Iván Navarro

Constellations of Fate

With this new exhibition, Ivan Navarro dives deeper into his exploration of the dichotomy humans/machines.
For the first time, his practice interweaves light, his preferred medium, with painting, a technique he has rarely dipped into until now.

Exhibition view, Constellations of Fate, TEMPLON Brussels, 2022
Exhibition view, Constellations of Fate, TEMPLON Brussels, 2022

When visitors enter the gallery space, they are immediately whisked away on a journey to the stars with a succession of constellations, nebulas and eclipses. Navarro has adopted an almost cathartic process, manually engraving then painting the inside of mirrors without their silvering with thousands of brightly coloured flashes which transform the LED light into celestial phenomena. This quest for transcendence has been at the heart of his artistic investigations since the start of the pandemic. In March 2020, forced into total isolation like the rest of the world, he turned to painting. After so many years playing with mirrors and neon lights and their perfectly delineated shapes, he took up the paint brush to experiment with all the possibilities it offers.

He contrasts the manufactured object with the arbitrary nature of the act, the uniqueness of the stroke, the fragility of the being. The astral voyage offered by the exhibition concludes with a new installation. Hand-painted constellations are scattered across the walls of the narrow room plunged into darkness. A glitter ball sculpted in the shape of planet earth spins slowly. When we observe the stars, we get to brush against the deepest secrets of the universe, the artist explains. Both sublime and faintly unsettling, these imaginary maps question our anthropocentrism, asking where the origin of our civilisations lies, where we think the place of human beings should be in a constantly expanding universe.

Nebula VII, 2022


The artist

Born in 1972 in Santiago, Iván Navarro grew up under the Pinochet dictatorship. He has lived and worked in New York since 1997. Iván Navarro uses light as his raw material, turning objects into electric sculptures and transforming the exhibition space by means of visual interplay. His work is certainly playful, but is also haunted by questions of power, control and imprisonment. The act of usurping the minimalist aesthetic is an ever-present undercurrent, becoming the pretext for understated political and social criticism.

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