By Álvaro de Benito | June 14, 2024

There is something structural in the Museo La Neomudéjar that allows plastic initiatives such as those of Heriberto Nieves (Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, 1957) to acquire greater meaning thanks to the dialogue with the space offered by this Madrid institution. Its industrial reminiscence contrasts and fits perfectly with the Puerto Rican artist's production, and is even necessary to understand the material plane of many of his works. In Nous sommes la terre, the exhibition he is presenting at Madrid, Nieves advocates for expressing the result of his research on climate impact through a proposal that militates the architectural and the installation, but without ignoring his plastic art in more rigid frames or sculptures and video.


On this occasion, moreover, the protagonist role of the environment also acquires a certain activism, filling the walls with botanical and organic elements that, at first glance, could lead everything towards an overly artificial iconography and industrial production. In itself, the storyline used by Nieves is nothing complex, not even creative in the sense of new, because the analysis of the human impact on nature is almost as old as its existence. However, it is in the approach to the representation where we can appreciate the qualities that the Puerto Rican artist puts at the service of expression, being able to bring together materials such as steel and gold with the organics of botany.


The latter is also positioned as a central axis, both for its conceptual relationship and its impact on the exhibition environment, seeming to direct from the sculptural installation that presides over the room all its ramification -it also serves as a literal noun- to manage those invisible threads that unite it with the metal pieces that overflow, with a certain irony, nature in the form of leaves and vegetable paths. And that could be a characteristic personal mark, a seal easily distinguishable in part of Nieves' work where, curiously enough, the use of chemical elements is also highlighted to emphasize the organic and close, it would seem, with that productive dynamic, that vicious circle of what some call the Anthropocene.


Heriberto Nieves: Nous sommes la terre can be seen until June 30 at Museo La Neomudéjar, Antonio Nebrija st, Madrid, Spain.

Related Topics