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“The spectacle of the sky overwhelms me. I am overwhelmed when I see a crescent moon or the sun in an immense sky [...] Immobility makes me think of vast spaces that contain movements that do not stop, movements that have no end. As Kant said, it is a sudden irruption of the infinite into the finite [...] What I am looking for, in fact, is an immobile movement, something that would be the equivalent of what we call the eloquence of silence – or what Saint John of the Cross, I believe, called soundless music"

Joan Miró in Yvon Taillandier, ”I work like a gardener”, XXe Siècle, París, 15 Feb 1959.

Depicted below is La première étincelle du jour II by Joan Miró, 1966. (Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona)

#art #painting #miró #catalanart #catalunya
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Today in Catalunya the streets are full of roses, books and love. It is la Diada de Sant Jordi (Saint George's Day), our saint patron, who, according to Jacopo da Varazze's “Legenda Aurea” (13th century), killed the dragon and rescued a beautiful princess from being eaten by the fierce beast. From the blood of the dragon sprouted a red rose bush and the knight cut one of its roses to give it to the damsel.

And this is why in Catalunya, on April 23rd, every man gives a rose to his beloved, every woman gives her beloved a book, and the streets are full of roses, books, love and a little bit of Chopin, too...

*

Joan Brossa. A la Poesia (To Poetry)

Oh Poesia, emmotlla en els avenços
L'orgull de poder dir company o pàtria;
Els rics detalls han envelat les fustes
Dels brots del cant.

Cada hora modifica't, Poesia;
Fes campejar severa fantasia
Amb l'escalfor de l'esperit del poble
Del meu país.

L'art del carrer on has estat bastida,
L'escultura del ferro que afaiçones,
No els vols un quadre mort. De vida intensa
Forja el record.

Esmena't de l'afany dels qui et fan fosca,
Poetes de la mel i la melassa,
Capells de copa groga i cementiris,
Productes bords.

Treu-te la cucurulla dels diumenges,
Posa't a lloc i reparteix els gustos
Per al coronament d'un goig estètic
Amb vida al fons.

Sigues mestressa amb seny en la manera
De referir-te als homes i a les coses;
Constant corrent de brisa, ret justícia
A pobres flors.

Torna, amor meu, integra't a les vides,
Uneix les fletxes a la senzillesa;
Deixa de banda els fòssils de les bèsties
Fets de més tro.

Enrotlla't al meu cos. Però il·lumina,
Com el feix lluminós d'una lent clara,
La molta empenta d'aquest sol concepte:
La Llibertat.

El pedestal són les sabates, 1955.

Music: Frédéric Chopin. Étude Op. 25, No. 1 in A-flat major, 1836. Performed by Vladimir Horowitz. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFNAcyfpIQk)

#santjordi #catalunya #culture #books #roses #poetry #brossa #music #piano #chopin #horowitz
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One of my favourite painters, Ramon Casas i Carbó (January 4, 1866 – February 29, 1932), was born 150 years ago, and to celebrate it, a series of exhibitions, routes, publications and other events will take place around Catalunya during a year, in order to show the wonderful work of this many talents man. Casas, the painter, the draughtsman, and one of the pioneers in graphic design. Casas the landscaper, the portrayer, and the painter of social events.

Ramon Casas, together with Santiago Rusiñol, were the leaders of the Modernisme, that "total" art style developed between the endings of the 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th century around Europe and North America (Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Liberty, Modern Style, Wiener Sezession, Tifanny) and which embraced architecture, graphic art, interior design and most of the decorative arts, as well as fine arts. Art as a way of life, and in the particular case of Catalunya, closely related to the recovery of the Catalan culture and the modernization of the country, and of course, also to a wealthy bourgeoisie eager of a global art that had to be present in every part of their leisure life.

The main event of the "Any Casas" ("Year of Casas") is a kind of mistery. It is only known that it will occur between the end of next June and the beginning of July at Món Sant Benet (Sant Fruitós de Bages), where his summer residence was located. Concerning to the scheduled exhibitions, the first one will happen in a few days: Ramon Casas. La vida moderna (Ramon Casas. The Modern Life) at the Museu del Modernisme (Barcelona), from March 10 to May 8. This exhibition will be followed by others like: Júlia, el desig (Júlia, the Desire), at the Cercle del Liceu (Barcelona), from May 4 to July 20, –which is dedicated to his wife and muse, Júlia–, Ramon Casas a les col·leccions del Museu Pau Casals (Ramon Casas in the collections of the Museu Pau Casals), at the house-museum of the great musician Pau Casals (El Vendrell), from June 17 to September 11, Ramon Casas i les ombres xineses dels Quatre Gats. Pràctiques heterodoxes (Ramon Casas and the Quatre Gats Chinese shadows. Heterodox practices) at the MNAC (Barcelona) in October (30-31), Ramon Casas en família (Ramon Casas in family) at the Fundació Rocamora (Barcelona) from November 2016 to January 2017, and Santiago Rusiñol i Ramon Casas per Catalunya en carro (Santiago Rusiñol i Ramon Casas through Catalunya on cart) at the Museu de la Vida Rural (L'Espluga de Francolí) from July to December 2017.

