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A Scale of Light for Federico

From July 14, 2022 until October 07, 2022Mondays through Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (from July 15 to September 15), and Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. as of September 15. Closed on weekends and holidays.
Closed on from 1 to august 31
Casa Árabe exhibition halls (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). Mondays through Fridays, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (from July 15 to September 15), and Mondays through Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and 4:30 to 8:00 p.m. as of September 15. Closed on weekends and holidays. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.

On July 14 at our headquarters in Cordoba, we will be officially opening this exhibition in which artist Ana Crespo pays tribute to the famous writer from Granada. The idea came up after a conversation held almost ten years ago with Luce López-Baralt.

After that conversation, Ana Crespo pictured large-format sculptures and installations and filled a notebook with sketches that grew with larger projects on this subject matter over the years. The project finally materialized during the lockdown with a clear and loving purpose, almost as a travel map.

Ana Crespo’s work draws us closer to the figure of one of the greatest Spanish poets in history. Her verses, the artist writes “as in the great traditions,” have that quality of sounding like an echo, making us feel the earth with the eyes of the lucid heart. They are words and rhythms which awaken the heart’s life, with a knowledge that pierces through the senses, in the manner of some mystical traditions like Sufism, the pre-Islamic and Islamic tradition of light and color, in a memory that causes Federico García Lorca’s works to brim with abundance.”

A trace, a memory of Al-Andalus that represents shapes, rhythms and more, taking us into a range of color filled with meaning. Federico has always been associated with reds, greens and blacks, but at this exhibition yellow is the main color (while not the only reference). Honey and its symbolic meaning, “black light,” Sufi theories about the “latifas” (subtle centers of perception), joy as a gnostic quality, and dance are some of the inspiring features which make up the work by Ana Crespo.

To the artist, A Scale of Light for Federico is not only an homage, but also an invitation to follow the steps that the poet’s light still gives off. Steps that speak to us of mystical themes which converge with Sufism and other traditions, acting a meeting place in this space, and bringing to mind Lorca’s brilliant legacy contemplated as an antidote for pain and fear.

Ana Crespo, a multidisciplinary artist with a PhD in Fine Arts, has an extensive past holding exhibitions that began in Europe over thirty years ago, which she combines with her work as a teacher of color and graphic techniques. Since the late eighties, she has taken part in more than one hundred international exhibitions in cities like Sarajevo, New York, Cairo and Lisbon. Furthermore, her aesthetic research process has been documented in the several books she has authored, including El Zen en el arte (Zen in Art, 1997) or the volumes Los Bellos colores del corazón (The Beautiful Colors of the Heart, 2008) and Rojo, verde, blanco y negro, las cuatro ramas del Árbol del Universo (Red, Green White and Black: The four branches of the Tree of the Universe, 2013), about the symbolism of color in Sufism. In 2016, she was nominated for the Jameel Prize awarded by the Victoria and Albert Museum, and in 2017 she received the Barzaj Award for her creative achievements from the Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi Society. She also received the 2019 Teaching Prize awarded by the JCCM for the transmission of creativity, as well as the CIHAR 2021 Award (International Hispanic-Arab Circle).

Luce López-Baralt (Harvard PhD, 1974) is a department chair and Distinguished Professor (professor insignis) of Spanish and Comparative Literature at the University of Puerto Rico. She received an honorary PhD from the University of Puerto Rico and another from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is Vice-Director of the Puerto Rican Academy of the Spanish Language, a correspondent member of the Royal Spanish Academy and a member of the Mexican and Dominican Academies of Language. She has been made a member of the Order of Isabel la Católica, and received the Henríquez Ureña Prize of Mexico, the Ibn ‘Arabi Prize of Murcia and the Guggenheim, Fulbright and Erasmus Scholarships, in addition to other acknowledgments. She has been a visiting professor and researcher at the universities of Harvard, Yale, Brown, Mexico, Buenos Aires, Rabat and the Colegio de España in Salamanca. Throughout her career, she has written some thirty books on Spanish and comparative Arabic literature, Aljamiado-Moorish literature and mysticism, and over 300 articles. Her work has been translated into English, Arabic, Persian, Urdu, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, French and Chinese.