Verd, 1977

Green, 1977
Painting, 160 x 160 cm

I think that mine is a form of painting in which visual space has been – from the moment when I became completely aware of what I was doing – a concern that I would describe as constant. The real problem was – and still is – finding a space as the true protagonist of the picture. I would say the open space of lived-in landscape and not the more imitative space of “background figure.” In other words, space as a living element of the picture and not as a background on top of which one draws or places something.

Personal existence and the exercise of it made me understand the validity of emptiness as an element of composition and break away from acquired conceptions which take it for granted that valid elements are denoted only by what one draws and not by the space – positive and negative – that the drawing engenders. It is a way of “seeing,” of CHANGING SPACE INTO SOMETHING ONE LOOKS AT.
This is as well, during this long courtship with space, an attempt at a visual understanding of the limits of the surface of the painting. (I do not know whether that comes from my incapacity to learn the measurement of standard stretchers. What I actually do is measure the space indicating the size with my hands in an effort to “experience,” “see,” “learn about” it, as if I had to get inside to understand it.) Consequently, there arises an incapacity to work from sketches so that it is always the chosen surface that as a base engenders, through its own format, its own dimension, what will finally be the picture.

Technical details

Original title:
Registration number:
Hernández Pijuan, Joan
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term
Object type:
Oil on canvas
160 x 160 cm (height x width)
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term loan
© Joan Hernández Pijuan, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

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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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