‘Blancanieves’ embroidered oil painting in art exhibition at Galeria Cuatro, Valencia

Bay is now showing Blancanieves, her new large-scale embroidered oil painting at Galeria Cuatro, Valencia. The work is part of collective exhibition Sexto Sentido, on show at the gallery until 3rd March 2021.

Other participating artists include Alba Lorente, artist and editor of contemporary art magazine La Novicia; Luis Salvador, artist and director of La Trini art space; painter Miguel Castillo Oñate and artist-curator Jose Lapasió.

Blancanieves was painted in response to the current restrictions in Valencia. With one of the highest incidences of Covid-19 in Spain, all cultural events have been postponed and gatherings of more than two people are prohibited. When gallery director Miguel Castillo Gómez invited Bay to participate in Sexto Sentido, he asked for a work that would be impactful and colourful as a response to the challenges the current situation presents.

Blancanieves (Snow White in Spanish) is an expression of the joy we can find in creativity. No matter what we encounter in the external world, our internal worlds can be one of magical stories, enchanted mirrors and self-expression. The painting is part of Bay’s wider ongoing series of paintings exploring our hidden selves.

Blancanieves is 146 x 114 cm in oil paint with hand-embroidery on canvas. At 1900Eu the painting is expect to sell to Bay’s collectors in Valencia. To check that the painting is stil available before your visit, call Galeria Cuatro on 963 51 00 63

The gallery is open daily in line with current restrictions, from 10.30am until 6pm.

Galeria Cuatro, Carrer de la Nau, 25, 46003 València, Valencia

Galeria Cuatro exhibition “Sexto Sentido” to show new large-scale embroidered painting by Bay Backner

Bay is showing new work in the latest exhibition at Valencia gallery Galería Cuatro. The show, Sexto Sentido, will open this Thursday, 29th January. Bay will debut her latest large-scale embroidered painting Blancanieves (Snow White), a 114×146 canvas which will be featured on this site after the exhibition opens.

Following current restrictions for Covid-19, there will be no traditional inauguration. The works can be viewed in person at the gallery between 10am and 6pm until 3rd March 2021.

Galería Cuatro’s director Miguel Castello was yesterday interviewed by newspaper Las Provincias. He discusses the challenges facing our city’s art scene and the importance of making galleries relevant for the younger generation. You can read the full interview in Las Provincias Culture here.

Galería Cuatro is a well-established and pioneering Valencian gallery, having opened its doors more than forty years ago in July 1980. Initially it was a parallel space to the historic Theo Gallery, concieved to support the work of emerging Valencian artists.

Some of the artists that Galería Cuatro supported in their early careers include important names like Francisco Lozano, Joaquín Michavila, José María Yturralde, Jordi Teixidor and Artur Heras.

The gallery overcame Spain’s 2008 economic crisis and is facing current challenges with innovative exhibitions and new artists. These are being led by Miguel Castillo’s son David, who has taken on the role of gallery curator.

Bay is delighted to be participating in the gallery’s program this year.

Galería Cuatro
Carrer de la Nau, 25, 46003 València, Valencia

Sexto Sentido
29/01 – 03/03
10am – 6pm daily

Showing New Surrealist Paintings in Collaboration with Valencia’s The RW Project

Bay is currently showing new paintings in The RW Project space in Valencia’s arts district, Russafa. The project, titled Eve is a collaboration between Bay, RW founder and writer Kristin Gracie, and filmmaker Steve Kempen. Bay is showing six new large-scale surrealist oil paintings, including Eve (2020) which was especially painted for the collaboration. Other paintings in the space are Serenity, Allegory, Anima, Vision and Shrine.

Visits to The RW Project are by timed appointment only to honour current safety restrictions. Register for your appointment at The RW Project page.

Eve opened on New Year’s Eve 2020/21 as a metaphor for the artistic possibilities of the New Year, set against the challenges of our current times. Showing alongside Bay’s paintings are words by Gracie on the significance and creative energy of the collaboration.

Craving to welcome 2021 feeling empowered and inspired, a curious writer called on her surrealist muse to explore a question that centuries of women before us have sat with … “What can we do while all we are hearing is what we can’t do?”

– Kristin Gracie

Also featured are two new short films by director Steve Kempen, installed within the exhibition. Kempen’s films explore the relationship between Bay and Gracie, and how the Eve project was inspired. They also offer intimate scenes of Bay’s creative process in her studio.

To continue the ‘behind-the-scenes’ access, Bay has chosen to display four of her development works on paper within the show. All four works are in pastel, inks and acrylic spray and were created while Bay researched the emotions she sought to paint in the face of Eve.

Eve is a representation of all that is possible when the beautiful aspects of the feminine are listened to with adventurous curiosity and trusted without weighted hesitation. 

– Kristin Gracie

Eve will be open until March 2021. To hear of more invitation-only events in The RW Project space, join The RW list. To follow Bay’s work and further art events in Valencia, subscribe to her monthly newsletter.

You can book your appointment to see the Eve collaboration here.

