Two large basalt monoliths, each over three-and-a-half-metres high, evoke one of the greatest symbols of power – the monarchy – through their titles and their monumentality. Made in 1987 and located since 2004 on the Rambla Nord, outside the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting on the campus of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, these works encapsulate the artist’s sculptural language.
As in other works by Xavier Corberó, the verticality of the stone, together with their titles, gives the pieces a certain anthropomorphism. While in other compositions the artist ‘humanises’ large blocks of stone by turning them into a family, a traveller or legal practitioners, this time he has opted for the figure of monarchs.
The figures seem to have been carved or broken by chance, almost accidentally. As is usual in his sculptures, Corberó likes to emphasise the natural provenance of the stone, as well as human intervention. Thus they appear as the result of an enforced or traumatic separation caused by the natural block of stone being broken. The insertion of cylindrical elements and other small geometric forms reinforces the nature-culture dialectics. In the case of S.M. La Reina, the piece is crowned by a form reminiscent of a peineta, a large decorative comb typical of Spanish tradition since the eighteenth century.