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Virtual Exhibition

J.Fín


Fín a les col·leccions de Barcelona
Start 30/05/2020

Presence and yearning of J. Fín in the Barcelona collections.

Given that Fundació Vila Casas is treating us an to exhibition dedicated to the Barcelona painter J. Fín (1916–1969), it is a good time to reflect upon his relationship with the city and his origins[1], alongside his exhibitions and his relationships with his family, friends and followers who have known, ever since the very beginning, how to appreciate his artwork – to such an extent that the artist is currently well represented in Catalan private collections.

Fín was born in Barcelona, in 1916, into the heart of a very unique family: his father, Dr Vilató, was a neuropsychiatrist, and his mother, Lola...


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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 22 23 24 25 26

Cadira i peixos
1965
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Composició amb peixos
1964
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Natura morta amb peixos, ampolla i tisores
1964
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Composició amb peixos i fruites
1964
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Dues figures femenines, una d'elles asseguda amb ocells
1964
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Dues noies nues, l’una asseguda i l’altra dempeus amb un ocell
1964
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

The artistic production in the sixties consists mostly of gouaches on paper. They make up a large part of his final production which, despite being in the years when he was most ill and consequently obliged to rest more, is a period of great pictorial energy. Perhaps the great lyricism and magic in this piece arose from a different contemplation of the world by an artist who was extremely aware of some ever-unjust physical limitations.
Retrat de Ramon Rogent
1943
Painting
Oil on panel

The artist’s knowledge of post-impressionist painting, and his focus mainly on the figure, portrait and still lifes, are evident in the oldest preserved works by the artist, from the 1930s. Few of these works of art survived the bomb which destroyed his workshop and, along with it, virtually all of his work from that time. Fín was a great portrait artist and a lover of the feminine nude. The Portrait of Ramon Rogent dates back to 1943. The poetry of the brush stroke, the expression on the face, the mastery of light and play of shades that emphasize the character combine to make this one of the best representations of that period. Rogent would become a great friend to Fín and they exhibited together in 1943 a Galeries Reig in Barcelona.
Ocell blanc
1964
Painting
Collage on wood

Composició
1964
Painting
Oil on canvas

Natura morta
1948
Painting
Oil on canvas

Composició núm. 3
1949
Painting
Oil on panel

His abstract period can be considered inseparable from the technique which he was using in his work, dominated by drawing and charcoal. Fín leaves behind the oil painting technique and the support of the canvas from his Barcelona period, and works with charcoal on paper, card or used canvases (due to the artist’s financial constraints). Fín often uses black and white and now they reflect his mood, and justify his geometric, rigorous and nude compositions. As Pilar Vélez says, some critics sought to connect these works with the sobriety of some Picasso themes, resulting from the artist’s impotence following the catastrophe of the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War.
Composició amb peixos
1960
Painting
Oil on canvas

In the late forties and early fifties, Fín gradually left behind this abstract side to return to figuration, albeit with a different orientation than his Barcelona period, though keeping some connection to it. As we have explained, upon arriving in Paris Fín delved into the field of Cubist-based abstraction. However, soon afterwards, above all when he left La Ruche, he changed direction to forms where he felt more comfortable, more satisfied, more reflective of himself and linked to his artwork in Barcelona, and always with his more appreciated themes: still life and the figure. It seems as if after a period of deep reflection, the artist has really and finally realized which direction he wishes to follow, which is his true path.
Aus
1960
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

The return to figuration coincides with the beginning of Fín’s pictorial maturity, which would also mean the start of his most characteristic painting, for which he is most especially recognized today. During the fifties the triumph of the most diverse aspects of informalism, especially in Catalonia, led to an excessive appreciation by critics of this artistic current, while figuration remained in the background. In this context, while Fín is in Paris he follows an increasingly intimate and lyrical path, always playing with the same themes: still life, long-billed birds, feminine figures and bulls.
Música
1960
Painting
Oil on canvas

Natura morta amb càntir
1960
Painting
Oil on canvas

For the artist, the fifties represent a consolidation of the figurative line which distinguishes him from the increasingly common informalism, and he makes an effort to be true to himself and keep himself apart from other fashions and trends. In many compositions, such as this still life, Fín chooses to profile the volume just with a nervous and forceful black silhouette. This technique opens up a new path in his final artistic period. Pilar Vélez relates this tendency to some works by Wifredo Lam, who was a good friend of Fín’s.
Natura morta amb peixos, fruites i cadira
1961
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Composició amb peixos i aus
1961
Painting
oil on cardboard

As Pilar Vélez states, Fín’s final period has been the one that critics have most commented on and it is undoubtedly the most characteristic and identifying stage in his artistic career. Birds and fish are the main and omnipresent themes. We should also highlight his feminine nudes, as well as the string instruments, now much more simplified and which remind us of his Barcelona period.
Parella i butaca
1961- 1962
Painting
Oil on canvas

La cadira
1961- 1962
Painting
Oil on canvas

Dones
1962
Painting
Oil on canvas

The compositions from the sixties could be considered to be great puzzles made up of several elements which are perfectly joined together, as if after having been shaken up they had then settled to the final neat position. The black profile, the nervous outline, would be a permanent feature of all his artwork in this period, as well as the use of a much-reduced colour palette, in which the protagonists are yellow, red and blue.
Composició núm. 4
1948
Painting
Oil on panel

In 1946, Fín settled in Paris, at La Ruche, thanks to a scholarship from the Institut Français in Barcelona. The aim of this place, established by Alfred Boucher, was to provide low-rent premises to all those artists who were searching for a place to live and work. The circular pavilion was divided up into triangular rooms which each served as a workshop and residence for the artists. Fín quickly got into abstraction, which certain Barcelona press considered to be an act of youth or a passing frivolous experiment. This period lasted until the end of 1949 and, as well as being an artistic experience, it was a life experience and a decisive one for the artist.
Mosca núm. 2
1948
Painting
Oil on canvas

In Paris, the artist breaks with figuration and gets into the purest abstraction. Fín was never into abstraction for the sake of abstraction and always mentioned the need for the concrete object as a fundamental element in his painting. In 1955, Fín said that “abstraction should be the coefficient of the real element. We express ourselves with images and not based on abstract ideas, which lead to the death of things”.
Família Mèlich-Juste, 1943
1943
Painting
Oil on canvas

In this portrait from the forties we see the collector and great friend of Fín’s, Francesc Mèlich, his wife Carmen Juste and their child. The Mèlich-Juste family supported the painter’s career, as can be seen in the artworks in his collection. Thanks to Mèlich – a chemist, photographer and engraver – Fín gained an introduction to the field of engraving, because he was able to work in the collector’s artistic engraving atelier, which he joined in 1945. This explains the fact that when Fín went shortly afterwards to Paris, he left some equipment and artwork in Mèlich’s atelier. We can see that the artwork from that time is already displaying a certain interest in and search for an authentic form.
Figura femenina asseguda
1966
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

It is during the last years of his life that Fín really becomes Fín. They are years of intense creation, not only pictorial but also graphic. The figurative theme predominates – particularly nude feminine figures – but especially his characteristic long-billed birds and horses. An unmistakable work by Fín, cut short by a premature death. On 8th March 1969 Fín dies in Paris and shortly afterwards his remains arrive in Barcelona, where they are laid to rest alongside his grandparents, parents and some siblings, at the Cementiri Vell.
Ocells, cadires i guitarra
1965
Painting
Acrylic on canvas

Composició amb cadires, instruments musicals, ocells i peixos
1965
Painting
Acrylic on canvas





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