Why Covid Made Me Start a New Mailing List for Art Events in Valencia (And Cancel my Meetup Membership)

When I moved my studio from London to Valencia in 2017, the city’s art scene was almost entirely hidden from fresh immigrants like me. There was IVAM and the extraordinary Bellas Artes Museum, but smaller galleries and arts festivals like IntraMurs seemed entirely impenetrable. Websites were infrequently updated, emails were unanswered and press releases were pages long and arrived just days (or often hours) before an event.

So I began a Meetup group for women called Art Nights Out. I contacted the galleries for details of their opening nights, and created events to bring international women to the evenings. Galleries like SET Espai d’Art, Shiras Gallery, Galeria Cuatro, Luis Adelantado, Galería Vangar, Tuesday to Friday and the wonderful (now closed) espaivisor welcomed the opportunity to bring new people to their exhibitions.

It’s now three years since I founded the group and I have over 1,000 members. I met extraordinary women at the events I organised and many of them have become cherished friends. But in 2020 the art world here in Valencia irreversibly changed. Ongoing covid restrictions mean that I cannot bring more than six people together, and events in alternative venues struggle to define just what we can safely do. As artists we are challenged to become even more creative about sharing our work – whether it be through micro-happenings in alternative spaces, or timed entries into immersive, yet socially-distanced gallery installations.

In these new models, Meetup.com simply doesn’t work. When organising an Meetup event for 20 attendees, I would open the RSVPs to 30 – knowing from experience that 30-40% of attendees would cancel in the hour before or simply not turn up. In a fluid Meetup for a traditional gallery opening this is fine, but a bespoke poetry reading for just two tables of six? It’s unfair to everyone involved.

In addition, ever-changing restrictions meaning that our events have to be flexible. This means fail-safe communications with our guests. I need to be able to Whatsapp our RSVPs to say that we’re moving outdoors (bring a coat!), or ask them to arrive half an hour earlier to stagger our social distancing. Meetup.com keeps all of the contact details of my members, so that the only way I can contact them is through the platform. This means the discussion boards which many never check, or “group emails” which many are unsubscribed from. Pre-Covid, this was a minor black-mark against the strengths of Meetup.com. Now, it’s a dealbreaker.

So Covid has forced my hand. I believe in creating beautiful, memorable art events in Valencia, even if it is just for an audience of six or an “aforo” (venue capacity) of three….. with the rest of us patiently socially distancing outside. Within whatever we can safely and legally do, we can create. But it needs new models and a new immediacy in the relationship between organiser and audience. Art events must become art happenings again – intimate, flexible, occasionally chaotic and all the more unforgettable for it.

And I think where we start is with a good, old-fashioned mailing list. So here it is. Add your email and I will send you invitations to the art happenings we’re organising in this amazing city. They are small, extraordinary and just may be rather historic. You are an even more significant part of making them happen. Let me tell you about them now.

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By submitting your email you agree to receive art event details and invitations from me, Bay Backner. You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in these emails. (I’ll meet you at an underground, covid-responsible art event this year).

New Mixed-Media Artworks on Paper to be available at Runway Gallery, London

mixed media paper Bay Backner

Bay has been invited to curate nine new mixed-media artworks for a Runway Gallery special event this month. The works will be available in the gallery’s “From the studio” sale, an online showcase of experimental sketches, sketchbook work and artists’ proofs. Bay selected the nine works on paper from her developmental sketches for the “Flower Women” series of paintings.

The nine featured artworks are all mixed-media, contrasting black oil pastel with highly-pigmented inks, acrylic and spray paint. They explore how we subconsiously experience emotion – Bay sketched from newspaper and magazine clippings of faces that moved her, then responded to her reactions with layers of colour and line. All nine pieces are 35 x 50cm on 350gsm art paper, and will be available at Runway Gallery from the 26th December.

Nicolette, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Nicolette, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Puri, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Puri, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Rita, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Rita, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Janette, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Janette, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Royalty, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Royalty, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Amber, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Amber, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Valerie, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Valerie, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Lydia, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Lydia, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Amy, Bay Backner, 2020 - Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm
Amy, Bay Backner, 2020 – Oil Pastel, Ink, Acrylic and Spray on paper, 35x50cm

“Eve” solo show to open at Russafa’s RW Project Space

RW Project Russafa Bay Backner Studio

Bay will open a solo show with The RW Project in Russafa on New Years Eve, 31st December 2020. The exhibition “Eve” is a collaboration with the curator-director of the RW Project, Kristin Gracie. Exploring ideas of transformation, the show was inspired by Paul Roussel’s 1908 sculpture “Eve o La Pomme”. Gracie encountered the sculpture in the Musee d’Orsay and made connections with Bay’s work on a studio visit earlier this Autumn. Bay is painting a new work entitled “Eve” especially for the exhibition, which will be open until 31st January.

RW Project Russafa Bay Backner Studio
RW Project director Gracie (pictured here in front of a painting in progress) during her visit to Bay’s Valencia studio.

New Flower Women Series to be exhibited virtually with Kunstmatrix

Bay is to exhibit her new series of large-scale paintings, Flower Women, virtually with Kunstmatrix. The online show will be available to view throughout December 2020, with a 3D guided tour of the six new works. Also to view will be unseen photographs of the original sculptures and performance piece which began the development of the paintings. Kunstmatrix is a innovative Berlin-based gallery platform specialising in online, virtual exhibitions.