Chechu Álava “The Restless Muses”

BravinLee Programs

poster for Chechu Álava “The Restless Muses”
[Image: Chechu Alava "The Painter" (2021) oil on linen, 51 x 38 in.]

This event has ended.

When I wait, at night, for her to come,
Life, it seems, hangs by a strand.
What are honour, youth, freedom,
Next to the dear guest, flute in hand?
And now she enters, throws aside
Her veil, gazes deep in my eyes.
I ask her: ‘Was that you, Dante’s guide,
Dictating, in Hell?’ She answers: ‘I’.
Anna Akhmatova, 1924
Translated by A. S. Kline

BravinLee presents the “The Restless Muses,” 10 new paintings by Chechu Alava. Alava was born in Spain and lives and works in Paris. She recently enjoyed a one-person exhibition at the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza.
“I can only note that the past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, and thus we don’t have complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” ― Virginia Woolf

Painting has its own life, its own consciousness, its own presence. It lives and evolves in History, but transcends it.
When in the twentieth century some people proclaimed the death of painting, the truth is that they were announcing an impossibility. Painting lives and manifests itself since the time of the caves precisely because we do not create it, but because it goes through us. The painter is its spokesperson, its conductor.
Like love, perhaps, like truth, goodness, beauty; like the soul needs the body to evolve and know itself; or like everything that penetrates us and whose origin we ignore, painting requires us to incarnate itself, to experience the form.
The arrival of the muse is always a mystery, because as soon as she appears, the creator disappears, the painter becomes the act of painting, and painting happens. If the executor tries to spy on the muse, she - as a good mythological creature - evaporates.
This exhibition is part of my homage, as a painter, to those many women who inspire me, to those who created and those who could not do it, to those who, in multiple trips back and forth, were also, themselves, models, authors and even hidden muses.
But I would like it to be, above all, a tribute to Painting, a way of thanking it for the joy and responsibility that it implies for me to be part of its long journey; a declaration of my love for it.
Chechu Álava (Paris, July 13, 2021)



from September 09, 2021 to October 16, 2021


Chechu Álava

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