Riera i Aragó is a visual poet whose work eludes definition. A sculptor who is equally at ease in the painting studio or in the printmaker’s workshop, he has mined a deceivingly simple iconography to surprising results. Never repetitive, each machine he creates, regardless of the medium, evokes without pathos or condescension, a clear and sympathetic view of humanity.
Using a visual vocabulary limited to simple forms that recall machines outdated by their fragility and obsolete engineering, the zeppelins, submarines or aeroplanes of Riera i Aragó offer us a fecund iconography charged with meaning. Rusted hulks of submarines look as though they’ve been pulled from the depths and rescued from the corrosive element of time, aeroplanes take on qualities of machines of war, wheeled archers or defiant sentinels, each encrusted with a rich and complex patina that speaks to us with unconcealed irony of the folly in Man’s creations and the poetic justice that results when such creatures bite the hand of their creators.
Since 1973 Riera i Aragó has exhibited widely in Spain, Europe and the US, with his last show at Michael Dunev Art Projects being in 2005. Parallel to his current retrospective at the Modern Art Museums of Céret and Collioure (Roussillon, France) he presents a selection of sculpture, paintings and works on paper that provide the viewer with a glimpse into the rich world of one of Catalonia’s most recognisable artists.