1961Born in Barcelona, Spain
1981-84Bachelors in Fine Art, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, USA. Merit Scholarship, Summa Cum Laude.
1983New York Studio School, Foreign Program,Tanger, Morrocco.
1985Merit Scholarship, Cleveland Art Institute, Foreign Program, Lacoste, France.
1985-86Merit & Teaching Scholarship, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.
1986-88Merit Scholarship, Masters in Fine Art, Pratt Institute, New York, USA.
Ana Corberó is the fourth generation representative of a family of Barcelona artists & master artisans. Her great grandfather worked with Gaudí for his wrought iron designs and had a trio with Pau Casals. Her grandfather was Spain’s topmost liturgical artisan, and her father is a sculptor whose work can be seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Knowing that she had to be a painter and an artist from the age of four, when she won her first national award, she wisely realized that seedlings cannot thrive in the shade of specimen trees, and given the fact that the elders actually disapproved of her choice, she eschewed the known environment to foster what would become her own artistic voice.
Corberó won several merit Scholarships to study in the US, and France, and has lived in Dallas, Philadelphia, New York, London, Paris, and Beirut, and has held exhibitions in private and public galleries in seven countries and fourteen cities.
Her work, which includes a variety of mediums (oil painting, drawing, ceramics, bronze sculpture, poems, installations, collages) may appear eclectic at first glance, but is thoroughly cohesive in its rigour to illuminate consciousness and reveal essentials and archetypes, always applying the ethos of economy of means with deep, if irreverent, knowledge of the craft of a given medium.
All of Corberó works share a consistent ‘vocabulary’ however disparate the form may be. It is as if, throughout the years the artist has build a kind of visual vocabulary or language, where the individual elements are the nouns and the backgrounds, pedestals, illusion of space and light are the verbs. The iconic elements appear, reconfigured or rediscovered; the child, the head, the bowl, the clouds, the gaping holes, the plants, the boat, etc. as the precise, fulgent, temporal & immanent light or darkness illuminates and envelops all. Corbero’, if pushed for a self-descriptive label, ruefully describes her art as ‘religious’.
Obviously the description is meant to imply the psychological and emotional constructs and archetypes relating so intimately to the history of human development and not a specific divine agenda. Certainly the first art was religious, and the two drives, the creative and the numinous, are intertwined from the beginning of time. Her work is no nostalgic or revivalist version of the spiritual in art though, but rather an understanding of its meaning as Marcel Duchamp so accurately expressed it: making art “is a shamanistic activity”. From whence wededuce that its underlying aim is to create consciousness. Beyond the conceptual, the work of Ana Corberó is based on knowledge & observation.
The means tend to be simple and based, and in this age of shortcuts, this is a knowledge acquired and hone d slowly and patiently over time. This break form the Modern tradition, is again no revivalist arts & crafts position, but rather a universal understanding of the profound value and rarity of synthetic knowledge.
1979 | Cadaqués Center, Drawings, Barcelona, Spain.
1986 | Gallery 24, Paintings & Works on Paper London. UK.
1988 | Albemarle Gallery, Paintings, London. UK.
1989 | Pratt Institute, Installation, New York. USA.
1990 | Albemarle Gallery, Paintings, London. UK.
1991 | Galeria Alejandro Sales, Paintings, Barcelona, Spain.
1991 | Galeria San Jordi, Olot, Paintings Girona, Spain.
1992 | Galeria Antonio Casanovas, Paintings, Barcelona, Spain.
1993 | Long & Ryle Arts International, Paintings, London, UK.
1993 | Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Ceramics, London, UK.
1994 | Kristy Stubbs Gallery, Paintings, Dallas, USA.
1995 | Long & Ryle Arts International, Paintings & Sculpture, London, UK.
1997 | 'See for Yourself', work in progress
1997 | Edition of 'Poscards for Every Occasion'
1997 | Jools Holland's touring piano
1998 | Kristy Stubbs Gallery, Sculpture, Dallas, USA.
