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Virtual Exhibition

Assumpció Mateu


Presons íntimes
Start 09/01/2018
Exhibited from November 27th, 2008 to February 7th, 2009 in Fundació Privada Vila Casas

Presons Íntimes (Intimate prisons)

Assumpció Mateu

 

Two stages on the journey of life

 

Assumpció Mateu has waned o bring together two important times of her life, two periods of reflection and exploration which are, respectively, the start of her artistic career and her most recent period of artistic production. Two periods and two series seemingly very different but which are, in fact, linked by a series of characteristics which demonstrate, once and for all, her creative ability and the faculty she has had right from the beginning for looking around her and capturing various languages and making them her own. It is a method which produced results and allowed...


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EXHIBITION PAINTINGS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
Esqueixament vital
1975
Painting
Mixed technique and material on canvas

Through the union of two important vital moments for Assumpció Mateu, the artist presents us with this exhibition. In her, there are two crucial moments in her life, from which two series that appear to be apparently not related to each other, but which, under the surface, conceal both a unique and reflective look as well as the embellishment and poetry that is born of the " Artist to transform the pain, the fight and the anguish. The first series, which corresponds to the period of time in which Mateu finished his studies of fine arts at the University of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi at the same time as his design studies at the Elisava School, focuses on a story to which she calls "intense prisons". With a language of informalist references he talks about the struggle for freedom and censorship during Franco's dictatorship.
Espai interior
1975
Painting
Mixed technique and collage on canvas

We can understand this first series of Mateu as part of the "art of revolutions" or even "postwar art". Intimate prison is a series that the artist made between 1974 and 1975. During the late Francoist years, where repression was still latent, Mateu, along with other characters of his time, used art as a protest. She participating in a theater group sees friends and close friends are imprisoned. The artist reflects on the idea of freedom. It is often considered that those who seem closed have in their power a greater freedom than those who reside out of prison and concludes that freedom always comes from the interior. We see thus in this work, the representation of an interior space, a prison or a window as well and we are located inside it.
Espai interior
1975
Painting
Mixed technique and collage on canvas

Another element that we can highlight are the use of hands and the trail they leave behind. The hands become a symbol of struggle and freedom. The hand becomes a symbol of hope. In this work of minimalist appearance in which a central box is a window to the world, the imprint left by a black hand becomes a yearning for freedom. Hands clamor and fighters are shown. Think of demonstrations, protest meetings, pleas that arise from the social will to change. In our mind the image of a crowd can be clearly formed with hands raised. Mateu takes this image and transforms it poetically into a work of strong character. We find ourselves observing a simplified representation, which is not simple, of one of our great fighting weapons.
Cosint l'espai
1974
Painting
Collage on wood

We should also highlight the use of diverse materials that Mateu applies to his work. These, typical of Informalism and even of the Povera art, make up our own language. His works make us think of Tapies, Motherwell or Millàres. The sewn, broken and incised give the work a skin that, at that time became the identity symbol of the artist. This skin, torn, damaged and sometimes rebuilt, is presented as a parallel to the reality and time that Mateu lived. A reality constituted by the repression, broken and battered, that the artist tried to sew or heal. The use of papers, cardboard, wood, plaster and more humble materials are a "walking" art, where these same materials are dignified.
Petjades
1974
Painting
Mixed media on wood

Another of the human traces that Mateu leaves us in his works are the footsteps. We imagine the artist viscerally creating a series of paintings, even more visceral. These seem to be born of rage and struggle. Of a disagreement before a submissive reality. The feet mark the path where others have fought. A trail of bare feet, devoid of artifice, naked, that seem to represent a struggle also devoid of artifice, where ideals, also naked are what really matter. A dark horizon divides the work in two. In the lower part, graphics and feet make up a space of resistance towards a second, dark upper half. "Not a step back" seems to be the leitmotiv of the work.
Horitzó cremat
1975
Painting
Mixed technique and collage on canvas

The idea of a burnt horizon reminds of a hopeless future, a present consumed by the flames that destroy any kind of growth in its path. An analogy of a past Franco period. But the flames, the fire, can also be a symbol of new growth based on the ashes of yesterday. The artist herself says. "There is a way of seeing and feeling the things that are specific to each individual (...) we can change the circumstances, but the way of perceiving them is very individual. That is why I believe that two states, with so much time in between, can be closer to the intensity of the way we live them and express them, in terms of content and not form. " This work makes us a bridge between two eras and shows us how 30 years apart they are lived and represented in a similar way. The feeling of each one is intrinsic to his being and that makes us think that reality is how we feel it. Reality, the present, is subjective.
Olor a cendra
2005
Photography
Mixed media on canvas

The presence of fire and its trace backbone this second series of works by Assumpció Mateu. Although we also find this same brand in previous works, Bosc cremat's series is presented as the central axis. This element is based on a duality of opposite concepts. On the one hand, the destructive fire, which destroys all life forms in its path and, on the other hand, a creative element. In a metaphorical sense, fire could be a symbol of transformation. The artist, who has always given the forests and nature a vital importance, finds similarities between this ecosystem and her life. The fire that on the one hand destroys, on the other purifies. After passing through a forest near Maçanet de Mar, which had been consumed by the flames, Mateu delves into the lunar landscapes of destroyed life.
L'urna del bosc
2005
Sculpture
Wood and soil

A box saves the forest earth inside. A small container that seems to contain a treasure of the artist's memory. Sometimes, the need to store, collect or store is a reflection of the human's desire to collect and preserve memories. These are symbol and proof of the existential own. The memory is a commemoration and reaffirmation that we have existed. The memory kept in an urn, the person who has died and we also keep in an urn, the memories of childhood that we keep in a box, all this forms a longing not to disappear. The person we do not want to disappear, the infant that we did not want to forget, the forest land as life that we want to continue to exist and that we keep suspicious in a receptacle to contain it. But life, existence, memory, are not immune to the passage of time, repressing or containing is a gesture in vain that only serves to remember.
Dins lo cremat
2004
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

The bark of the tree, material and complex reflects the skin of the artist. The forests, full of life, the forests burned, full of absence. Mateu, through the impact received in the presence of fires and the loss of a close friend, reflects on the lack. His works, like a burned forest, appear nostalgic. The silence is present in nearby images, detailed plans of arboreal landscapes, bark skins, deserts of burned wood. The same skin that we see in the painting makes us smell in the back of the nose a glint of charred wood, feel slightly the residual heat of what has been destroyed, and feel, above all feel in silence "dins lo cremat".
Arbre cremat
2005
Sculpture


Contingut
1986
Sculpture


Fulles vitals
2008
Sculpture


Feridall
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Cercle vital
1974
Painting
Mixed technique and material on canvas

Rastres II
1975
Painting
Mixed technique and collage on canvas

Caminant
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Poètica d'una realitat. El Bosc
2005
Photography
Mixed media on canvas

Els meus arbres
2007
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Presencia en el negre
2004
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

L'arbre del desert
2007
Painting
Mixed media on canvas





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