This exhibition presents photographs by Jo Farb Hernández documenting the monumental art environments of eight self-taught artists from across Spain. Comprised of intriguing and idiosyncratic sculptures, gardens, and buildings, the sites developed organically without formal architectural or engineering plans. Often highly fanciful and colorful, they are frequently characterized by incongruous juxtapositions. This is the result of the artists finding inspiration in their surroundings and making do with what is available. The creative process of these artists is always ongoing and improvisational, and the spaces they create are at once evolving and complete.
Jo Farb Hernández is the director of the Thompson Art Gallery at San José State University and of the Spaces archives. She began studying art environments in 1974. In the course of this project, she crisscrossed Spain from 2000 to 2014, traveling tens of thousands of kilometers to meet and interview the artists and document their work. She is also the author of the accompanying volume Singular Spaces.
Jo Farb Hernández on Extraordinary Spanish Art Environments
Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments is organized and circulated by the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery in the Department of Art and Art History at San José State University, San Jose, California. The exhibition was made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Natalie and James Thompson Endowment. Additional funds for the accompanying book were provided by SPACES – Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments, Katie and Drew Gibson, the Robert and Florence Slinger Fund at the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, and an anonymous donor. The Los Angeles presentation was sponsored in part by Evelyn Meyer.