1969 Gallery is proud to announce a joint exhibition in collaboration with albertz benda, New York of works by 33-year-old Spanish painter Cristina BanBan. This comprehensive show, on view concurrently at both galleries, arrives at a pivotal moment in BanBan’s practice. Working for the first time in oil paint, BanBan will debut a new body of canvases and works on paper made over the past year furthering her exploration of the personal through exaggerated depictions of the female form.
Allegorical in scope, BanBan’s newest work departs from overt narrative content while maintaining her interest in autobiographical themes. Their emotive compositional spaces communicate moods derived from the artist’s memories and private experiences. Coded personal symbols such as the stalks of Spanish wheat in Tres dones descansant al Delta or kitchen tiles in La pena de Pilar are suggestive of a nostalgic longing for home, while the studio table lurking in the dense background of Sentadita te pensaba may refer to feelings of creative anxiety or doubt.
BanBan’s densely layered brushstrokes and large, distorted bodies advance her characteristic style and reveal an emergent, still-evolving formal language developing in response to the material properties of oil paint. Influenced by Frank Auerbach, Lucian Freud and Joaquin Sorolla, this new body of work displays a darker, more complex consideration than has been previously rendered.
The works are permeated with a sense of bereavement and vulnerability, reflecting a year of cultural and political unpredictability and disruption. The figures’ hands and feet are inflated and warped, at times resulting in moments of alluring abstraction as they weave through space, often domestic, dominating and uniting bodies to a point of differentiation. Visible underpainting, frenetic brushwork, dramatic drips, and smears of paint emphasize the increased tactility of the medium in contrast with the plasticity of acrylics and the airiness of soft pastels.
Brought together, these paintings catalog a range of psychological states experienced by the artist. BanBan explains, “I definitely focus on how I am feeling because that energy will dictate how the painting will look. I have to connect with myself. Painting is a very honest act for me.”
Cristina BanBan (b. 1987, Barcelona) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and is represented by 1969 Gallery, New York where she has had two solo exhibitions “24-hour booth” (January 2019) and “Tigre y Paloma” (May 2020). Recent group exhibitions include This is America, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Germany (2021); Hybrids, CFHILL, Sweden (2021); Auguries of Innocence, Fredericks & Freiser, New York (2020); Black & White vs. Color, Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles (2020); Body in Motion/Travelling Bodies, Stems Gallery, Brussels (2020); Monster/Beauty: An Exploration of the Female/Femme Gaze, Lychee One, London (2020); WOAW Gallery x Case Studyo Presents Cristina BanBan, WOAW Gallery, Hong Kong (2020); Extra, The Hole, New York (2019). Her art is held in many private collections internationally. Her work has received critical acclaim from T-Spain, The New York Times Style Magazine, Vogue Magazine (Spain, Germany), Elephant and other publications.
About 1969 Gallery
Founded in September 2016, 1969 Gallery is a contemporary art gallery devoted primarily to painting and painters. Through solo exhibitions, exhibitions worldwide and art fair presentations, the Gallery supports the practices, ideas and careers of its represented artists. Our project space broadens our work to include all contemporary art forms, emerging, mid-career and established artists, book projects and artist community-based initiatives.
About Albertz Benda
Founded in 2015 by Thorsten Albertz and Marc Benda, albertz benda is devoted to an international contemporary visual arts program featuring rediscoveries as well as introductions — from seminal figures in their field whose work warrants further exploration, to debut presentations of artists that are new to New York.