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Mil·lenari de Catalunya. Segle XVIII, 1990

Millenary of Catalonia. 18th Century, 1990
…Sergi Aguilar, Susana Solano and Jaume Plensa’s current contribution to this fresh encounter with iron has nothing to do with any false means of liberation which has come from outside as a possible springboard for a change which, in the end, does not take place if it is assimilated only as a spring and not in its integral conceptualisation.
[…] Something that may well have been unthinkable two years ago, they (after Chillida, Alfaro and Palazuelo) are the new blacksmiths of Spanish sculpture […] Their work renews that sense of Brancusian balance between the idea and the sensory which the Rumanian sculptor defined in this phrase: “your hand thinks and follows the thoughts of the material.
” In their way, the three of them transcend technique and turn it into a personal language closely related to the origin and purpose of their ideas. In his perfect finishes, Aguilar uses the impeccable as a path of mystery, a defining element which is not at all passive –because his work is fundamentally perceptive–, in an eternal struggle with the continually troubled forms which, through those patinas, seem to guard their secrets until the last moment. In Solano’s powerful sheets of iron we can appreciate a premeditated natural vibration that includes deliberate touches of clumsiness as a totally legitimate element for anyone trying to restore the appearance of familiar things, which also explains why she uses test materials (iron and plaster mesh) as something definitive. And for his animalology Plensa uses the resounding evidence of assemblage and interpretations as a demonstration of that life struggle which drives it.
Aguilar, heir to sculptural sculpture and not to the few continuers of open, off-centre sculpture tending towards a projection outside the closed mass which evolved extensively in the second half of the 20th century, proposes, between narrowings and breakouts, a kind of liturgical space, where the penumbra factor acts decisively as an unexpected shelter for slowly studied concision. Solano works her inner spaces without gestures, with a particular serene ease which relives physical journeys as bends, extractions, suggested places… which are not unfamiliar either to her or to us within a compendium of images whose starting point may be nature and the functional irregularity of popular architecture, women’s furniture, etc. Plensa fearlessly, brusquely, almost in fits and starts, offers a proliferated sculpture which goes from the apparently soft, even blurred, as if in the making, to the most precise and threatening, in a display of bravura which fights gratuitous horror and has been done with a particular stretching of the figure without stylisation which, when it knows how to decongest itself in order to say more, produces high expressiveness above the conventions of fashion.
Teresa Blanch, 1984.

Technical details

Original title:
Mil·lenari de Catalunya. Segle XVIII
Registration number:
1183
Artist:
Español Viñas, Agustí
Date created:
1990
Date acquired:
1997
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan
Object type:
Graphic work (editions)
Media:
Lithography on paper
Dimensions:
70 x 50 cm (height x width)
Credits:
MACBA Collection. Government of Catalonia long-term loan. National Collection of Art
Copyright:
© Agustí Español Viñas
It has accessibility resources:
No

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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I like to work with what is often called "cultural heritage", but the materials that I use are banal and clichéd, like sugar blocks, doors, couscous, rugs, official documents.
Latifa Echakhch