Left: Hours II. 2005. Oil on canvas. 140 x 120 cm. Right: Out of the Blue II (Popular Capitalism). 2008. Oil on canvas. 190 x 120 cm

“Things are neither as we see them, nor as we would like them to be,” says Chema Cobo who, born in Tarifa (Cádiz) in 1952, was a founding member of the New Madrid Figuration collective formed in the 1970s. “I make metaphors out of nothing. That is the reality that my time affords me.”

Appropriately entitled Out of Frame, his first major solo showcase in a decade brings together 33 of his enigmatic works – several of them created specifically for this exhibition. While apparently serene, Cobo’s paintings are intriguingly layered with subtle innuendo, irony and illusion. And rather than being contained by them according to convention, this most cerebral of artists considers the frames that surround his works to be mere starting points instead of boundaries.


Last Supper. 2009. Oil on canvas. 160 x 290 cm

By simplifying colour to the point where his paintings become virtually transparent, one never knows whether the images are about to appear, or to disappear, thus transforming them into pure paradox where they hover somewhere in the elusive divide between reality and fiction.


Hollow. 2009. Oil on canvas. 240 x 328 cm

Awarded the Andalusian Plastic Arts Prize in 1994, Cobo’s works have been exhibited in New York’s prestigious MoMA, Japan’s Akira Ikeda, Madrid’s Reina Sofía Museum of Art and also form part of the Chase Manhattan Bank Collection. A former lecturer at the New York Art School and the Art Institute of Chicago, as if creating masterpieces such as these were not enough, Chema Cobo is an acclaimed author, too.