1999 | 'Hearts/Beating for Peace', Urban Sculpture Proposal, B.C. D, Beirut, Lebanon.
1999 | Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Collages, London, UK.
2002 | Opening of Maus Haus, permanent exhibition of Furniture & Lighting, Beirut, Lebanon.
2003 | Sculpture & Design Proposal of Spanish Embassy Garden, Intl. Gardens, B.C. D., Beirut, Lebanon. 2004 Maus Haus, permanent exhibition, Barcelona, Spain.
2004 | 'Elegia Etrusca', Paintings for the Tuscan Sun Festival, Cortile San Agostino, Cortona, Italy.
2005 | '1001 Lagrimas' Instituto Cervantes, Paintings, Beirut, Lebanon.
2005 | 'The Future is Small' , Instituto Cervantes, Public Sculpture, Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey.
2006 | '1001 Tears', 16 paintings & a poem, Napa Valley Museum, California, USA.
2006 | 'The Future is Small/Universal Totems', Tuscan Sun Festival, Cortona, Italy.
2006 | 'Olele', 9 collages for 18m2 wall of Toro, Beirut , Lebanon.
2006 | 'Buddito Gold', Fennel,Beirut, Lebanon.
2006 | 'The Future is Small', Public Procession & 3 Sculptures, Saifi Village, Beirut Central District.
2007 | 'Universal Totems/The Future is Hybrid', sculpture, Singapore Tyler Print Institute,Singapore.
2008 | 'The Future is Small', sculpture, poems & video, Cervantes Institute,Tokio.
2009 | 'The Prodigal Daughter', drawings, paintings, design, installation,Galería Alejandro Sales, Barcelona, Spain.
2010 | 'Prickly Pear Poems, Truce & Strife',Blurb.com.
2011 | 'Cocina La Pajarita',Blurb.com.
2012 | 'Petered Patter Poems',Blurb.com
2012 | Al Andalus Connect, www.facebook.com/yalla.ole
2012 | ‘Manolo & Sole’, a gypsy wedding, book of photographs, Blurb.com
2012 | Starts ‘Pirate Art Project’, photography & installation
2013 | ‘Olele Redux’, collages, Musee de la Tauromachie, Nimes
2013 | ‘I & I = Us’, installation, sculpture, poetry, and audiovisual works, collaboration with Gustavo Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut Thomas (Butoh) and Sarah Sarhandi (viola & music composition)
2013 | 'Premises of Desire', drawing, painting, sculpture, video, B.I.E.L., Beirut, Lebanon.
2013 | ‘The Art of Seeing’, a pro-bono drawing workshop, Beirut Souks
2013 | Production and lyrics of ‘I & I = Us’ CD with the collaboration of various artists
Cadaqués Center, Drawings, Barcelona, Spain | 1979
Meadows Museum, Dallas, USA. | 1984
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, USA. | 1986
Crescent Gallery, Dallas,USA. | 1987
Sotheby's for the Chelsea Arts Club, London, UK. | 1989
Galeria Alejandro Sales, Barcelona, Spain. | 1992
Long & Ryle, London, UK. | 1994
Galeria Alejandro Sales, Barcelona, Spain. | 1994
London Art Fair, London, UK. | 1994
Chicago Art Fair, Chicago, USA. | 1994
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK. | 1994
Fundacio J.Llorens Artigas, Ceramics, Gallifa, Barcelona, Spain. | 1994
The McKinney Avenue Contemporary Museum, Dallas, USA. | 1995
Galerie Wurtle, Vienna, Austria. | 1995
Musee Sursock, Beirut, Lebanon. | 1995
Long & Ryle, London, UK. | 1996
Centre Culturel Français, Design for Table Rase, Beirut, Lebanon. | 1996
Artishow, Design, Beirut, Lebanon. | 1997
Idex Fair, Young Designers, Design, Beirut, Lebanon. | 1997
Baby 2000, Exhibition & Auction, Christie's, London, UK. | 1999
Design Biennale, St. Etienne, France. | 2001
Design Biennale, St. Etienne, France. | 2003
Worldstock.com, USA. | 2003
Designers Exhibition, National Museum, Beirut, Lebanon. | 2004
Design Fair, Istanbul, Turkey. | 2004
