Fundacion Sansó and Galerie Stephanie present “Once in a Blue Moon,” a joint exhibit between Juvenal Sansó and Madrid artist Cristina Gamón. This exhibition will run until September 23, 2023 at Fundacion Sansó. Curated by Fundacion Sansó director Ricky Francisco, the exhibition is a visual dialogue between Sansó and Gamón. It also shows the similarities between the two artists, who are both Spanish-born. Going beyond their nationalities, there are parallelisms in their art, specifically their experimentations on painting.
The first half of the show, located on the ground floor gallery, focuses on Sansó’s cliché verre, his series of paintings on photographic slides, which he did during the 1970s-80s.
His earlier slides were scratched, burned, and collaged with added objects like dried leaves, fibers, and film. As he progressed, Sanso painted the slides with colored inks and paints, as he loved the vibrant hues and transparent qualities. Much later in his life, during the 2000s, he used the cliché verre as inspiration for his abstract paintings which became a part of his popular Abstract series.
“Once in a Blue Moon” then transitions to the second half of the show, located at the main and mezzanine galleries, which clearly shows the dialogue between Cristina Gamón’s and Sansó’s works. Gamón, who works with acrylic pigment and paint on transparent acrylic sheets, creates dream-like, large-scale abstracts that allude to landscapes, a satellite’s-view of an area, or a made-up environment.
The atmospheric color and subtle textures of her paintings can resemble the other side of the moon, which incidentally, Gamón relates that major lunar phases have coincided with her visits to the Philippines: A Super Blue Moon and a lunar eclipse in 2018, a Super Flower Moon in 2020, and most recently, another Super Blue Moon last August 30, 2023. She highlights how special her visits are, particularly, as the notion of “once in a blue moon” pertains to a rare phenomenon. In relation to this, most of Sansó’s works, whether Brittany landscapes or florals, all have a moon as a final accent, hinting at the solitary aspect of his art.
It is interesting to note that Gamón had not seen Sansó’s cliché verre works prior to her creation of her pieces, adding yet another layer of serendipity to this show.
The launch of “Once in a Blue Moon” was held last September 2, 2023, and the opening reception was graced by His Excellency Miguel Utray Delgado, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to the Philippines; Spain’s first secretary in Charge of Cultural Affairs Alvaro Garcia; Director and author Javier Galvan Guijo of Instituto Cervantes of Manila; Spanish nationals, Filipino artists, and various collaborators and friends of Fundacion Sansó.
Juvenal Sansó is a Presidential Medal of Merit Awardee and recipient of the Distinguished King’s Cross of Isabela by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Cristina Gamón garnered the BMW National Painting Awards’ Golden Medal in 2011, the Queen Sofia National Painting Prize in 2016, the Comenge Foundation Acquisition Award, and the Mainel Foundation Award in 2022.
“Once in a Blue Moon” will run until September 23, 2023 at Fundacion Sansó, 32 V. Cruz St., San Juan; museum hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am to 3pm, closed on holidays.