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Montserrat, 1995

Photograph, 80 polaroids de

While staying in Barcelona for the show, Rodney Graham visited the mountain of Montserrat, which lies about sixty kilometers inland, and returned from a late-night trip there with eighty Polaroids; they can be seen as a pendant to his first photographic work, 75 Polaroids, from 1976. Montserrat holds great significance in Catalan culture, in part because of the Black Madonna venerated at the local monastery, but also because the Holy Grail is believed to have been kept there. In Richard Wagner’s libretto for his opera Lohengrin, and still more clearly in Parsifal, Montsalvat is identified with the mountain of Montserrat.

The artist is interested in nature—roots, trees, shrubbery, ferns, the sea crashing over rocks. But they are random, uncomposed snapshots, similar in some respects to pictures in family albums with heads partially cropped or the subject off centre. Graham has executed them with a concentrated naiveté. . . . Nevertheless it is unclear what Graham is doing with these photographs. Are they to be ‘read’ for their coloristic and tonal variations or studied one by one?


Technical details

Original title:
Montserrat
Registration number:
1754
Artist:
Graham, Rodney
Date created:
1995
Date acquired:
2001
Fonds:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Photograph
Media:
Polaroid
Dimensions:
80 polaroids de
Edition number:
Obra única
Credits:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Gift of Jordi Soley
Copyright:
© Rodney Graham
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.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

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While there are ideas about psychological and emotional developmental processes held within the sculptures I make, the things themselves are actual physical explorations into thinking, feeling, communicating and relating.
Karla Black