'Inflatable Hammam', Aquatektur worshop, American University, Beirut, Lebanon. | 2004
'Let there be Light', Fennel Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon. | 2004
Permanent design exhibition, Obegi Better Home, Beirut, Lebanon. | 2005
Permanent design exhibition, Balima, Saifi , Beirut, Lebanon. | 2006
'Turtle' curated by M. Shamberg, Chelsea Collegeof Art & Design gallery, London, UK. | 2006
'Turtle 2' Nüans gallery, Düseldorf, Germany. | 2007
'Us & Them', installation, Napa Valley Museum, Yountville,USA. | 2007
'Turtle 3', installation, New York, USA.2009 'Cajón de Sastre, espíritu del 85', Galería Alejandro Sales,Barcelona, Spain. | 2008
'Turtle', http://www.turtlesalon.com,Paris, France.2010'Toreador', http://expositiontoreador.blogs.midilibre.com,Nîmes, France.2011'Toreador', Plaza de Toros de 'Las Ventas',Madrid, Spain.2011'AquaTektur Workshop', with Hansgrohe,Black Forest, Stuttgart, Germany.2011Selected, with Nabil Gholam, for the Mies European architectral prize for Casilla La Pajarita,Barcelona, Spain. 2012 Turtle Salon, Hardy Tree Gallery, London, U.K. | 2010
Turtle Salon, Gray Area Gallery, Coventry, U.K. | 2012
Stroke of Genius, traveling exhibition, U.K. | 2012
'Toreador', Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain 2012 'Toreador', Paris, France | 2012
'Toreador', Seville, Spain | 2012
Aquatektur 6 Worshop, Axor Hans Grohe, Schilltach, Germany | 2012
Selected, with Nabil Gholam, for the Mies European architectural prize for Casilla La Pajarita | 2012
'Toreador', Brussels, Belgium | 2013
'Toreador', Milan, Italy | 2013
Toreador', Valencia, Spain | 2013
‘Premises of Desire’ C.D., with Sarah Sarhandi, Pedro Marin, Jools Holland, Oliver Poole, Davo Bryant, and others creating music for selected poems. | 2013
‘Appropriation’ video, lyrics & live performance for Sarah Sarhandi’s FOUND, King Cross, London | 2013
What the critics say, some excerpts
Ana Corberó left Barcelona to study art in Texas, speaking only Catalan. She has lived, like an expensive label, in New York, London and Paris, but has now alighted in Beirut, a butterfly on hot sand. It's in Beirut that she produced the work for her forth London exhibition.Hers is an abstract cocktail of innocence and terrible knowledge, seen through the eyeglass of the Surrealist, and all mixed together by a brilliant artisan. The viewer's imagination is swept through the various realms of consciousness; dreams meet history, half-memories are completed in fictional form. Layers of paint divide, smother and bleed into each other."Truly Not Really", the title of Ana's exhibition at Long & Ryle from 24 May to 24 June, is described by her as a 'pictopoem, or fairy tale in images' told through oil paintings and ceramics. The heroine of this visual epic makes her way from the 'archetypal cursed birth and continues with trials, reprieves, transformation and eventual release'. The series of paintings, with expressive titles like: Honor Thy Father and Patience for Vengeance, where inspired by Masereel's A Novel in 120 Woodcuts.
Me senté en la esquina de los sueños para ver pasar sus poemas de colores;telas que nos cuentan jardines siluetadoscontra la luz combada de la discreta luna;bosques que el viento vuela en verdes yocres, abandonando vellones de matices enlas zarpas de acebuches anortados; niños parados en la maravilla…En sus manerasdesoladas, en sus desórdenes amables yemotivos, pinceladas hondas-y-frías-se-clavan cual dardo y un aire-sutil-peligroso-asoma. Belleza y paradoja.
