Mrs. Death
Where: Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99
Barcelona
Barcelona

Current exhibitions

Amèlia Riera

Mrs. Death
Amèlia Riera

21.07.2022 – 06.11.2022


Curator: Pere Pedrals
Opening: Thursday 21 July, 7 pm

Amèlia Riera (Barcelona, 1928-2019) was an unclassifiable artist who was a pioneer in her work from a gender perspective. Her surrealism was far removed from that of her contemporaries, and her work on fetishes and theatricalization anticipated the present time.

This exhibition revolves mainly around her most rebellious work produced between the mid 1960s and the late 1970s, a period that coincided with the late Francoist years and Spain’s transition towards democracy. It was the time when denunciation impregnated all facets of her work and she created two of her main series: the Ex-voto and the Serie Sade ones, which were key to her trajectory and earned her
fame—or infamy—as a necrophile and sadist.

While her work ranges from paintings and installations, with drawing, graphic work and even the creation of her own character in between, this exhibition shines the spotlight on her “cruel objects”, in which her constant criticism becomes more evident. A battle that not only fights against the Francoist regime, but takes aim at everything else too. This requires new readings from today’s perspective to show just how current the issues are: the subversion of archetypes used to represent women and their sexuality, a reflection on the lack of communication between heterosexual couples, the visibility of power relations, and bodily disciplining—the governed, subjugated and even expropriated body—and subjectivity. All tinged with an existentialism that was at the heart of Amèlia’s work from the very outset, and which rises to the surface here by taking a fresh look at part of her last, unrealised exhibition project, a cry about the fleetingness of life, the rapid passing of time, and “funereal vertigo”.

Amèlia Riera
"Frívola" (Frivolous), 2007
Amèlia Riera
"Electrotérmica n. 2" (Electrothermic no 2), ca. 1978
Amèlia Riera
"Dona radiografiada" (X-rayed Woman), ca. 1998
Amèlia Riera
"Eroticona n. 4 (Dolores) and n. 2 (Pura)", ca. 1968