By the end of the year, Sitges, that beautiful and small village of the Catalan coast, where Santiago Rusiñol organized the Modernist parties, that is, the series of successful events plenty of music, theatre, poetry and painting that wanted to be an alternative to official art and a tribute to modernity, will host one of the main exhibitions at the Palau Maricel, Ramon Casas, la modernitat anhelada (Ramon Casas, the wished modernity) from November 10, 2016 to February 19, 2017.

But other initiatives and activities are planned, like for example the book Les set vides de Pere Romeu (Pere Romeu's seven lives) by Josep Bargalló, –a biography of the owner of the Quatre Gats–, or the facsimile edition Desde El Molino (From Le Moulin), which was written in Paris by Rusiñol and illustrated by Casas, between 1890 and 1892, as well as several routes dedicated to the artist (Barcelona, Sitges, Món Sant Benet, Torredembarra, Badalona and Montserrat). There is also another activity which I personally find extremely interesting and in which several writers, like Núria Rafart, Albert Sánchez Piñol or Jaume Cabré, will do their own reading of a Casas's artwork in different museums (Museu de la Garrotxa, Museu Víctor Balaguer, Museu de Sabadell).

“My suggestion is that one might think about it as a huge and somewhat exotic railway station. The lines converge towards it from all parts of the art landscape, some of them terminating here, while others pass through towards stations further down the line called Expressionism, Abstraction and Surrealism. The two stations of Symbolism and Art Nouveau are separate but so close as to be virtually joined. Each platform is subtly different from the next. The Gauguin platform is flooded with sunlight, but not very crowded; the Rose + Croix platform is in deep shadow and the seats on the train are covered in red velvet, alchemical brews are offered in the buffet car and the price of the tickets is your good taste. A few passengers are changing to this train from the one standing on the academic platform, where everybody seems to wear top hats and the Legion d'Honneur, although neither train ever seems to go any great distance. Between them, the Pre-Raphaelite train is pulling in from England, with an Arts and Crafts coach, booked through Art Nouveau, stuck on the end. At the extreme north edge of the station Munch sits gloomily by himself waiting for Strindberg, who, as usual, is late.”
Alastair Mackintosh. “Symbolism and Art Nouveau” in David Britt (ed.), Modern Art. Impressionism to Post-Modernism, 2007.

#art #casas #modernisme #catalanart #catalunya #mackintosh #anycasas
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"But sometimes illumination comes to our rescue at the very moment when all seems lost; we have knocked at every door and they open on nothing until, at last, we stumble unconsciously against the only one through which we can enter the kingdom we have sought in vain a hundred years - and it opens."

Marcel Proust. À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), 1913 - 1927.

"The eternity which Proust opens to view is convoluted time, not boundless time. His true interest is in the passage of time in its most real—that is, space-bound-form, and this passage nowhere holds sway more openly than in remembrance within and aging without. To observe the interaction of aging and remembering means to penetrate to the heart of Proust’s world, to the universe of convolution. It is the world in a state of resemblances, the domain of the correspondances; the Romanticists were the first to comprehend them and Baudelaire embraced them most fervently, but Proust was the only one who managed to reveal them in our lived life. This is the work of the mémoire involontaire, the rejuvenating force which is a match for the inexorable process of aging. When the past is reflected in the dewy fresh 'instant', a painful shock of rejuvenation pulls it together once more”

Walter Benjamin. “The Image of Proust” in Illuminations, 1969.

Image: El xal by Francesc Xavier Gosé, 1912. (Museu d'Art Jaume Morera de Lleida from Wikimedia Commons under license CC BY 2.0)

#literature #proust #benjamin #art #gosé #catalanart
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Today's post on Catalan art is dedicated to La danseuse (The dancer), a collage made by Joan Miró in Mont-roig (Tarragona) during late July and early October of the year 1929.  This work is made of tar paper, conté crayon, paper and flocked paper on paper, measures 39 x 27 7/16 inches (99 x 69,7 cm) and it is part of the Udo and Anette Brandhorst Collection (Munich).

In this work Miró depicts a dancer using a juxtaposition of several kind of materials.  A tar paper with an oval hole is glued on a yellowish paper and crossed by three strips of paper forming a strange game of diagonals.  Two of these strips are made of an ochre flocked paper, while the third one is made of a thin iridescent green paper.  From them emerges a slender figure drawn with conté crayon.  It is the dancer, with her arms and one of her legs raised   Here there are her head, her neck, her breasts, her torso, her navel, her long legs and her feet.

Miró, the artist who wants to assassinate the painting, uses the collage in order to show what a painting shouldn't be, and he does it through contrasts and a particular ironic game.  He draws a sweet and delicate line on a dirty, rough, clumsily-cut black tar paper.  His drawing is a dancer with luxurious clothes made of rough and dirty materials, like that yellowish halo that evolves the body of the dancer and which Miró has obtained by playing with glue.  

