The works of Ernesto Cánovas assert themselves as highly elegant objects in the room. In their appearance, his paintings are at first reminiscent of multi-part works consisting of large-format glazed ceramic tiles. It is likely that in this respect Cánovas was influenced by the noble Iberian-Moorish tile art which was preferably used in Spain from the 8th century onwards in order to adorn magnificent buildings, among other things. Only upon closer examination does the viewer detect the wood, forming the base, but also its textures which are used as abstract patterns for the pictorial design. At first, the subject selected from "all-round sources" is printed using an elaborate artisanal technique, before it is, in a second step, transformed into an individual artistic interpretation by applying alternating layers of resin and painting processes.
Through well-reflected cutouts, the original subjects become more meaningful and at the same time anonymised or generalised. In this way, his pictures acquire a strong symbolic power. The result is reminiscent of the slightly nostalgic and fuzzy paintings of Gerhard Richter, which also draw on the modern-day "flood of images" in order to take a critical stance on current affairs. The pictures fulfil the role of a collective memory.
As in Richter's works, not only the cutout but also the fuzziness guarantee the "general validity of the scenes"  in the works of Cánovas. This fuzziness is also an "expression of an only limited perception and experience of our reality". Moreover, in the works of Cánovas, "the anonymisation of the depicted personalities is utilised to further emphasise the openness of his pictorial inventions (or rather pictorial piracy?)" . The titles of Ernesto Cánovas' pictures are humorous to ironic-sarcastic references to the deliberately concealed context.
(Text: Sylvie Arlaud)
1] Dietmar Elger
2] excerpts from "Texte zur Kunst" by Alexandra Matzner.
Halcyon Gallery, London
Ambacher Contemporary Munich