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Thursday, July 11, 2013

TREES: HUGO FONTELA Art Exhibit

reporter: Miguel Dominguez



On May 10th at the Gabarrón Carriage House Center for the Arts, highly esteemed Spanish artist Hugo Fontela presented 'Trees', an exhibit of paintings depicting the plant world.

Brothers Cris and Juán Gabarrón with artist Hugo Fontela in the middle

In the works of Hugo Fontela it's not easy to demarcate the limits between abstraction and figuration. His works are based on the image of a place, usually a landscape that he has accidentally discovered, which has impressed and excited him. He will analyze and memorize the picture and then create a scenario in his mind in which the memory of what has impressed him takes shape slowly until it is captured on canvas or paper.



The artist collects clippings, photographs and old books that have some relation to the image he is working in his memory. These materials, sometimes simple scratches or paint stains that distort the image, suggest to him something different. Fontela is looking at the strange, weird and unusual in these materials. He aims to build a picture in which the unreal is the essential. Fontela wants to create a new reality and deliver the image that has thrilled and excited him to the viewer.

Angelica Intriago with Hugo Fontela

Hugo Fontela was born in Grado, Principality of Asturias, in 1986. Already as a child, he was always interested in drawing and painting, but it was not until 2001, at 14 years of age, and thanks to Asturian artist Amado Hevia “Favila”, that he accessed the School of Arts and Crafts of Avilés. There he learnt to paint in an academic fashion, something that gained him an Extraordinary Award for the Merit in the Arts granted to the most outstanding pupils. In 2004 he decided to study at The Art Students League, in New York. Already in the United States, he was granted the BMW Award for Painting in 2005, one of the most prestigious awards in Spain, which he received in Madrid from the hands of HM Queen Sophia. After receiving this important award, he was invited to the XVIII Painting Biennial of Zamora. In 2007, he was granted the Award to Best Artist at the graphic art fair ESTAMPA, an award granted by the Art Critics Association of Madrid. In 2011, Barcelona and Asturias have been chosen as the two locations to host two large exhibitions of his work. The Museum Montserrat displays an exhibition including his whole American works, and it was officially opened by the Prince and Princess of Asturias, while the Niemeyer Centre in Avilés shows the exhibition “Niemeyer by Fontela”.

Since 2005 he lives and works in Manhattan

Cris and art advisor/curator Fran Kaufman with artist Hijo Nam,
a previous exhibitor at the Gabarrón Foundation

Despaña Caterers provided all the refreshments including the fine Spanish wines






Hugo, Angelica and Penny Trenk with friend on the left

Fermín Iberico ham was the featured hors d'oeuvre









Cris, Fran, Bibiana Aido and Hugo 

Penny samples the delicious cheeses



Artist Hijo Nam



The Gabarrón brothers

The Gabarron Foundation – Carriage House Center for the Arts is a non-profit organization and an exclusive international center specializing in art exhibitions and cultural activities. Its main objective is the promotion of culture, making this multicultural space a benchmark in the City of New York. Since 2002 the Carriage House has aspired for excellence as a platform for the propagation of Hispanic culture in the United States. The organization promotes exchange and understanding between cultures, providing a space for interaction and enhanced appreciation of emerging and established cultural figures from a diverse palette of countries.


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