60 White announces “Too Loud a Solitude / Una Soledad Demasiado Ruidosa”, the first solo presentation of work by acclaimed Spanish painter Rafa Macarrón in New York City. On view from May 20 through the summer of 2023, the show will inaugurate 60 White, the new exhibition space founded by Lio Malca, with the debut of large-scale paintings inspired in part by Macarrón’s recent visits to the city. The works evoke the vibrancy and grit of New York while responding to the distinctive architecture of the space.
For this exhibition, Macarrón has created bold, monumental paintings that bring a new rawness and heightened intensity to his well-known visual language. The artist traveled to New York to spend time inside 60 White, using it as a studio. This permitted him to directly engage with the site’s unique architectural features, including original exposed brick and dramatic walls reaching as high as 35 feet. Populated by stylized figures of enlarged proportions, these works encourage viewers to engage in a profound reflection of the human condition.
Taken together, the works in the exhibition pay tribute to the post-war Spanish masters, such as Antoni Tàpies and Manolo Millares, whose practices navigated the complexities and tumultuous contradictions of a rapidly changing world. These artists, like Macarrón, were dedicated to exploring new modes of expression by questioning the boundaries of art, pulling from Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and classic Spanish traditions to develop striking visual languages that spoke to their reality.
Macarrón’s deep knowledge of art history allows him to contextualize his work within the canon. His refined technical ability allows him to borrow effortlessly from the styles and techniques of masters like Jean Dubuffet, Antonio Saura, and Philip Guston. Maccarón’s textured and layered surfaces pay homage to Dubuffet’s Art Brut, which also inspires the artist’s approach to storytelling. References to Saura’s and Guston’s bold colors are constants in Macarrón’s paintings. He is also unequivocally an admirer of Picasso, as are most European contemporary artists, who look to the iconic Spanish artist for inspiration.
Macarrón draws from a deep knowledge of art history gleaned through his lifelong exposure to the art world. His parents were not only art collectors but also architects, and were integral to his approach to depth and space, as seen in his large-scale works. His grandfather, who collected art and sold art supplies, gave Macarrón consistent access to materials to capture his observations.
As a self-taught artist, Macarrón challenges artistic convention and traditional academic ideals. He works across various art forms, including painting, sculpture, and craft, in a process that is fluid, spontaneous, and all-encompassing. Conjuring fantastical worlds and characters, Macarrón’s art celebrates color, texture, and form while telling stories that illuminate contemporary life in all its complexity.