Back to the Present: Julio Anaya Cabanding in the Colección Manuel Expósito


Back to the Present is Julio Anaya Cabanding's first solo show at ADN Galeria. This exhibition revolves primarily around the presence of the artist's works in the Colección Manuel Expósito, focusing on those related to historical avant-gardes and paying homage to figures such as Man Ray, Picasso, Malévich, and De Chirico.

This project, included in the framework of Barcelona Gallery Weekend - The Collector is Present, will have a pre-opening on May 19 and 20, with guided tours by the collector.

Finally, the opening will take place on June 3, 2023, starting at 12pm.


Trained in classical drawing since the age of six and a Fine Arts graduate from the Universidad de Málaga, Julio Anaya Cabanding is passionate about art history and attuned to the dynamics of street visual colonization. He began to attract attention by reproducing canonical works of art in unexpected spaces, such as abandoned urban spaces and buildings, depriving the images of the symbolism of the institutional space that guards and legitimizes them. These works modify the reception of the great masters of the past while questioning the iconic power of images.

Later, the international consensus that recognized the peculiarity of his practice, derived from Street Art, led the artist to search for new ways of displaying his works that were compatible with his creative vision. Changing the public space for the use of precarious supports, Anaya Cabanding set out to respond to the challenge of redirecting his work back to the art institution, activating a circular and permeable iconosphere, without sacrificing street essences and deploying his work in high and low exhibition spaces.

The artist began to source cardboard and other found materials, which he treated with latex to harden and converted them into a suitable support for his particular revision of art history. Trompe-l'oeils that fascinate us, both for the pyrotechnic effect of virtuosity and for the intrinsic beauty of great painting. With these new supports, such as cardboard, wood, or construction debris, the image of what is represented is interfered by textures, accidents, and imperfections of the residual supports. It is in that chain of inner and outer, of copies, authorship, respect, and homage, of talented hands and selective gaze, where the echoes cease to be syncopated and he wins us over. It has been with these poor supports, as we will see in the exhibition, that he has carried out some of his most emblematic projects in multiple latitudes, claiming the attention of public institutions and private galleries, both nationally and internationally.


In Contempt for the Masses, Peter Sloterdijk suggests that the battle between high and low culture is rooted in the aristocratic origins of what is supposedly cultured, in the appropriation of sophisticated culture by the privileged. The masses, practically everyone today, would reject high culture as part of a cultural revenge. This boycott, also armed from the practices of historical and neo-vanguards, proposes a fusion of art and life in which Anaya Cabanding's practice also participates.


With this idea in mind, we have prepared an exhibition that brings together examples of both Constructivist and Surrealist drifts, ranging from Picasso's Cubism and Malevich's Suprematism to Man Ray's Dada, De Chirico's Metaphysical Surrealism, and finally Duchamp's conceptual irreverence. All gathered in the same room thanks to the hands of Julio Anaya Cabanding, who recovers these already classic images in a gesture as subversive as it is vital. He takes them to a place where they are not imposed, he invites them to the contingency of Kairos, to the impossibility of symbolic cryogenization. If eventually this reworked images are deveived by Kronos and the secular temple, they will carry both the fragility of life, of all creation as an exercise, as well as the obstinacy to reveal the condition of the museum as an “entropic box”.

Along with the works created ad hoc for this exhibition, a significant number of pieces from the Colección Manuel Expósito are presented: one of the collectors who has most strongly bet on young art in our territory, with a marked focus on the exploration of both conceptual languages and those derived from mass culture and urban art.

Installation Views