Gloria Picazo (independent curator and director of the Centre d’Art La Panera) and Jordi Colomer (artist) offer us a guided tour of the exhibition ACT 24: Documents and Memory. Josep Suñol Collection’s Archive. The exhibition presents the archive of Josep Suñol’s collection based on writings and graphic works from the past five decades of the cultural and artistic panorama, organized around a timeline stretching from 1968 to the present. The dialogue between the two speakers allows us to understand, from their personal and professional experience, the change in the cultural dynamics that have occurred in Spain over the years.
Helena Tatay (independent curator) and Valentín Roma (art historian) offer us a guided tour of the exhibition ACT 24: Documents and Memory. Josep Suñol Collection’s Archive. The exhibition presents the archive of Josep Suñol’s collection based on writings and graphic works from the past five decades of the cultural and artistic panorama, organized around a timeline stretching from 1968 to the present. The dialogue between the two speakers allows us to understand, from their personal and professional experience, the change in the cultural dynamics that have occurred in Spain over the years.
As a follow-up to the 5th Anniversary exhibition held in 2012 under eight headings, the smaller-scale CONTINUUM now shows a selection of works of the Josep Suñol Collection that take a look over the last ninety years of artistic creation and offers an excellent platform for thinking about 20th-century art.
Through a selection of pieces created by national and international artists (Achille Perilli, Richard Avedon, Eduardo Arroyo, Man Ray, Jaume Plensa, Robert Llimós, Alighiero Boetti, Alberto García-Alix, Andy Warhol, Roman Buxbaum, José Noguero, Darío Villalba, Lucio Fontana, Giacomo Balla, Luis Lugán, Antoni Abad, Antonio Saura, Zush, Miquel Barceló, Jordi Sabaté, Isidre Manils, Antoni Tàpies and Sergi Aguilar) using different media (sculpture, photography, tapestry, painting, printing and mixed techniques), the visitor will have to live through his own experience, interacting between him itself as observant, the artist and his proposed work, and to think about the different approaches to a certain artistic subject matter, trying to admit this way the limits of the visual arts across the thought. The works in this exhibition create a whole host of interconnected communicative acts that explain the creative process behind the continuum of the visual arts over time and in the different forms they take.
Photos: Xavier de Luca
The Fundació Suñol’s exhibition Pablo Picasso. Tauromachy presented a work with texts by José Delgado, alias Pepe Illo, illustrated with 26 aquatints by Pablo Picasso. It was published in 1959 by Gustau Gili, as part of his Ediciones de la Cometa collection. José Delgado (Seville, 1754 – Madrid, 1801) was a bullfighter and also author of the treatise La Tauromaquia o Arte de Torear [Tauromachy or the Art of Bullfighting] published in Cádiz in 1796.
Picasso’s series of aquatints set out the sequence of steps in a bullfight, from the picture of the bulls lying down in a meadow to the bullfighter being gored in the bullring. In each of them the artist reduces the tension of the spectacle by stylising the figures of the bulls, picadors and bullfighters with extremely subtle dynamic movement; and his fast, tense hand testifies to the action in the bullring.
The process for publishing La Tauromaquia got under way in 1926, when Gustau Gili i Roig contacted Pablo Picasso to offer him the opportunity to illustrate one of the new books in his Ediciones de la Cometa collection. After a flurry of letters and a series of interviews, Picasso agreed to illustrate the book on the art of bullfighting written centuries before by José Delgado, very probably inspired by the bullfighting etchings by Goya, whom Picasso deeply admired.
The publishing process came to a halt for no apparent reason in 1930 and it was only almost thirty years later, in 1956, that Gustau Gili i Esteve picked up the conversations with Picasso to complete the project begun by his father.
The ties between Gustau Gili i Esteve and Picasso were more than strictly professional and their friendship grew stronger over the years. Gili played a key role in helping set up the Picasso Museum in Barcelona in 1963 and in Jacqueline Picasso’s later donation of a sizeable amount of the artist’s work to the museum’s collections.
This exhibition at the Fundació Suñol pays tribute to Pablo Picasso forty years after his death. It aimed to reveal his extraordinary ability to absorb and turn a personal experience into something universal.
This exhibition aims to strike up a dialogue between the Fundació Suñol’s collection and the collection built up by Lleida City Council over the course of the eight editions of the Leandre Cristòfol Art Biennial. Josep Suñol began to put his private collection together in the 1970s with works from between 1915 and 2008; the pieces brought together by the Centre d’Art la Panera range from 1991 to 2012, including works acquired for the 2013 biennial.
Despite the obvious generation gap, there is a certain continuity in the criteria and approaches in the works selected from both collections that highlights some of the key features that have characterised art in our country in recent years.
This project also sets out to bring together and compare a major private contribution such as the Fundació Suñol in Barcelona—which has put its collection together over more than four decades—with a public art centre such as the Centre d’Art la Panera, which is managed by Lleida City Council and opened in 2003.
The same exhibition will be shown at Centre d’Art la Panera from october 2014 to January 2015.
Artists of Centre d’art la Panera collection:
Francesc Abad, Ana Laura Aláez, Lara Almarcegui, Basurama, Daniel Canogar, Patrícia Dauder, Álex Francés, Abigail Lazkoz, Juan López, Julia Montilla, Juan Luis Moraza, Felicidad Moreno, Marina Núñez, Alberto Peral, MP & MP Rosado, Eulàlia Valldosera.
