Biblioteca del Bosque, detalle. Miguel Ángel Blanco

10 April–23 June 2019

Place: 1st Floor, Gallery 20

Free access with museum ticket. Opening hours Link externo

Organised by: Deputy Directorate-General for the Promotion of Fine Arts of the Ministry of Culture and Sport

Lapis specularis, an almost transparent form of crystallised gypsum that can be peeled off in large thin sheets, revolutionised everyday life for the ancient Romans. In residences and public buildings, it was used to glaze windows and close off rooms or peristyles by means of sliding panels; it served to keep temperature constant inside the baths; it protected the little windows in litters; and it was used in small greenhouses and beehives. But it also played a part in their symbolic life, as a magical or luxury item used in rites for good or evil purposes.

The lapis specularis mines of Hispania, concentrated in the vicinity of Segóbriga and the province of Almería (Arboleas), yielded the purest mineral, which was exported to great cities throughout the empire. These mines were recently reactivated thanks to contemporary artist Miguel Ángel Blanco, the first to use this fascinating stone as a creative medium. In a series of box-books that are part of his Library of the Forest, he focused on recreating its ritual uses rather than its practical purposes, adopting an approach more visionary than archaeological. In the Roman Forum Gallery (Gallery 20), he placed a block of lapis that took shape amid gods and emperors, reclaiming its place in history, and a tondo through which the unearthly subterranean light entered the room. Finally, as the Romans once did at great events, he scattered pulverised crystals on the floor, turning this space into a glittering supernatural stage.

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+Info Link externo


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Entrevista a Miguel Ángel Blanco. Programa "Atmósfera" de Radio 3 (26/05/2019)



Presentación a los medios 10 de abril a las 12:30
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Dossier de prensa (1.4M) PDF

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