In Situation globulaire, Miguel Barceló layers wax, plaster and oil paint on canvas to depict a constellation of coloured circles around a central burst. Executed in 1988, the work's imagery reflects Barceló's interest in the celestial heavens, while its scumbled surface recalls the vast terrain of the artist's international travels. Executed in 1988, two years before Barceló painted his celebrated bullfighting series, Situation globulaire's blanched hues and puckered shapes recall the intense desert light and vast sky of West Africa. In the 1988 work, Barceló takes boundless exploration at a thematic level, pushing the limits of illusionistic and tactile space through his diverse materials and colours.
As a Parisian transplant from Mallorca, Barceló draws on painterly traditions of both regions. Situation globulaire's organic, punctured surface illustrates Jean Dubuffet's crucial influence, while the spherical imagery of the natural world recalls 17th century Bodegón still lifes, famously rendered by Juan Sánchez Cotán. Just as Spanish academic painters painted spherical objects to refine their technical skills, Barceló relishes the formal challenges of reconciling coloured paint with high-relief wax and plaster. Even with such temperamental materials, Barceló manages evoke the tactility of the earthly terrain as he translates the mysticism of the cosmos.