Artists of Josep Suñol collection:
Sergi Aguilar, Frederic Amat, Rosa Amorós, Tonet Amorós, Carmen Calvo, Bill Culbert, Alberto García Alix, Luis Gordillo, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Peter Hone, Luis Lugán, Miquel Navarro, Juan Uslé, Darío Villalba, Zush.
Photos: Aina de Gispert
Josep Suñol’s fascination with work on paper is strikingly captured by the fact that over thirty per cent of the pieces in his contemporary art collection are done on this medium. Perhaps this interest was sparked by the spontaneity afforded by paper. Or maybe because preliminary sketches for later works can hold the key to understanding what goes through an artist’s mind as they create an image. Or because such a vast array of specific techniques can be used with paper, including drawing, printing, photography and collage, as well as many pictorial techniques. Whatever the reason—or probably a combination of them all—the collection contains works on paper by Spanish and international artists that show the central role this medium played in art work in the last century and, above all, reveal its ability to become a medium in its own right rather than merely a tool—albeit a vital one—for preparatory work. The 20th century not only saw a large number of isms burst onto the scene almost simultaneously; it also gave rise to many more ways of working with a wide range of materials on any kind of medium. Given this context, it isn’t surprising that paper acquired a higher status, above and beyond being a useful medium for studies, as the definitive medium to work with and a material in its own right.
In this exhibition we have arranged the pieces to focus on the way they make use of paper. An artist’s choice to work on paper is not a fanciful whim, but stems from the specific possibilities or limitations afforded by this particular medium. The exhibition shows a wide range of techniques made possible by the use of paper but also contains a selection of works that defy paper’s limitations.
The title On Paper reflects the exhibition’s twofold purpose: to show work done on paper and at the same time to explore paper as a medium and an aspect of a piece that has a tremendous bearing on the work itself.
Photos: Aina de Gispert
Susana Solano’s artistic career took off in the 1980s, at a time when Josep Suñol was significantly expanding his collection. Josep Suñol had very close ties to local creators, and artists such as Susana Solano—who was about to burst onto the international scene—immediately caught his eye as he built up a collection following very firmly contemporary creation. Several of the Susana Solano pieces in the Josep Suñol Collection are on display in the exhibition and, together with other works, illustrate the aim behind the show, as well as Marta Llorente’s excellent text, which can be read below and gives a comprehensive vision of the stylistic and conceptual features of the artist’s work.
The Fundació Suñol usually gives over the first floor of its building to exhibitions offering an in-depth look at work by artists in its collection. On this occasion we have focused on the personal, universal language of Susana Solano, an artist who creates symbolic spaces out of abstract forms inspired by nature, her surroundings and memory. Using a wide range of materials, including iron, steel, wicker, aluminium, PVC, glass, cord and wire mesh, she leads us to observe these pieces and also take part. She draws on her own experience to raise questions about human beings and their relationship with their habitat.
A large part of Susana Solano’s output is made up of architectural forms found in nature—cavities, receptacles, basins, hills, etc—that explore edges, boundaries, spaces between the visible (the outside) and the invisible (the inside). In this context, the concept of the epidermis takes on its full meaning, since it occupies the space that separates the endogenous from the exogenous. The covering is a key part of these works since it acts as both a container and a showcase for a less visible but equally or even more significant nucleus—reason enough for the rich variety of materials she employs.
Low Flight alludes to the horizontal nature of the pieces laid out on display across the floor in the exhibition rooms. Horizontality is a recurring feature in many of Solano’s works—including most of the ones selected for this show—which lets the artist expand the field of view and lead the viewer’s gaze beyond its edges. The pieces practically merge with the ground, removing the gap between the earthly and the symbolic, as if their presence formed an essential part of the space.
Photos: Aina de Gispert
The exhibition I sei sensi [The Six Senses] stems from the Fundació Suñol’s initiative to offer regular rereadings of the work in its collection, in this case pieces by Italian artists from the second avant-gardes.
The exhibition follows a brief chronological structure, starting with Futurism as one of the first avant-gardes, followed by Informalism, conceptual art and the Italian Transavantgarde. Alongside Balla and Boetti, there is also work by Novelli, Longobardi, Consagra, Fontana, Staccioli, Perilli, Battaglia, Griffa and Spagnulo—a wide range of innovative formal approaches that represent the main trends in 20th-century art.
Its title is taken from one of the series produced by Alighiero Boetti throughout the 1970s: I sei sensi. Boetti stressed the importance of reason (pensare) in his art work and saw thought as a sensitive being in art.
Photos: Aina de Gispert
For this first retrospective exhibition by Patricio Vélez (Quito, 1945; based in Barcelona since 1976), we have selected almost a hundred works of art from amongst a vast oeuvre of paintings, drawings, engravings and photographs, with the intention of offering a representative panorama of the work carried out by the artist over more than half a century.
Patricio Vélez studied architecture in Quito, Barcelona and Paris, but shortly after obtaining his degree, painting became a priority in his life. His first solo exhibition took place in 1977 in the Ciento gallery in Barcelona. His works are like atlases or mental and sensory cartographies of the natural world. Their author likes to say that they are “transfigurations of nature”.
The vegetal world is the base fabric of his work. In it, a framework populated by signs is formed in which every stroke organises and creates images of rich ambiguity. This in turn strikes a balance between a near and at the same time distant vision, resulting in a sort of “landscape writing”. He very often creates different works around a same theme.
In the exhibition we present some of these “variations”, which in certain cases become narrative sequences. In much the same way, we can observe that the exhibition addresses the constant matters of the visual arts: colour, line, surface, chiaroscuro, fragmentations and analogies, amongst others.