Carlos Sagrera: Inherited souvenirs

15 October - 12 November 2022

Painted in a style which is both hyper realistic and intentionally abstract, Spanish artist Carlos Sagrera’s works are intimate and nuanced. The main subjects in his paintings are interiors, identity and the mystery of everyday life. Sagrera depicts domestic spaces where time seems to have stood still. These spaces evoke associations and memories of a familiar past, and as a spectator one might wonder whether they existed in reality or were simply imagined by the artist himself.


For his newest exhibition with Rutger Brandt Gallery, Sagrera has chosen to focus on the concept of the ‘souvenir’. He traces the idea back to its historic roots, the abstract notions of memories and fragments in the mind. He also looks at more tangible modern etymologies referring to objects bought in order to remind oneself of a place, an occasion or a holiday.


Through his evocative paintings, the artist proposes that we can also view the items that dwell in our space, such as furniture, decorative objects, textiles or home appliances, as souvenirs. Sagrera suggests that souvenirs are not limited to physical objects, but they include behaviors and manners that we learn in a space and maintain throughout life.


“Like a flash of light, these behavior patterns and ‘memoirs’ suddenly come to our mind when we repeat a gesture or stare at something familiar, even when they are decontextualized from our home or the original surroundings in which we initially apprehend them. Souvenirs can reactivate our selected memory, open certain experiences, and evoke inherited ancestors and friends.”


Sagrera’s paintings imply that the accumulated souvenirs within our private life and domestic surroundings are deeply connected with us. The objects in our personal spaces are the key to opening our memories, traumas and backgrounds. These objects have been shaped the scenery and context where our most sentimental experiences have occurred. The patina that appears on their surfaces over time is etched with feelings and emotions.

Installation Views