Oct. 28, 2010 / Dec. 04, 2010

Miki Leal / Il Cellese


Individual exhibition by Miki Leal at Fúcares Gallery in Madrid
From 28 October to 4 December 2010

Fúcares Gallery first presents at its space in Madrid an individual exhibition by the artist from Seville Miki Leal.

The works making up this exhibition have landscape as their common topic, understood as a formal pretext to develop Leal’s concept of painting. The topographical references are present in the titles of both the pieces and the exhibition, rather than in the images displayed. Thus, Miki Leal’s creations are mostly figurative objects separate from the scenery that were their starting points. In these works, the painter appears more than ever as an inventor of a landscape all his own. As regards his latest series devoted to jazz, cinema and pop images, they present an apparent lack of topic, sometimes approaching abstraction ¾ like in “Il Cellese”, a work that is a personal vision of a rainy landscape in which all figurative references have virtually disappeared.

In these paintings, Miki Leal has used paper as his only medium, with acrylics and watercolours as the main techniques. The single technical novelty lies in that the artist started most of them outdoors and completed them in his workshop, but for the dozen-piece series on paper taken from his sketch book and fully completed during his stay at “Il Cellese”, which preserves the freshness of works created in the open air.

Miki Leal, (Seville 1974), graduate in Fine Arts in the University of Seville, received the 2009 Caja Sol Grant. He has had individual exhibitions in galleries in Spain, Italy and Germany, taking part in Seville’s 2nd Biacs (2006), and collective shows in institutions such as CA2M, Artium, Musac and Hangar 7.

*Most of the works in this exhibition were painted at a small and very beautiful hotel located in the outskirts of Florence, in Poggibonsi, at about 40 minutes from Sienna, managed by Rico Sardelli and his family, where painters Miki Leal and Cristóbal Quintero could at last take a respite from their long summer voyage and paint, not having to worry about anything else.

In order to thank them for such a pleasant welcome, and indebted to the landscape of Il Cellese, Leal chose to give his exhibition this name that, according to the hotel owner, has two possible meanings. In the words of Rico himself:

1st: Il Cellese might have received its name because it was inhabited by people from Monte Cellese, located south of Sienna, and took its current name from this.

2nd: More likely than the explanation above: In 1100, a community of cloistered nuns was constituted in Monte Cellese, south of Sienna, who were endowed by the Counts of Aldobrandeschi with some lands surrounding the town. In turn, in 1250 the community donated part of them to the Capuchin friars, who built several small nunneries in different places.
On the remains of one of these nunneries, they erected the building known today as “IL PALAGIONE” (palace in English), that adjoins Il Cellese and, until 1988, a part of the same estate, owned by us.
Over successive centuries, the “cells” of said nunnery were used to accommodate the servants of this very estate. There is no certainty about the date when these workers settled into what today is known as “Il Cellese” (in Italian, “that who dwells in a cell”). Hence its current name.
This is, in my opinion, the most accurate reconstruction. It is, of course, the one that I like most.