TO Gallardo

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"The 'weavism' of
To Gallardo"
by Ester Xargay



To Gallardo continues stringing the painting with the entrepreneurial needle that defines her. Her art is growing with great depth of research, with which she moulds a peculiar language, which gives her work a glossary of plastic and textile findings, with which she creates her own artistic repertoire, increasingly wide. The sum of the –isms could be qualified as personal “weavism”.

The originality of To’s artistic creation lies in knowing how to use painting and sewing tools, dominating these two practices and having the talent to merge the techniques by removing the functional parts from one of them to add the aesthetic parts of the other. In this way, in each work To Gallardo creates a new experiment and she accumulates the experience and the relationship between the components. The result is an accumulation of sums and subtractions that sew up a rich and plural range of pictorial styles nourished of textile fibres.

In this way, To Gallardo weaves, paints and undoes, applies paste and emborideries, strips the paint and lightens fabrics, traces lines and stretches out threads, and a whole range of actions, in an elaborate and laborious artistic work. Her works breathe courage and sagacity in regard to the choice and combination of colour; they emanate freshness and taste for the game. And nor is there a lack of humour, which appears on each piece as winking unexpectedly, either in the form of random threads, apparently unleashed within a composition, perhaps as a small thickness of yellow making backstitch on a buttonhole, among many other possible ways that the artist combines with ability to surprise.

We are talking about the To of openwork clippings in painting, such as emancipated threads on painted fabrics with shining colours, confusing threads that dovetail in curves; To, the one who sews with buttonhole stitching or who makes buttonholes sewn up that takes a look like smiling eyes on colourful fabrics; To, the one who uses brocades and chiffons, which by fluffy accumulation, are transformed into buns and tassels pleasent to touch.

This is the fabric on the canvas, an art that brings us closer to the aesthetics of the artists collective "Support/Surface", who give the same importance to the used materials and processes as to the result of the work, giving priority to the practice of painting from the will of expression. This is the art with which To Gallardo deals in her day-to-day life in the workshop, in the study where she energically makes her visual and tactile lexicon, with a whole repertoire of seams and threads, paint and items from her daily chores.

And it is exactly how the painting has to be understood, just as a fact in itself. The painting of To Gallardo –well-endowed with ingenuity and ability to combine elements and colours– is a convincing pictorial fact expressed with a force that refuses all kinds of smooth interpretations. And it is to this that I dedicate this poem that arose in relation to the work of Antoni Tàpies:

El solc del qual
reté la violència
de l’embat dins
la matèria
grisa, concavitat
plàstica que marca la tela,
petja d’un gest
sense ira, sinó
amb força, ni cap
finalitat, sinó
-buit del dir, ple
de l’acte capit-,
ni fe,
ans no res,
sinó ésser.