Institut Ramon LLull

Visual artist Ester Partegàs exhibits in New York

Arts.  New York, 16/09/2021

Essex Flowers is pleased to present Guardian, a two-person exhibition featuring Ester Partegàs and Claire Watson. Both artists create composite structures, joining and mending fragmentary materials to twist and refresh our perceptions of familiar objects. There is an aspect of care or maintenance; the artists pull apart seams, suturing and reconstituting these elements to form uncanny embodied wall works and sculptures imbued with presence. Their work brings into question the life of the commodified object and the labor associated with it, whether it is a laundry basket or the sewn garment. What has traditionally been known as “womxn’s work” is receiving a new life and meaning here, resisting the innate gendered associations.

In her series of sculptures referencing the laundry basket, Ester Partegàs creates shelters or traps that have a sense of play and makeshift precarity. The agglomerate forms are constructed and deconstructed, propped and braced. Planes of plywood, cardboard, papier-mâché and plaster are perforated by exaggerated portholes, both mimicking the motif of the laundry basket, but essentially emphasizing the porosity of the form, leaving an opening for the viewer to project themselves inside. There is an unresolved tension between tenderness and control, guardian and overseer.

Ester Partegàs is a visual artist and educator that splits her time between New York City, Marfa TX and Barcelona. She holds an MFA in Sculpture, Universitat de Barcelona, and Postgraduate Diploma on Multimedia Arts, Universität der Künste Berlin. Partegàs has shown extensively, nationally and internationally. Most recent shows include Fundació Joan Miró (upcoming 2021); Pure Joy, Marfa TX (2020, solo); Conde Duque, Madrid (2020); The Drawing Center, NY (2019); the Museum of the City in NY (2019); Transborder Biennial / Bienal Transfronteriza, El Paso Museum of Art + Museo de Arte Ciudad Juárez (2018). Other shows include MACBA Barcelona; Scultpure Center, NY; Artist’s Space, NY; Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum; Public Art Fund, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria; Whitechapel Gallery, London; MACRO Museum/Depart Foundation, Rome; and the Moscow, Busan and Athens Biennials among others. In 2020 she received the Rome Prize from the Royal Spanish Academy in Rome and a COVID Relief Fund from Foundation for Contemporary Art. She has participated in several residencies such as the Chinati Foundation, Macdowell, and Skowhegan. She is faculty at Parsons School of Design. Her work is represented by Foxy Production, NY, and NoguerasBlanchard, Barcelona/Madrid.

Photo credit:

Ester Partegàs, Codependence, 2019,
cardboard, cotton fabric, wood, glue, Fast Maché, acrylic and enamel paint, sealer, steel, plywood,
61 x 49 x 49 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Foxy Production, NY.


GUARDIAN. Ester Partegàs & Claire Watson

Organized by Tamar Ettun & Antonia Kuo

19 Monroe St, New York, NY 10002 

Opening reception: Friday, September 10, 5-8 pm
On view: September 10 – October 2, 2021, 12-6pm

    Logo Institut Ramon Llull
  • A consortium of:

  • Generalitat de Catalunya Govern Illes Balears Ajuntament de Barcelona

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