JORDI RAGA
Between Order and Chaos Trilogy

4 May – 9 June 2019
PREVIEW: Friday 3 May
ARTISTS TALK: Saturday 4 May

 

Messums Wiltshire is delighted to present the first UK solo show of Spanish artist and sculptor Jordi Raga. Exploring the relationship between chaos and order, Jordi’s stone carvings communicate ideas by creating situations that enable a subjective interpretation, rather than a platform for didacticism. Working in materials that retain their solid integrity and resist the erosion of elements and time, his carved sculptures embody a sort of continuity of geology: a cross-section of constant flux. His chosen materials include granite and marble and his experimentation with 3D modeling and carving processes focus on subtraction, creating a fine balance between strategy and instinct.

For Jordi a stone block equals a limit a finite possibility and a form that orders his ideas. Through a practice that places importance on technical accuracy, right angles and straight planes, his experimental sculptures attempt to strike the right balance between tension, order and structure versus chaos, surprise and irrationality. This new body of work will be shown against the dramatic backdrop of the thirteenth century barn at Messums Wiltshire: a raw space whose unique dimensions and construction techniques will provide an inspiring architecture within which to showcase materiality.

Jordi attended art school in Valencia in 1997 and following a third year Erasmus scholarship to Carrara, took up carving. At twenty-six he visited Greece and, infatuated by the historical sites and Mediterranean way of life, he stayed, working on restoration projects at the Acropolis and studying as a guest student in the Sculpture Department of the Athens Fine Arts University.

Greece and Greek culture are fascinating subjects for Jordi and the ancients’ motivations for building such wondrous architecture continue to influence his work to this day. But he also finds inspiration in medieval culture and European Christianity; the abstraction of that philosophy and an enjoyment in the idea that everything in the universe is connected and related. The experience of visiting Michelangelo’s Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli as a teenager made a lasting impression on the young artist, driving him to create the sensation of entering that space again.

For Jordi the process of carving can be a punishing one, as it pushes the maker’s body to its limits, with dust damaging the eyes and lungs. Putting distance between himself and a Romantic notion of the ‘sculptor at work’, he acknowledges the toll that stone carving takes on the body, with problems related to the weight of the material and the machines used to sculpt from it…

“My reasons to carve are purely existential. I realise that I need order to express my views on existence and what makes us human. I want to say something truthful about the nature of life by using stone, my hands and my body. I want to probe the mysteries of being alive, the possibility of transcending the self, the limits of communication, as well the cultural alienation of living abroad. The need to leave ‘something behind’ and desire to become part of something bigger also plays a part.”

Work