Biographical data

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Pepe Galán was born in A Coruña in 1955.

A special interest in painting marked the start of his career, experimenting with other formats, like silk-screen printing, engraving and photography, mediums that he shared with different techniques applied to his sculptural work.

He took part in national and international fairs and exhibitions. Europe took him into vital contact with the different artistic, historical and contemporary possibilities.

Collaborator and co-founder, respectively, of La Galga and Gruporzán.
Representative of the generation that came to light in the decade of the eighties, after starting with plastic experimentation in the immediately foregoing decade.

His beginnings used figurative languages that quickly gave way processes of abstraction, in turn evolving into levels of conceptualisation, exploring and opting for an aggregate idea of means of expression, closer and closer to sculpture.

Galán produced work that passed through different stages: first voluminous fabric, then metal and later translucent materials like plastic or glass.

At the end of the seventies and beginning of the eighties, he went through a period of searching and restlessness. He worked temporarily in a building re-used for workshops “granted” by the Culture Department of A Coruña, and which he shared with cultural associations, actors, musicians and plastic artists, giving rise to a period of great artistic activity in the city, which the City Council’s Urban Development Committee contributed to by commissioning him the sketches and artistic direction for one of the projects to decorate partitions. In this study, among oils and acrylics, appeared his first large-format, two-dimensional works, which he would later take to his first exhibition in France.

He moved to London for a time, with the intention of discovering new museums and different artistic directions, while he prepared the sketches for works on paper, this forming part of the exhibition he was to exhibit in Calaría Finis-Terrae, showing sculptural pieces for the first time.

From the year 1984 onwards, painting expanded definitively and transgressed its limits, thus creating an enveloped spatiality that took shape as the series “Tecido e tensión”. Following this path, he produced “ferroetecido”, and the expanded canvas now shrank, incorporating iron and forming dialogue between opposites: like soft-hard, clear-dark, in a process that gave way to three-dimensionality.

In the nineties, after the series ” el dentro encerrado”, fabric disappeared and his work focused on investigations he had been carrying out on metal, like “fendas e ancoras no vento”, at the end of this decade incorporating interventions with powdered steel on transparent supports.

He produced large-format murals and sculptures in sheet steel for public places such as “Ferroetecido en liña cruva” at the Cerceda Health Centre in 1990, and the “Copa del Sol” in 1994, for the Tower of Hercules Sculpture Park in A Coruña.

The Xunta de Galicia, for the “Xacobeo 99”, commissioned the sculpture “Vieiros de seu” and installed it in the Plaza de Santo Domingo in Lugo. In the same year, the Galician Association of Independent Producers asked him to design the AGAPI Awards 1999.

In 2000, he explored a new path by re-using windshields from automobiles, buses and trucks in his work, thus introducing real or manipulated objects in his work. These pieces were first shown in the Calaría Atlántic, while in 2001 the Fundación Arte y Derecho awarded him an economic grant to continue experimenting and developing the path he had begun.

At the end of last decade and from the Galician Association of Visual Artists (AGAV) he began a period of commitment as regards the artist’s cultural and social policies, and which developed in 2001-2003 by forming part of the Executive Committee.

After the ecological disaster on the Galician coasts of 2002, causing deep social shock, he became actively integrated in Burla Negra (cultural branch of the civic platform Nunca Máis) from where he put into practice, with artists’ and citizens’ involvement, artistic actions of protest in defence of the environment.

In the middle of 2004 he contributed, together with other artists, to setting up the publishing group Anotarte, publishing nationally and internationally the art and culture journal from Galicia, under the title Artnotes, already existing in New York.

In 2005, at the request of the Public Works Ministry, he planned and executed the sculpture “remando cara o vento” located in Neda, Ferrol, and presented the exhibition “HORIZONTES DE UN TIEMPO. Revisando una época 1984-1990” in Madrid, with works from the series, “ferroetecido” and “tecido e tensión”.

In the same year, he directed the workshops: “Movement and trajectory” (brought about by natural elements), exploring paths of expression through ephemeral works and actions in nature, using large pieces of recycled glass over a marsh. Also “Transfer and displacement” (brought about by human intervention/action) using organic elements such as vines to transform a vineyard, strengthening an idea of emptiness, and thus symbolizing the constant emigration from Galicia. Both activities were held within the course A PAISAXE REINVENTADA, Land Art Workshops of the Pazo de Mariñán, under the Local Government of A Coruña.

Another of the workshops he directed was: “The sea; continent and content” whose objective was to observe and reflect upon man and the environment, with the intention of later achieving something creative. Activity carried out for the “taller del artista” of the Unión Fenosa Contemporary Art Museum (MACUF), in A Coruña.

At the beginning of 2006, the A Coruña Training and Resources Centre invited him to the course “Approach to Land Art. Artistic creation “in” and “with” nature”, to talk about his experience and personal and professional results in theb Land Art Workshop given in the Pazo de Mariñán. On this occasion, he presented documentary videos of the two interventions he made in this workshop..

The work entitled “Mayday”, in 2007, was an experiment that sought to contribute new elements to public debate, based on works that speak of territory, of emigration and of collective memory. They are pieces made using pre-existing industrial materials, containing marks and data that deliberately locate us in the present continuous.

He collaborated with two specific facilities in the Cantón Grande, for a campaign on responsible consumption, organised and directed by the City Council of A Coruña.

In January 2008, he won an award in the competition for ideas to be carried out on the Monument to Victims of O Portiño, promoted by the Committee for the Recovery of A Coruña’s Historical Memory, with the collaboration of the City Council of A Coruña and the sponsorship of the Ministry of Presidency. It is a work made from sheet steel, lead and light, symbolizing the attempted escape of a hundred people by sea from O Portiño and the subsequent shooting of some of them, by Francoist repression.

He designed the honorary institutional sculpture for the Committee for the Recovery of A Coruña’s Historical Memory.

In the summer of 2010 made a large retrospective exhibition “past and future” in Exhibition Kiosk Alfonso, in A Coruña. The exhibition is a selection of significant pieces and video documentaries and public ephemeral work, which reflects the evolution from painting to a certain conceptual than the earth, iron, or glass, and social commitment to his work mark.

“Women wall” 2011, is a symbolic tribute to a group of women who, in the most repressive years of Franco, were at the gates of the jail in A Coruña to prevent the ride of political prisoners. Installation in Prison for the Project.

Radio Buguina in Ferrol in 2013, performs “Dignity Load” action and intalacion of popular artistic complaint, at the gate of Navantia.

ntinues to provide workshops: one of these, “Look Brocos” 2016 (at the Museum of Fine Arts of A Coruña), takes as thread the versatile sculptor, poet and musician Isidoro Galician Brocos. The creative act (work of art), was forged on a tour of the city … whose descriptive result was reflected in installation and audio visual. Part of the soundtrack of the video is “Muiñeira piano, A Coruña 1910” composition written by the artist, edited by Galanobradoiro for this occasion.

At present, he is working in his workshop in A Coruña, developing large-format works, especially with metal and glass.

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