Lives and works in Barcelona
Marcos Isamat, born in Barcelona in 1965, holds a degree in Biology from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge. Until 2003, he worked as a researcher for prestigious scientific institutions such as the Medical Research Council in Cambridge, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Montpellier and Paris, and Barcelona's Universidad Autónoma. However, his exploration of drawing and painting began prior to his studies in Biology.
Marcos Isamat, a precocious cartoonist, university theatre poster artist and illustrator for various publications, prepared his first exhibition on the neglected departmental museums of Cambridge University in 1991 under the auspices of Cambridge City Council. Isamat's work has been exhibited in galleries and foundations in several Spanish cities, including Madrid and Barcelona, and in international art fairs in Europe. His artistic creation encompasses landscapes, portraits, objects and nature, from which he obtains patterns or symmetries produced by freshly cut wheat, pine needles or the relief of pine tree bark. Halfway between figuration and abstraction. He is also the creator of the 3D paper Meninas for the Prado Museum and has collaborated with Spanish national television as a portrait artist in the documentary "Jaime Gil de Biedma: retrato de un poeta”. He has also illustrated books for children and adults from various publishers. Isamat has been working in pencil on paper for more than 30 years.
“My drawings almost always portray the synthesis of something I have observed in detail. An object or landscape I have watched for a long time, enough to be able to reimagine its dimensions, textures and movements, keeping to scale whenever possible and devoid of ornaments. I search for the geometries, symmetries, fugues or movements that define the subject of the drawing. A personal way of looking at common and everyday images, avoiding the spectacular and nailing its qualifying elegance. The resulting shades of grey from a pencil help me in this pursuit, as graphite on paper delivers just what this reductionism requires.”
Marcos Isamat draws with pencils ranging from 6B to 4H. The result of each type of pencil depends on the porosity and grain of the paper, which modulates the graphite. He uses conservation or handmade paper with hard-on-soft pencils to force the graphite into the cellulose and create a varnish effect. Light reflections are sharpened by erasing, revealing only the memory of the graphite.
Isamat finds deep black glazes by applying the graphite powder obtained from sharpening the pencil, achieving finishes similar to slate or iron. He defends the creative power of graphite in an excessively coloured world, as can be seen in the Neoseries Reflejos 1, from 2020.
His most recent exhibitions have taken place in Barcelona, such as Dualidades at Pigment Gallery in 2021, Art Enllà in 2020, La Galeria in Sant Cugat in 2020, 4ARenTena at Pigment Gallery in 2019, among others.
Marcos Isamat has also shown his work at various cultural institutions and international art galleries in Italy, France and Belgium. Of particular note is the exhibition Drawing Simplicity at King's College Cambridge. He received the Fundació Ynglada-Guillot/Vila-Casas International Drawing Award in 2011 and 2014.