The National Gallery of Jamaica is pleased to announce that it has received a painting by the internationally renowned Spanish artist, José Manuel Ciria, which was donated to its permanent collection by the artist. The handing over of this work took place at the residence of the Spanish Ambassador, H.E. Celsa Nuño on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 and the work was received for the National Gallery by its Chairman, Wayne Chen.
José Manuel Ciria was born in Manchester, in the United Kingdom, in 1960 but received his artistic formation in Spain. He is one of the most active and internationally recognized contemporary Spanish artists, known for his dramatic abstract and semi-abstract paintings. His work is represented in Spain’s most important museums, including the Museo de Arte Reina Sofía and the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno. Ciria currently resides in New York City.
The painting Mr Ciria has now donated to the National Gallery of Jamaica – titled The Dream of Inam, from the La Guardia Place series, New York (2006) – is a large, gestural abstract and characteristic of his recent work. Ciria terms these postmodernist works “post-genre,” essentially meaning that they transcend genre, by referencing different modernist genres, from abstract expressionism to constructivism. He also calls them “rare” paintings – though a better translation might be “raw,” as by “rare” he means “crude” and unfinished – a clear reference to the celebrated “rawness” of the abstract expressionists and of the matter painters.
Ciria had visited the National Gallery of Jamaica in 2008 when the exhibition Ciria: Rare Paintings was brought to Jamaica and the National Gallery by the Fundación Internacional de las Artes and the Embassy of Spain to Jamaica.
The National Gallery of Jamaica is very grateful to José Manuel Ciria for this important donation to its International Collection, which builds on the recent cultural exchanges with Spain and Spanish artists and wishes to thank former Spanish Ambassador Jesus Silva and current Ambassador Celsa Nuño for their role in facilitating the donation of this painting.