Known as the Iron Man, Xavier Mascaró is a master in the marriage of industrial craftsmanship and creativity. Considered the preeminent contemporary sculptor in Spain, he journeys through history with his cast pieces, utilizing a variety of mediums to explore humanity across time, and offering the remains of human experience on the world. His pieces could be placed in any moment in time and tell the story of achievement and human relationships.
As a child, Mascaró fantasized about becoming an artist. Upon the tragic death of his mother, he used art to hold on to his memories of her and was frustrated by the lack of permanence of human existence. Art provides the opportunity to leave something behind when the photographic-style human memory fades. He attended the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, although his heart wasn’t truly committed to the experience. He felt ineffective as a painter and was more satisfied with his drawing outside of the art classroom. After visiting a foundry, he began to embrace and hone his skills at sculpture.
As is typical of many young artists, he couldn’t find places to exhibit. In a vicious cycle, he was not invited to exhibit anywhere since he had never exhibited anywhere! Unable to get his foot in the door, he moved to New York to start his career. After a successful stint at the National Arts Club and other galleries, he was able to bring work back to Spain, exhibiting in Madrid, Paris, Brussels, and more. His monumental sculptures of boats in both Paris (Guardians) and later in Madrid (Xavier Mascaró Monumental sculpture) evidence the permanence in cast iron. His Eternal Return display, consisting of iron figures protecting the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, also offered visitors a return to the past, showcasing the strength of human ability, both in technology, tools, and sheer presence.
- 2002: Own and Strangers, Marlborough Chelsea, New York & Marlborough Gallery, Madrid & Europe’s Image, Myth & Reality.Den Haag Sculptuur, The Hague
- 2003: Art Espagnol Contemporain.Marlborough Monaco, Monte Carlo
- 2004: Xavier Mascaró: Spanische Skulptur des 20 Jahrhunderts. Palais Harrach, Kunsthistorische Museum, Vienna Xavier
- 2006: Joan Guaita Gallery, Palma de Mallorca Barjola Museum, Gijon Gallery N2 Meeting, Barcelona & Six artists of the 21st Century Spanish.Cultural Center Juan de Salazar, Asuncion Art Cologne Nieves Fernández Gallery, Cologne
- 2007: The word imagined,Museum Esteban Vicente, Segovia
- 2008: Guardians,Jardins du Palais Royal, Paris & Art20, Gebert Contemporary, New York Hong Kong International Art Fair
- 2009: Monumental sculpture, Paseo del Parque & Plaza de la Marina, Malaga Gebert Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
- 2010: Xavier Mascaró, recent works. Beck & Eggeling, Düsseldorf
- 2011: Tefaf 2011. Beck & Eggeling, Maastricht Dallas Art Fair, Gebert Contemporary, Dallas
- 2012: Bad Ragatz Triennale, Bad Ragaz Art Cologne, Beck & Eggeling, Cologne Tefaf 2012
- 2014: Departure. The Saatchi Gallery, London
- 2016: Warehouse 421, Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Abu Dhabi.
- 2017: After the earth, everything. Jordan National Gallery, Amman.
Evidenced by works featured in the Galeria Proyeco H Contemporaneo in Madrid, Mascaro continues to transform sculpture with increasingly unique casting techniques. His recent use of materials to “confine” sculptures almost leads one to follow his thinking that we desire to leave a mark and for memories of our existence not to fade away. The relationship between materials within the sculpture at times war against each other, as if from differing moments in time, held together by mere recollection.
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