Fernando Casás

(Gondomar, Pontevedra, 1946)

Árboles como arqueología, 2003

Eight black granite monoliths
(427-507 cm y 95-115 cm de diameter) and two ancient olive trees
Hermitage of la Corona, Piracés, Monegros, Huesca

Curator: Javier Maderuelo
Technical development for the project: José Miguel Ferrando

Video 30″:   http://youtu.be/Tp2bseydqZo

Fernando Casás Catalogue: Fernando Casás: Naturgeist, with an introduction by Javier Maderuelo (Diputación de Huesca, 1997).

Fernando Casás has spent his life between Brazil and Galicia, an experience that has shaped his development as an artist, leading him to work and pursue his education in both places. In terms of the learning of his craft, this back-and-forth movement is evident in the way the influence of his Galician grandfather, a carpenter who taught him how to work with wood, is complemented by his technical training at the Escola Superior de Desenho Industrial in Rio de Janeiro. The natural landscapes of Brazil and Galicia have had a significant influence on his work, and Casás draws on the wide range of materials provided by nature, from tree trunks from the Amazon rainforest to materials from the coast of Galicia. He has used such materials to pursue one of the basic aims of his work: to investigate diverse processes of decomposition and transformation in nature, as effected by natural elements (such as wind), by insects (such as termites), and by industrial processes and materials (such as polyester). Casás’ sculptural works tend to be monumental. Through his pieces he seeks to break down the barriers that civilisation has constructed between nature, the world of culture, and perception, trying to get people to change the way they respond to nature and adopt a respectful view of landscape. At an emotional level, and in a very visual way, the art of Casás leads us to feel that in the primordial universe he reveals there is no gulf separating man, the world, the cosmos and nature.


Whenever I entered a natural space I’d collect some material, generally old bits of wood and other materials overlooked by urban eyes, gnawed on by insects or worn down by the elements. The only possible choice as a site was the Monegros desert, where nature has lost the memory of its forest. The sculpture consists of two real trees planted in the midst of a group of eight granite trunks. The site is on the top of one of those mountains that have been cut away by the wind, with its sides completely eroded. The sculpture can be seen from the distance as an element integrated in its monumental surroundings: an archaeological trace of the life that once existed there.

Fernando Casás. Fernando Casás. Arqueología del no lugar. Madrid. Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2004, p 126.


The works of Fernando Casás are not denunciations; nor are they intended as a means of drawing attention. They reflect another logic, from which the image of doubt emerges. They are figures that show what man does through the individual action of one man. The works of Fernando Casás are therefore emblematic witnesses to human action.

Javier Maderuelo. Fernando Casás. Diputación de Huesca, 1997, p 9.

The art of Casás seems to evolve in two directions. One is clearly sculptural, three-dimensional, a movement towards the monumental and, with his penetrable spaces, towards something akin to architecture, which works by appropriation, seeking to break down the barriers our civilisation has put up between the nature of art and the art of nature, the world of culture and the natural world. This approach seeks to re-sensitise civilized man so that he abandons his view of nature as an inert backdrop against which he can exercise an unlimited capacity for control. Instead he is invited to perceive the countless forms imprinted on the world, which form a transhuman semiotics that is cosmic in its scope. The other direction – which does not diverge from the first but runs parallel to it, for it always takes nature as the visual and emotional starting point – readdresses concerns with geo-graphics and topo-graphics, reclaiming the marks of life (as Brazilian artist R. Katz has put it) on his work.

Roberto Grey. Fernando Casás. Arqueología del no lugar. Madrid: Círculo de Bellas Artes, 2004, p.157.








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Coordinates: Latitude 42º 0’ 44,86’’ N. Longitude 0º 19’ 26,77’’ W