Geometric abstraction has been a constant throughout David Rodríguez Caballero’s career. His earliest works are characterised by the use of expanded painting with a sponge on acrylic glass surfaces. This type of work is clearly influenced by that of artists such as Robert Ryman. Rodríguez Caballero applies white paint gesturally, in such a way that from a distance it looks like a monochrome surface but close up the viewer can see a whole series of textures, a phenomenon that the artist himself describes as “the macro-micro effect”.
It was during his first New York period in 1999 that David Rodríguez found a material that represented a real turning point in his artistic development: aluminium, perhaps the most characteristic of his varied output. The technique used with this material is the complete opposite of that applied with acrylic glass. In this case, he removes matter by sanding and thereby creates a whole series of shadows which vary as the viewer looks at the work. Before sanding, the artist makes a full-size “maquette” of the work with brown paper to have an initial view of its scale. This process is really quite architectural.
His work with aluminium led Rodríguez to coin the term “painting without paint”, a concept that has given him a clearly recognisable style of his own and has brought him popularity and prestige in the contemporary art scene. After aluminium came many other materials, such as parchment paper, which he uses to make his famous origami pieces, vinyl and other metals such as brass and copper, with which he produces countless sculptures.
The use of monochrome is another feature of his work. It already emerged in those early works on acrylic glass done with expanded painting in white using a sponge, in the origami pieces, in which white also predominates, in the vinyl pieces, in which he covers the whole surface with a single colour, which may be yellow, black or orange, to mention a few examples, and of course in the grey of the aluminium works, accompanied in some cases by a small strip of another colour. This monochrome can also be seen in his sculptures in brass or copper.
Rodríguez Caballero has also worked with monumental sculpture, and examples have been seen in cities such as Nice and Madrid. These are sculptures characterised by the verticality he finds in the skyscrapers of New York, the city where he has lived for several decades.
The Hortensia Herrero collection has several works by David Rodríguez Caballero in various materials, notably including the sculpture 18 febrero 2013, one of the few he has produced in copper.