaces: “my work is now approaching architecture as an aesthetic space”, explains Asensio. It could be considered an increasingly constructivist tendency, but he maintains a strict commitment with all things human: “I am interested in human spaces and the architecture in which things happen”.
In 2011, Pedro was invited to Cyprus by the Balearic Government to participate in the project called Amic i Amat and collaborated with the Council in the exhibition Cartó at Sa Nostra. This summer he has participated in 1x1 La mirada escrita also at Sa Nostra.