In our second solo show in Munich with the Spanish painter Santiago Ydáñez (born 1969), we present new works from his wide ranging oeuvre. The exhibition assembles paintings from the diverse work groups that constitute his work.
Ydáñez’ picture cosmos originates in his personal childhood memories. He grew up in a small Spanish village, surrounded by statues of saints and influenced by his father’s profession as hunter. Thus animals are a recurring subject in his work. He often depicts pets such as budgies, cats, dogs, horses or simply a red prawn on a white background.
After all a single prawn, fondly „portrayed“ by the artist, also stands in the tradition of historic still lives. Ydáñez’ paintings of animals seem like reductions of the opulent animal and fruit still lives of European Baroque. Some of these Spanish, Italian or Dutch old masters already treated single animals as worthwhile subjects for their paintings. One only has to think about paintings by Francisco de Goya for example.
Ydáñez’ colour scale is often very reduced and some of his works seem as if the colour had been drained out of them, as for example in an impressive winter landscape that emanates great quietude and evoke the wide Andalusian landscape.
Of exceptional poignancy are his portraits and self portraits, in where he focuses completely on the facial expression. Painted in a fast and dynamic manner, with broad brushstrokes, they grasp the essential and captivate the beholder with their glare.
Ydáñez’ work treats mostly very traditional subject matter, such as landscape, still life, portraiture, which the artist nevertheless transfers in his unique and expressive manner into presence.