In each of these 20 never before seen “unorthodox” drawings by Artur Barrio that Galeria Millan is displaying, we can perceive the roots of the artist's thought. Questions such as ephemerality, incompleteness, organicity, inconformism and so many others that underlie his artworks are imprinted onto these boxes of about 70 x 80 x 10 cm, with formal results so peculiar to his leitmotiv, that they can quickly be identified as “Barrio”.
In this new series, there are indications of other dates on the drawings when they refer to earlier works. “Any one of Barrio's artworks can be considered an anti-composition, inasmuch as it does not aspire to a unique resolution, and it always counts on the dynamics of the materials, on the fluidity of transformation, and on the participation of the other interactive sequence: the human one, the visiting one”, writes the critic Adolfo Montejo Navas.
Some of the materials he uses in his drawings, such as coffee, indian laquer etc. can be linked to the “situations”, interventions in public spaces for which the artist became famous from the 60s onward and which put forward an artistic program considered “more than ethical, fundamentally political and which still seems admirable today for its high degree of radicalness and accuracy” as defined by Carlos Basualdo.
Barrio's work is characterized by action and it has been constructed through an extensive universe of unusual materials – meat, salt, excreta, bread etc. “In the 60s and 70s, Barrio's activity could be compared to a soldier in an art guerrilla warfare, seeking for the nomadism of streets, squares and deserted locations to “exhibit” works with no signature (for example, bags of stale bread), genuine booby traps for the salons and their juries,” writes art critic Frederico Morais. From the 70s on, however, the artist started to record his actions through photograph and audiovisual methods, including 8mm film. He also took up drawing again. Both of these activities allowed us to recover his creative process and gave origin to his Notebook Books and Object- books.