Helga de Alvear (Kirn, Germany, 1936) was recognized in 2010 as one of the 100 most important and influential people in the world of art in the famous list "Power 100". In the same year she opened to the public the Visual Arts Center Foundation Helga de Alvear in Caceres, with the exhibition "Margins of silence", a selection of 115 works from the Helga de Alvear Collection.
One of the Helga de Alvear Collection’s main “lines of force” consists of a large number of works that have nature as a focus or subject for argument. Many of these are included in this exhibition, under the shelter of a verse by the poet Gary Snyder (one of the great contemporary interpreters of this matter).
From Thoreau to Macfarlane, this project also takes in, somewhat tangentially at times, some of the most important reflections on one of the great problems of our times; and this in a place, Extremadura, where something perceived formerly as backwardness (the absence of an industrial revolution) has brought about an enviable conservation of the natural environment throughout much of its territory. In a well-known essay, Snyder says “that when you walk a well-trodden path you come back with empty hands, and so you must dare to go to places that are unploughed and unexplored”. This is what this exhibition will suggest, at least to some visitors: how to explore a wood, a mountain or a forest.
In All the Words for Rock, nature is reviewed from different points of view: from contemplation to action, from the formal to the symbolic. Reviewed in a strict sense, or reconstructed (as in certain paintings, videos or sculptures).
From Robert Smithson, Richard Long, Peter Hutchinson, Hamish Fulton and Lothar Baumgarten to, in the Spanish case, Eva Lootz, Adolfo Schlosser, Mathias Goeritz of the Altamira, Millares’ “gestural work” and the “natural geometry” of Elena Asins’ dolmens. However, there is also space for pieces that, anchored in the exhibition’s central theme, review different traditions within the Art History (from the portrait to the trompe-l’oeil, from the vanitas to the still life), as can be seen in certain works by Cildo Meireles, Rodney Graham and Karin Sander.