Updated: Mar 17

Ruth Polleit Riechert (left) and Anna Nero (right)

The work of Amparo Sard (*1976 in Son Servera, Mallorca) was shown in more than 30 individual exhibitions and is represented in the collections of MoMA and Guggenheim. In addition, Amparo Sard holds a professorship at the Art Academy Barcelona. Amparo Sard and Ruth Polleit Riechert met for a studio visit on Mallorca at the end of March of 2019.

Amparo, the first work I have seen of you was an installation of perforated works of a very fragile material, which looked like pieces of clothing hanging in a room. Back then in 2000 everybody in our curator team had realised already that this was something very special and you have won the Deutsche Bank competition on “Identity” then. A lot has happened in your artistic development since.

Is there anything that you would consider as the most important aspect in regards with your themes?

In my work there is always a struggle between opposites, the material can be fragile, but the referents used in the drawings can provide a concept that has nothing to do with fragility. Or on the contrary, something that appears innocent, is presented in exorbitant or monumental dimensions that overflow the viewer and understanding of the spectator. This tension, in some way, is always in my work, both in perforated papers, such as fibreglass sculptures, resin paintings or in videos; this tension in the materials also extends and affects to the themes in my work, which always makes a reference to the individual and the social contemporaneity that we have had to live.

We can still see the perforated technique but also new materials in your recent works. How did this happened and what meaning does the material and technique have to you?

Artists need to constantly surprise us with what they do. That is the reason why the work of an artist evolves. In my case, everything started by perforating paper. In this evolution: papers were growing in size, for example, but then, there comes a time when the paper is too fragile to achieve the dimensions. Thats why I started to work with fibre glass sculptures, its dimension gives you emotions that the intimacy of a small white paper can not bring you, and vice versa, that's why I continue working with all technics and dimensions. But when you change materials, all the springs and their conceptual meanings also change. That's what happened with my holes too; they have gone from being holes that are drawn, to being holes through which an action happens - to suppurate, for example. Today materials are very important in art, I mean, the physical quality of these. How they bend, how they react to the manipulation of the artist, how they deform. They are transmitting much more than we think.

In the past, the image, the symbol, was very helpful to transmit the “vision” of the artist, nowadays, everything that is presented to us through the screens, or from our eyes to the outside, could be false. But how our perception react to those materials changes, to deformations, to sinister, is something very powerful for artists nowadays. Because this is connecting to the spectator from the eyes to the inside, and there are no fake news.

Amparo Sard, Limits, 2018, Fiberglass, 400 x 350 x 4 cm

Made of fiberglass and fully perforated. Arms that cling to each other and at the same time, seem ready to defend themselves from something. A gesture of defense but also of survival, like a lifesaver made of arms. The piece also gives name to the series to which belongs: Limits. A project on which the artist herself points out: “The limit of a person is the skin if we talk about something we can touch. The limit of our soul, of its essence, is something more complex.” This why sculpture is fragmented.

Amparo Sard, Displaced Landscape, 2018, Polyethylene, 1200 x 500 x 600 cm

Everything changes from one moment to another, we are aware that we are changeable and therefore we are afraid to fix anything forever. But in contemporary society, in which we are freer than ever before, we are also more impotent than at any other time in history. We all feel the unpleasant experience of being unable to change anything.

Your work was shown in more than 30 individual exhibitions and is represented in the collections of MoMA and Guggenheim. Has the international exposure have any influence on your work?

Getting to interact internationally is a level that you come to after a lot of work. It comes when you are ready, just like everything in life. Once you are there, that means even more work. During that time, you travel, you exhibit, you see art, that opens your mind without realising. The danger then is to adapt to the trend of a global art. That may be good, although if you are not careful you can loose the subjectivity.

Recently we discovered that although there are many Germans on Mallorca every year but there is not so much knowledge about Mallorquin artists in Germany. That’s why we started to think about new projects.

With the technologies, the information is in a “click”. Everything can be observed and connected. The art world is changing, it becomes small, the same happens with the planet. It seems that today it is no longer a handicap to be from one place or another, that if your Instagram photos are good, that's what counts. With that I mean that today the world becomes visual and as Denise Najmanovich says "feeling is the emergency". And we are learning that very fast, not only the artists, but the gallerists and the visitors too. Life is fast, or liquid as Zygmunt Bauman would say. Feeling is a very fast act, and today does not give time to see where an artist or another is from. That's why it was evident that Germany and Mallorca would end up having common points around art, because we have been sharing the sea for a long time. 

Amparo Sard – Photo: Marcos Domingo

Amparo Sard, 4 Hands, 2019, Series: Precarious reactions

Amparo Sard, 2019, Untitled (Or: Hand in and out), Series: Precarious reactions

Amparo Sard, Pool No 4, 2018, Epoxy Resin on Wood, 101 x 146 cm

You also hold a professorship at the Art Academy Barcelona where you studied yourself when you won the competition in 2000. What do you like most in working with art students?

Talking about art is always rewarding for me, especially with the final year students, those who are already prepared to go out into the real world and who still maintain the maximum illusion. But there is a moment that I really enjoy very much, when the first-year students learn to manage their creativity, when they turn on the mechanisms of it. It is the moment when they realize that the career they have chosen makes sense. And that will probably be very important to make sense of their life. It is a change in their look and their behaviour during the workshops, is something very special.

You split your time between Barcelona and Mallorca. Where is the artist Amparo Sard mostly working? Or isn’t there any difference location-wise?

When I enter the studio it does not matter if I'm in Mallorca, Barcelona or anywhere in the world. When I cross the doors my brain makes a disconnection from the outside world. The same thing happens to me at airports. When you enter in any of them you can not do anything pending. You're neither in the place you are leaving nor the one you're going to. That's why it's one of the best places to work without distractions to get my ideas.

But after those comments, I should say that, though all working places are the same for me, but when I leave the studio, and I am in Mallorca, my happiness is absolute!

What are your next projects and exhibitions this year?

Currently, I am planning exhibitions at the Pilar Serra Gallery in Madrid, the Tanque Museum in Tenerife, the CDAN Museum in Huesca, and some other galleries.

Artist website:

Text: Ruth Polleit Riechert

Photos: Amparo Sard, Marcos Domingo

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