1986 - 1989 (2)

FOR AN EXHIBITION BY ROMÀ PANADÉS

Beauty is difficult despite its clarity. This painting, with the desire of being classical, has been created from a simultaneous urge of line, colour and argument, by means of a long and precise task of drawing and blurring of the images both intellectually and sentimentally.

The line is linked directing the waves of colour, a severe blaze of feeling, the structure of a grand melody. He always has solidity, and his stroke is complex: the enlargement of his image would show a painting within the painting, the hidden feelings that are the life of each scene. He always maintains an appreciable thickness, an area that enables him to fade out, creating a no-man’s land of a great intensity and warmth, worthy of the beats in music, a virtue that comes from afar, like assurance in old age.

Sometimes there is the suggestion of a map of the painting, due to such a strong presence of the lines, which might show the appearance of paths, of height contours, of a complex sentimental orography, as if it were the map of the destiny of the characters themselves. It is as if the painting wanted to take on the old meaning of the lines on the palm of the hand or the texture of the horizon.

The culture of colour is present from the silent clays of the Greek vases and of the twilight porcelains through to the lightness of the De Chirico horses or the darkness of Nonell. There is a colour of a vast, splendid past, which is perpetuated and at the same time begins again in each of these paintings, because they provide a spectrum for the light, the shadows and all the infinite reflexes that leave these vestals over our world. Its colour has the depth of a mirror, a well, an exile. They are the colours of life and this gives the canvas the familiarity and nobility of the invisible furniture stored in the memory.

This affectionate and worthy colour, which would not withstand the inclemency of a previous drawing, comes from so far, like the very shading out, can transform a body into a soul if the gaze is free of rational extravagances. The estate of this colour is immense, a way of showing our significance in this great Venetian language minted from Tintoretto to Turner and Cézanne. The background is tinged with its veiled light, as if a pleasant screen of parchment filtered the colours in the foreground. It is said that the face of the selfsame spectator ends up being faithful to this chiaroscuro and is also concealed and enveloped by the same sphere of the painting, where the distance between the darker and lighter areas always possesses the humanity of feelings. Feelings are at the base of this art and they structure it with their complex nature. For this reason the masses of colour are large and balanced, and it is the lines which –when necessary– are responsible for the violence, represented, for example, by a sometimes unexpected dramatic inclination.

Each one of these paintings is the visible part of the iceberg of a possible story. The invisible part could be built, rebuilt or eternally made out through them. Sometimes love, sometimes friendship, always a silent talk that never ends, a serene accompaniment with the characters, almost always two, separately immersed in their own thoughts and the spectator, from outside, looking at them lost in their personal story.
In the centre of this painting there is the seafarer, who is young, of a youth that is already aware of the first disappointments, the first feelings of nostalgia for childhood: he is measuring life, unfolding before him. These seafarers are reflective: they have the mystery of man facing his destiny and make up the large frieze of farewells from someone in their youth.
spectator ends up being faithful to this chiaroscuro and is also concealed and enveloped by the same sphere of the painting, where the distance between the darker and lighter areas always possesses the humanity of feelings. Feelings are at the base of this art and they structure it with their complex nature. For this reason the masses of colour are large and balanced, and it is the lines which –when necessary– are responsible for the violence, represented, for example, by a sometimes unexpected dramatic inclination.

Each one of these paintings is the visible part of the iceberg of a possible story. The invisible part could be built, rebuilt or eternally made out through them. Sometimes love, sometimes friendship, always a silent talk that never ends, a serene accompaniment with the characters, almost always two, separately immersed in their own thoughts and the spectator, from outside, looking at them lost in their personal story.
In the centre of this painting there is the seafarer, who is young, of a youth that is already aware of the first disappointments, the first feelings of nostalgia for childhood: he is measuring life, unfolding before him. These seafarers are reflective: they have the mystery of man facing his destiny and make up the large frieze of farewells from someone in their youth.

This is a painting of people with a contemplative look, of theoreticians as the Greeks would say. The spectator either faces up to these glances –which are lost behind him– or feels them arise from the other side of the figures that have their backs to him, often from the suggestive height of the balcony. This is the case of the embracing couple, a synthesis of the tragedy of time in love, or of the two seafarers pointing and looking at the target on a fairground stall, a target made of light of bright golds, reds, greens and pinks, a veritable aurora within the tricks on offer beneath the awning, an afternoon at the festival.
Approximately 50 years ago, we began to turn our eyes away from the forms that were familiar to our ancestors for many centuries, and at the same time felt a deep complacency due to the spiritual void that this left us with. At least this has had the advantage that painting, at the end of abstraction, revealed, not only the victory of the void over art, but also the size of the previous victory of art over the void.

Moreover, a mediocre art that only provides appearance, wrapping, introduction and proclaims the spiritual force, can also end up awakening in some of its consumers the need for content that they have never felt. From amid all this has arisen, when all is said and done, the magnificent paintings of Romà Panadès, because art always overshadows its own publicity. Moralists often lie, but artists never do. Nor do philosophers, who only err. Art cannot be replaced by the void, in the same way that philosophy will not be replaced by science, because recalling Epicurus in his Letter to Menoeceus, “It were better, indeed, to accept the legends of the gods than to bow beneath destiny which the natural philosophers have imposed”

Joan Margarit, January 1989

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