Miguel Sopena: A Tale of Two Cities
Matthews Yard, Croydon, South London
1 Matthews Yard, off Surrey Street, Croydon CR0 1FF, London, UK
1 December 2017 - 31 January 2018
The Valencia series: The Old Town I, acrylic on canvas, 92x73cm
Miguel Sopena's second solo exhibition A Tale of Two Cities will open at Matthews Yard, Croydon, on 1 December. The show brings together drawings and paintings created in response to Miguel's home town of Valencia, in Eastern Spain, and the Croydon area in South London, where Miguel has been based for the past four years. These works are not verbatim portrayals of the locations they are based on; Rather, they are daring reimaginings in the tradition of capricci, a bold and personal response to colour, light, structure, and atmosphere, which ventures beyond the physical and which Miguel relates to the work of 20th century artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.
Miguel relates this work (linked to his past and present homes) to the broader issue of migration, which, as he says, is 'central to many people in the Croydon area and London generally, be they immigrants themselves or descended from immigrants [...] As a immigrant, moving to a new location can be challenging but it means having access to a whole new world with its own rhythm, light, textures, and opportunities.'
Miguel is a theoretical physicist who changed direction to train as a figurative painter (at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London) but has recently developed an abstract and semi-abstract strand of work inspired by themes such as memory, identity, a response to the immediate environment, and a dialogue with the painting materials themselves.