Through Saturday, May 19, Art of the World Gallery – Houston’s leading gallery of modern and contemporary
art – presents The Permanent Voyage, an exhibition of more than 40 paintings by Spanish master painter CRISTÓBAL TORAL.
Toral’s career spans over five decades and two continents. His breadth of work is etched with common motifs of (cosmic) spacial awareness, varying interpretations of reality, and the unwavering and transitory nature of humanness. All of us are on a journey through life that is never truly stationary, despite the stability and permanence we sometimes feel.
His works are permeated with notions of rootlessness and chaos, but also with a tone approaching that of an eerie solitude – the pictorial realism Toral uses to display life as a state of passage. Punctuating Toral’s works are everyday objects and concepts that evoke this sense of journey: suitcases and the invisible, yet very prominent elements of time and space.
Undoubtedly, his works today evoke a political commentary on the ever-present subject of immigration– who and what belongs where and when. Other works present in the exhibition feature Toral’s greater oeuvre and ways of working. From his use of traditional diptychs and triptychs to his surreal re-imagination of the works of his forebears like Velásquez and Magritte, Toral’s use of magical realism brings classics into the modern era.