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Viatge d'hivern, 2003

Winter Trip, 2003

‘Reaffirming fragility is, even today, provocative. And not only socially, but also individually, in each of us. (...) If our strength is not fragile, it is not strength.’ Antoni Llena

The set of boxes that make up Viatge d’hivern contain the main features that identify the work of Antoni Llena. Composed in the manner of windows, what strikes us first is the fragility of the materials. A fragility that, in today's world, as the artist himself points out, is radically provocative.

Since his early works, in the late sixties, Llena has chosen to use poor or humble materials, some organic, others more industrial. Both in three-dimensions and in drawing – and also with his body – he has turned elements such as crumpled paper, cardboard, cloth, rubber, plastic, staples, glass, gauze, wood, wire, bark and stones into material for working, observing and exploring. The thirty-eight wooden boxes of Viatge d’hivern are faithful to the idea of humble elements and dispossession. The title alludes to Franz Schubert's song cycle, Winterreise, a musical composition written in 1827 that chronicles the walk of the wandering protagonist in a winter landscape after his beloved has left him.

Made from waste materials, the boxes are characterised by their extreme delicacy and the tenuous nature of their construction. Llena creates small landscapes or abstract compositions of great poetry that grow and acquire greater impact when seen as a whole. Placed next to each other, they form visual sequences and juxtapositions that evoke the figure of the diorama. Silence and emptiness are as important as the physical, subtle and minimal presence of the materials.

When the work was presented at the Blanquerna Cultural Centre in Madrid in February 2022, Antònia Maria Perelló, curator of the exhibition, wrote: ‘Antoni Llena says that nature has taught him the wisest lessons he has ever received. From his almost romantic position towards landscape, he has developed a silent and sensitive art, an art rooted, paradoxically, in the potential for change. The fact of his tiptoeing through life, or walking barefoot on a foam-rubber mat that deleted the imprint of his foot as soon as he lifted it, or of not wanting to add further injury to an already wounded world by adding more superfluous remnants, make us appreciate the respectful and ecologically pertinent attitude of his work.’

Technical details

Original title:
Viatge d'hivern
Registration number:
Llena, Antoni
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Mixed media
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Private long-term loan
© Antoni Llena, 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.

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