‘Silvia Lerín, From Metallorum Alchemy (On the alchemy of metals)’. Text from catalog CASA DE VELAZQUEZ edited by ‘Casa de Velázquez’. 2021.
SILVIA LERÍN, FROM METALLORUM ALCHEMY
(ON THE ALCHEMY OF METALS)
The granting of the prestigious Velázquez Scholarship to Silvia Lerín, the result of the collaboration agreement between the Valencia City Council and the French institution Casa de Velázquez, in Madrid, is, without a doubt, a well-deserved recognition of her fruitful and successful artistic career. Despite her youth, she has already been awarded numerous prizes and has enjoyed scholarships and stays in the United States and the United Kingdom, since 2013.
Throughout her artistic evolution, Silvia Lerín has produced works of painting, sculpture, engraving, or installations, with an unquestionable mastery of different techniques. I have followed her career very closely since the collective exhibition Room Art as an artist and art critic (Centre del Carme, València, 2013) joined us, from which I want to highlight and value her solid and coherent work.
Precisely, the project, Oxide, presented for this scholarship, stems from the Copper skin series, started in 2019. A title that refers to that small film of oxidation that is created on metal surfaces and that –a priori – could recall the decadence or abandonment of the passage of time and the fragility of the materials, but that, far from that preconceived idea, of that oxidation, an amazing and beautiful tonal gradation arises, full of nuances, which the artist herself Remember your current personal situation. Silvia Lerín works mainly on geometric abstraction, with different materials: acrylics on canvas or paper, tubes, rods and copper plates or fabrics, with which she investigates, experiments and plays with the different shades and textures, the result being enormously rich. visual and plastic.
For her stay at Casa de Velázquez, the artist has made a series of engravings, in collagraph, a technique that allows experimenting with gluing or assembling, on the support, materials that can be inked and printed. To carry out the works, different materials are adhered to the engraving matrix. On this support, Silvia Lerín experiments again, tries again, looking for the effect of the oxidation of metals on the surface of the work –such as her skin-, emerging pieces with a surprising and fascinating color range. During the creative process, she applies a layer of acrylic paint, with metallic effects, and works on the plate with a mixture of intaglio inks to then make the stamping. The result is a rich visual game of textures and glazes, with a suggestive finish of metallic reflections, different in each work. She uses a 300-gram paper, 100% cotton, of a natural white that does not alter the final result of the engraving.
Geometry is once again present in these proposals by Silvia Lerín. On this occasion, the protagonist is a circle formed by joining two halves of paper, which are glued in their central part, thus emerging a small elevation or crest. An interesting axis of symmetry that visually balances the work and that, painted lightly in the joining area, provides shadows, dynamism and a subtle metallic reflection to each exemplar.
In this series, Oxide, Silvia Lerín investigates the alchemy of colors that result from the oxidation of metals such as copper, bronze or brass, corrosion that creates a fine patina and that the artist, creating a visual game or optical effect, experiment and create based on tests, until you get some colors typical of the oxidation or degradation of metals and that oscillate, with small, but beautiful and poetic nuances, between the vibrant and luminous shades of turquoise blue and the lively and energetic verdigris or verdigris and that give an enormous quality and personality to this project.
President of the Valencian Association of Art Critics. 2021