El Greco serves as inspiration for photography Toledo

Veritasteksten describes images

© Dionisio González, “Toledo 4, 2013″. Cortesy Ivorypress

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Toledo bathes in creativity. In 2014 the Castillian city turns into one big work of art to commemorate the death of a versatile artist. Among the different activities organised by the city for the 400th anniversary of the death of El Greco is the photo exhibition ToledoContemporánea. The old church of San Marco is the setting for a magical, audiovisual experience.


Gigantic spectacle of modern art

Darkness covers you from the moment you enter the church. She is not threatening, but forms part of a spectacular show that starts with the giant from José Manuel Ballester. The expressionist and colourful image forms an excellent contrast with the grey-coloured giant from Michael Rovner, placed at the other extreme of the area. Through these two gigantic pieces you enter a scene in which time, image and sound unite in an imperceptible way. The  experience is complete with the music of the German artist Heiner Goebbels.

Kawauchi and the Japanese nature photography

While you are still recuperating from this experience, different landscapes appear before your eyes. Natural elements in lively colours act as main characters in the work of the Japanese artist Rinko Kawauchi. His images are so detailed and realistic that you almost want to touch the pieces to verify that these are pictures.

Crossroads nature and city in Toledo

As indicated in the article about the artistic life of el Greco, the painter was greatly attracted towards the natural elements. Kawauchi was not the only one who got inspired by this theme. Philip-Lorca Dicorcia (U.S.A) created mystical worlds with his pictures of clouded panoramas.

Layers of text and words

© Abelardo Morell, “Tent-Camera Image On Ground: General View of Toledo, Toledo, Spain, 2013″. Cortesy Ivorypress

A true masterpiece in this exhibition is the work of the Cuban Abelardo Morell. Each image consists of different levels. A layer of stone or cement is placed on top of a picture of a Toledean monument. Strangly enough, the result isn’t a chaotic composition. The second level marks the beauty that can be found in the city.The Swiss Matthieu Gafsou puts his focus on the city in another way. He highlights urbanistic elements in a natural environment with a magical light. Both Dionosio González (Spain) and the American David Maisel go into the details of the urban landscape.

El Greco’s style turns into shape

Following this line of works, you notice the artistic development of El Greco. In his painting Vista de Toledo he expresses his love for the city in a realistic, yet alienating form by adding non-existent, futuristic objects in the panoramic view of Toledo. In the images of the Brasilian Vik Muniz this combination of existent and imaginary elements returns.

Graceful descriptions of art

© Flore-aël Surun / Tendance Floue “Ruben”, from the series By the Grace, 2013
Cortesy Ivorypress.

In the commemorative work of the Argentinian Marcos López  and of Massimo Vitali (Italy) religion is important. López commemorates El Greco by presenting a carnavalesque Toledo, giving extreme attention to certain –religious- details in the life of the Toledeans. Vitali shows the city and its traditional bond with religion. For the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat the –religious- portraits of El Greco serve as inspiration. She pays attention to three ingredients which are very much present in the paintings of the Greek artist: the gestures, the devotion and the inner being of her characters. The work of Flore-aël Surun (France) brings out this inner state by the great use of light and shadow, with which the photographer shows the power as well as the vulnerability of the portrayed people.

Memorable commemoration of El Greco


ToledoContemporánea is a photo exhibition which shows the city of Toledo in all its splendour. In the past, the present as well as in the future. At the same time it is a dignified commemoration of an innovative artist: el Greco. It is a true spectacle which can still be seen till the 14th of June 2014 in the (old church) San Marcos Cultural Center.