Art October 18, 2010 By Nika Knight

filler29 Antonio Ballester Moreno

Installation View. Photography courtesy of Peres Projects.

Installation View. Photography courtesy of Peres Projects.

filler29 Antonio Ballester Morenoanti title2 Antonio Ballester Moreno
While the writings of William Morris, a key figure in the 19th-century Arts & Crafts Movement, provided the jumping-off point for Spanish artist Antonio Ballester Moreno’s current show, ANTI, at Peres Projects in Berlin, Moreno’s works are anything but retrogressive. Moreno’s colorful, folk-art-inspired paintings focus on the keenly contemporary idea of a sustainable life, in response to the obvious damage and limitations of the industrialized world we live in. Nature, anti-capitalism, and “the innate potential of human beings” run throughout this show, counterbalanced by Moreno’s clear questioning of the Utopianism inherent in those ideas.
     Moreno has also long focused on the truths and naivete of childhood, filtering his ideas through basic, impulsive strokes of paint as well as the bright colors we associate with children. But the simplicity of his figures belies a complex commentary on art history, our consumption of art and the place of art in our contemporary existence, in which the relationship between man and nature is harrowingly tenuous, if not entirely broken. As the gallery tells us: “His faux naïve style imparts a false sense of bucolicism, tempered by his particular brand of humor.” The second exhibition of Moreno’s at Peres Projects, ANTI presents itself to us as a beautiful double-narrative that grapples with the ways in which we think about our place in nature.

ANTI will be on display until October 30 at Peres Projects, Berlin.

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