The artist, who has a quite developed Dada spirit and is more Bataillenian than Bretonian, is challenging social values by using those materials of anonymous people, but also the sacred visual laws established since the Renaissance.  The figure together with the tar paper have left the background to settle in the front   A challenge that is also in breaking the limits between what is real and what is portrayed.  The observer and the work, the work and the observer, that observer who is now reflected on the iridescent green paper, exactly where the foot of the dancer is drawn.  That observer to whom the dancer is projected, attractive and repulsive, dynamic and, at the same time static in order to be viewed, depicting a complex dialogue between the visual and eroticism, of that desire related to the glance which is materialized through tactility, that can be already seen in his previous serie Danseuses espagnoles.(1928), and that is quite different from the Dalinian fetish.

#art #arthistory #painting #collage #miró #catalanart #catalunya
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“I wonder. Well...it was around 1922 when I met most of my Surrealist friends: Masson, Leiris, Artaud, Desnos, etc. But it was not until two years later that I met Breton, Éluard and Aragon, and that I became a friend of the group. However, I didn't follow all the ins and outs of their various positions. Although I agreed with a lot of things, I remained a painter, strictly a painter“
Joan Miró in Denis Chevalier, ”Miró”, Aujourd'hui: Art et Architecture (París), November 1962.

Image: "Joan Miró, 1930" by Man Ray, 1930.

#art #miró #catalanart #photography #manray #surrealism
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Next week, on June the 30th, the new Sean Scully Art Space in the Romanesque church of Santa Cecilia de Montserrat will be officially opened. It is the end of a process that began a ten years ago with the meeting between the Irish artist and Father Josep de Calassanç Laplana, director of the Museum of Montserrat. It was then, when the idea of blending spirituality and contemporary art in the old church of Santa Cecilia, appeared.

From the very beginning Scully wanted to keep the sacred atmosphere for contemplation and meditation of the church, and planned an intervention that would last for several years. He chose his Holly series as the main theme for Santa Cecilia, a set that was conceived in 2004 as a personal interpretation of the fourteen Stations of the Cross in memory of his mother, Ivy, shortly after her death. It was shown at the Kunstverein (Aichach, Germany) and now it has been again recreated for this final installation in Montserrat with the name of Holly-Stationes.

Scully's intervention has been increasing with the passage of time. Using oil on aluminium or copper, he made impressive pieces like Cecilia (2012), the triptych Doric Nyx (2013), a small blue triptych (2014) and Landline Cecilia (2015). He has added an oil on canvas named Barcelona Wall of Light Pink (2013) to these works in order to complete the set. He has also contributed with eight windows of colours and with three small-scale frescoes that are in huge contrast with the other large pieces of the temple. Moreover, he has made three beautiful glass crosses for the altar and side walls, a stained glass retrochoir and four chandeliers to finish a masterpiece that could remind us of that one made by Matisse in the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence.

More information available at http://www.santaceciliamontserrat.com/en/index.html

Image obtained from http://www.santaceciliamontserrat.com/en/sean-scullys-intervention

#art #contemporaryart #scully #montserrat #santacecilia #spirituality #catalunya
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Fundació Joan Miró (1975 - 2015)
Feliç 40è aniversari!  Happy 40th anniversary!
(https://vimeo.com/129866354)

"Very important. I want this place to be vibrant, where people could freely discuss, and poets, musicians, painters, artisans could meet"

"Molt important. Fer que sigui un lloc viu, de lliure discussió, que reuneixi a poetes, músics, pintors, els artesans"

Joan Miró. Letter to J. L. Sert (October 1st,1968)

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"It won't be a museum. I don't like this idea at all. I rather imagine a cultural centre that comes to life by means of exhibitions, debates, concerts and theatre and poetic performances..."

"No serà un museu. A mi no m'agrada gens aquesta idea. Imagino més aviat un centre cultural que visqui mitjançant exposicions, debats, concerts i representacions teatrals i poètiques..."

Joan Miró. Statement to Jacques Michel, Le Monde (1971)

Image: Fundació Miró entrance by Conxa Rodà. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

#art #miró #fundaciójoanmiró #centreestudisartcontemporani #barcelona #catalunya #catalanart
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Today in Catalunya we celebrate la Diada de Sant Jordi, and the streets, again, are full of roses, books and love.

Sant Jordi, our saint patron, and according to the 13th century Iacopo da Varazze's “Legenda Aurea”, killed the dragon and rescued a beautiful damsel from being eaten by the beast. It is also said that from the blood of this dragon sprouted a red rose bush and that the brave knight cut one of its roses and gave it to the princess.

So, in Catalunya, every April 23rd (which is the date of the knight's death in the year 303), every man gives a rose to his beloved and every woman gives her beloved a book, and this is why today our streets are full of roses, books, and of course, love.

Image: Bouquet of roses and handmade book with Japanese 7 hole binding.
 
#santjordi #catalunya #culture #books #roses
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