Fernando Prats

b, 1967, Santiago, Chile


Since representing Chile at the 54th Venice Biennale, Fernando Prats, resident in Barcelona since 1990, has reached international acclaim for devising a new and deeply personal pictorial system. Far removed from the instruments of the painter, his process generates unconventional and unpredictable images. Prats believes that Art to be effective has to have “fuerza” (power). Nature becomes protagonist of his process “Nature appropriates the work, the artist’s intention and the environment”, creating a visual language, an archive, a method to record the environment, creating mesmerizing ‘natural paintings’.

Fernando Prats records on smoked surfaces fleeting natural actions, from the movements of animals, powerful waves, seismographic vibrations and even imprints of geysers shooting water from the ground (an action made possible through the Guggenheim Fellowship). French theorist Paul Ardenne, describes Prats work as initiating “a new way of painting”, exposing not only the beauty of nature, but also the violent and destructive reality of our fluctuating environment.

For his Paintings of Birds series, to be presented for the first time in Hong Kong, the artist’s hand gives way to the free and fleeting beating of the bird’s wings making a rhythmic and majestic imprint on the smoked surface.

For the Chilean Pavilion at Venice in 2011, Prats presented three projects; Gran Sur(2011), 03:34:17 (2010) and Acción Chaitén (2009).  Gran Sur documented his expedition to Elephant Island in the Antarctic where he installed a neon-sign with the words: “Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success”.  In the two accompanying works, Prats ventures to areas recently effected by natural disasters. In the piece 03:34:17 he collected traces in the aftermath of earthquake in Chile. Similarly, in Acción Chaitén he focused on the impact of the 2008 volcanic eruption.

Puerta Roja represents Fernando Prats in Asia since 2018.