Irma Arestizabal, 2009

The work of Maider doesn’t shout: it whispers. It kindly forces us to re-examine our environment, our streets, our woods, our parking, and our urban behaviour code.


Maider López works in two different fields: macro space and intimate architecture.
She is known for her works in public places involving a great number of participants. Among these works we may mention Ataskoa, a great traffic jam -in which the cars were distributed by colour- on the foot of the mount Aralar, at Inza, in Navarre, in a place where there are no cars normally; in Playa en Zumaia, where López asked to the bathers to use only pink towels- the scene, photographed from the surrounding hills, gave birth to a beautiful “summer” tale; in the recent Budapest, a “river” of people with theirs open green umbrellas symbolizing the Danube, crossed the Chain Bridge; in Plaza de la Villa in Madrid- City hall Square, an austere and empty square, was filled up with chairs and tables where the public could sit on, talking and completely changing the atmosphere; in Toldos the curtains avoiding the sun-light entry, camouflage themselves with the front of the palace and create new rhythms of colours; Football Field, made up in the Square of the Art Museum of  Sharjah keeping the urban furnishing on and upsetting the space perception through superimposing one use to the other (the football field to the square).

On the other side, it’s a long time that Maider López has decided to create works between art, design and architecture, by designing tables, stools, chairs and by modifying the architecture where she exhibits in. The artist doesn’t use the places usually assigned to Art indeed, but she draws walls and floors so as she had done at the Italian Pavilion of the 51° Venice Art Biennial where the  light swinging of the parts destabilized the visitor and gave a new spatial perception to him.
Her works allows the spectator to recreate his own aesthetical experience through letting him lives the experience and bringing him to re-examine the environment around him, the streets, the cities and the houses. A simple gesture of the artist recreates the history and the internal structure of the space, as well as the aesthetical experience of the public who interacts with it, through inviting him to re-examine the context which covers and embraces the space.

The work of Maider López breaks with the idea considering the work of art to be a contemplation object: the spectator doesn’t only observe the work but he experiments it through living its complexities and its questions. He sees for the very first time, he discovers new and fresh realities and he feels the space as belonging to him.

The work López has conceived for Fondazione Volume! is based on the Spanish ceramic tradition, with strong Mudejar roots. She creates a peculiar intervention which rearranges the space. Coloured and variable sizes tiles cover the gallery’s walls and remodel the space according to a play of combinations creating a giant mural. The old becomes the new, the colour will give a new aspect and a new meaning to the place.

The inspiration comes from the azulejo, a typical ornament of the Portuguese, Italian and Spanish architecture. It’s a squared and thin ceramic tile, glazed and decorated. The azulejos are variously used: the collection of the various tiles can give form to various compositions useful to interior decorations but also to the external walls of churches, palaces, and staircases. Using the chromatic combination involving the architecture of the site as a physical and mental space, the artist rewrites the coordinates of Volume!.

López goes beyond and deconstructs the usual perception of the space, through translating and building new mobile surfaces, the doors, which can be moved at the public liking. So they become active part of the work by re-creating the morphology of the place and a labyrinth with multiple directions.

The door symbolizes the place between the known world and the unknown one, between light and darkness, presence and absence. It opens a mystery, it points a passage out and calls us to cross it.
While we visit this installation, we will play, we will experiment one of the Maider Lòpez most amusing and careful space-measurings.


Irma Arestizábal

Isabel Coixet, “38 pasos alrededor de Maider López”, Maider López/Coches,Centro Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo, Victoria, 2005.
The name probably derives from azzulleycha, which means “mosaic tessera”, but someone thinks that the term derives from azul, which in Spanish means “azure”- the predominant colour.

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