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The MUN inaugurates the exhibition '39 décimos', in which the fourth décimo, a set of pieces made for the MUN, will be shown for the first time at sample .

The artist was working on this last tenth when he passed away and this is the first time that the public will be able to see all four of his tenths together.

FotoManuelCastells/Valentín Vallhonrat, MUN artistic director and curator; Capi Corrales, mathematician and friend of Alexanco; José Tejera, musician; Sergi Aguilar, artist and friend of Alexanco; Nieves González, Alexanco's widow and Rafael Levenfeld, MUN artistic director and curator.

An unclassifiable artist, painter, engraver, sculptor, filmmaker, installer, excellent draftsman, pioneer in the use of technology in art, a good, cheerful, generous and patient man, great cook, passionate about poetry and flamenco and an inexhaustible curiosity. These are some of the qualities that define José Luis Alexanco (Madrid, 1942-2021), the author of Thirty-nine tenthsthe exhibition that opens this Monday the conference room LaCaixa of the Museum University of Navarra and that can be visited until next March 26. Valentín Vallhonart and Rafael Levenfeld, artistic directors of the Museum and curators of the sample; Nieves González, the artist's widow; the artist Sergi Aguilar and the mathematician Capi Corrales, both friends of the artist; and the musician José Tejera Osuna were present at his presentation to the media.

            La sample, a tribute to the artist, exhibits for the first time his Four Tenthswork that he created for the Museum's project of residency program and on which he was working when he died in 2021. Building Bridges which he was working on at the time of his death in 2021. It is the first time that the public will be able to contemplate together his four Tenths, together with paintings and drawings that help as an overture to this great work. Thus, 39 Tenths, which is conceived as a synthesis of his artistic being and not as an anthological sample , is articulated around the main aspects of the artist's process of work between 1964 and 2021.

            "Alexanco accepted the Museum's invitation to begin a new project that could be framed in our residencies, that would allow him to open an artistic process and make it available to different audiences. For this, we counted on his presence, will and disposition, and on the illusion that it meant for him to return to Pamplona and celebrate his 80th birthday with us in the year of the 50th anniversary of the Pamplona Meetings of '72, of which he was manager with Luis de Pablo", Vallhonrat recalls. However, during that creative process, the artist passed away, the piece remained unfinished and the Museum considered canceling project. "We received immediate support from the artist's family. Despite their grief, they were witnesses of the illusion, work and the state the piece was in. His close friends, in the midst of the pain of his loss, also knew of the importance of project, which went from having the artist's presence and words to being a curatorial project with a choral spirit."


Now, this piece can be seen for the first time, together with the other three murals of the series Los Décimos, which the artist began in 1976: "It is 48 years of work. The exhibition also gathers the background and origin of Alexanco's work, with a first drawing from 1964, and the pieces that allow us to follow its evolution". 

With the fourth Tenth, the visitor is offered a perspective of his creative process, since each of the pieces is in a different stage of completion, thus showing the process of work of the artist in its creation. For its realization, Alexanco started from a first impression, usually a scanned drawing regardless of its resolution, as the piece was acquiring definition and precise lines through the different layers that were added in the composition. Cut-outs, wefts, drawings, paint..., layers that fit together until they acquired their final appearance.

"It is an unusual possibility: to approach the artist's most recent work to go back in time to access his wisdom and knowledge, the evolution of his language, to understand the richness of the resources through observation, the meeting with the details, to have to move to see the pieces in their entirety, "explains the curator. In this sense, he points out that "the Tenths, panoramic pieces fifteen meters wide, force us to walk, to approach and move away. They invite us to think, to feel, to see, to be active and not passive spectators".

The projection conference room , Percursuma large film and sound piece with music by José Tejera Osuna, functions, in turn, as a compendium of his career. "In itself, it is a total work, a film that penetrates Alexanco's work. It takes place inside his painting, his drawing, his sculptures, and includes movement, time, rhythm and music. The music that is present as a score in all of Alexanco's work. The rhythm and cadence that mark his Tenths and that invite us to find resonances and internal rhythms, become visible and audible in Percursum ," he explains. The script of the film is by Alexanco himself, the music and editing by José Tejera; and the movement, rhythm, narrative, timing, music and voices are by Dora Tisserand and Mai Aftah al Bouny.

39 tenths reflects the restless spirit of an artist who was always more attracted to the process than to result, the infinite capacity for transformation of ideas, creation, data and subject.