By Porta Zush
Fussy man, 1964
Hungry for a confusing but rewarding identity crisis? Then head to the Fundació Suñol and squint, shrug, then smile your way through ‘Porta}Zush. 1961-1979’, a modest but worthwhile exhibition showing over 100 mostly hitherto undisplayed works from the formative years of Catalan artist(s) Evru/Zush/Porta. “Who?”, you might ask.
The artist born as Albert Porta (Barcelona 1946) has died and been reborn as other personalities several times. In 1968, Porta spent three months in a mental hospital where a fellow patient called the young artist Zush, an identity Porta was later born into. Evru, who wasn’t born until 2001, has no material in this show.
Works include Porta’s Erofood suite: ‘Erotica and the destruction of the banal’, a sexually charged multimaterial romp through the “eroticism of the palate”. Lots of tongues, breasts and difficult-to-identify anatomy, plus a little silverware. The suite includes two plaster sculptures of what appear to be modified dressmaking models (his mother was a fashion designer). One has a snake or tentacle (or, quoting the leaflet, “a phallic protuberance”) growing where a head might be. Yum!
Most striking is the way the artist worked in diverse media with such a high level of quality, often during the same period. Collages (my favourite) and black-lit psychedelic paintings seem to call for an entirely different skill set than the sculptures shown a few steps away. No matter who signed the piece, they’re all worth a look.
-- Gabe Abeyta Canepa
How Gabe rates the show: Four out of five
Until June 27th
Passeig de Gràcia 98, Tel. 93 496 1032