Ana Corberó can certainly paint. And the best of these little paintings are very convincing. They are arranged as a mythic fairy-tale sequence through life -from an accursed birth, through trials, reprieves and transformations, to release. The sequence starts with a girl child -a plump female putto, painted in sepia on a gold background- forcing her way out of the enclosing womb. Immediately she is subject to patriarchal authority, represented by by a cobra ready to strike from a dark brown background. ‘Mother’s love’represented by a single cherry on a white plate, offers small comfort. What makes this image so powerful is its minimalism. The cherry and plate are observed as keenly as objects in a seventeen-century Dutch still-life and carry as much symbolic meaning. But they float on a heavily worked ground that is more akin, in its physicality, to a Robert Ryman - to post-war painting about painting. The juxtaposition of the two ways of working (the representational and metaphoric with the literal and immediate) is extremely effective - intelligent and concise.
It is in the silence of the studio and loneliness of the mind where no one can observe the real processes of visualization and where the dream can sweep away all obstacles and restraints. It is here that Ana Corberó’s paintings take on those ‘uncanny signs’ in which so much of the real world disappears and almost anything is substituted by the artist’s imagination.
Corberó was born in Barcelona in 1961. While it is possible that Surrealism has had some influence on her work it relies more noticeably on what is now called ‘Abstract Surrealism’ which we find in Miró, Masson and Matta rather than the more academic illusionist approach followed by Magritte, Dalí and Delvaux.
She achieves the non-illusionist structure of her painting with color nuances and texture on which she incorporates sly interference, capricious couplings and freakish enticements. A necessary step towards the appreciation of her work is the realization that at all stages it involves a process of intervention in which a major role is the revelation produced by by successive layers of color, overlapping and sometimes bleeding into each other so as to unlock the hidden images. There is an intriguing tension between passivity on the one hand and conscious control on the other, the paintings have a feeling of love and fragility and despair. In all her works it is important to remember that an incomplete explanation is no less persuasive for leaving certain questions unanswered.
Although there are exceptions, most of her paintings are based upon a purely subjective inspiration in which images correspond directly to a given mood. They evoke a feeling that comes into being while she paints, a constant source of expectancy and transition, that intense striving to discover the common roots of a personal and collective unconscious.
Sculptures (Spanish Version) Many works of contemporary art seem to exist mainly through their relationship with the viewer who will be challenged, provoked and sometimes dominated. Paradoxically, that same work is only meaningful and alive through its dependence on the confrontational gaze of the spectator.
The sculptures of Ana Corberó are of a different kind. They do not depend on the viewer’s subjective, knee-jerk response. They are not strident manifestoes awaiting a public. They are self-sufficient, humble yet authoritative monuments dedicated to reconciliation with the universe. The viewer is not here to validate, only to bear witness.
This process does not protect from loneliness, but alternatively it does bring freedom from all alienating links, whether familiar or societal. It offers the opportunity for a peaceful confrontation with a world that retains all its mystery. But here, the mystery seems to have lost its edge of anguish.
These sculptures let us see a snap-shot of benevolent eternity, where the tragic dimension of life has been put to one side. The unifying forces of the cosmos take on a simple and earthy expression only to better enphasize the irrelevant diversity among individuals.
“Life is probably round”, Van Gogh once wrote. Here this vital principle is expressed with great metaphoric eloquence through the pedestals, revealed to be more significant and more durable than the figures or the occurences they support, although it is the figures that give them their scale and thus their meaning.
In such a world, the motivations of individuals are of no importance. The only matter is the fullness of the moment, the instant in which the evil or even mediocre aspects of our lives are as good as obliterated by the radiance of being. Genuine existence is the heart of the matter. This means plenitude, hope, reciprocity and wonder – a world of children who have become as lucid as adults, but who never surrender to their compromises.