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Virtual Exhibition

Josep Guinovart


Toros, hondura y cante
Start 09/01/2019
Exhibition held from September 17th to December 19th, 2009

Toros, honduras y cante

 

On the back of the door or my university office is quote attributed to Josep Pla, which reads, “We live surrounded by utter chance”. It is undeniable that luck, like a river, norishes but it can also dry up and desiccate. Luck plays an important part in bullfighting too, with different phases know as suertes, or in English “lucks”, the “lucks” of pikes, the “luck” of banderillas, not to mention the luck needed when entering the bullring to finally dispatch the noble animal. I mention all this since bulls top the bill of the welcome Guinovart exhibition organised by the Vila Casas Foundation at Volart 2 in Barcelona. Toros, hondura y cante...


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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

A las cinco de la tarde. Homenaje a Ignacio Sánchez
1950
Painting
Ink on paper

Federico García Lorca rendered homage to his close friend, Ignacio Sánchez Mejías, with a poem dedicated to the matador, who died in the Manzanares bullring on 11 August 1934. The Andalusian poet appears constantly in the work of Guinovart, who was drawn to the images Lorca conjured up in his work. In this piece we see all the key features of that day: the bullring, a clock indicating the time as 5 in the afternoon, and the bull’s blood-stained horns. The symbolism of this outstanding piece has the same intensity as Lorca’s verses themselves.
Aparato para aprender a torear
1952
Painting
Oil on canvas

His stimulating experiences in rural environments and the painting of Benjamín Palencia made Guinovart change his perception of the sensations drawn from this real world, contrasting with those lived out on an intellectual level in the world of culture. Aparato para aprender a torear is a marvellous example of this, indicating a slight shift towards abstraction in Guinovart’s work. The depiction of the living bull as a constructed device—whose interior is paradoxically visible—formalises his intention to introduce himself into a geometric schematization. Once again, the artist deals with bullfighting subject matter as a pretext for his search for new compositional solutions.
Duende
Drawing
Mixed media on wood

Guinovart was not a great fan of bullfighting, although he was interested in it from a visual point of view and in relation to the bravery and passion of the matador, who would risk his life in front of the bull. This same idea of tragic sentiment, of purely emotional questions, was what led the artist to feel attracted to flamenco singing, what is also known as cante jondo. In this piece we see the strings of a Spanish guitar depicted along with the lyrics of what could be a flamenco song. Working on wood is, here too, a new expressive path for Guinovart.
Guitarres Lorquianes
Sculpture
Mixed media on wood

Lorca, a key point of reference for this artist, is once again the inspiration for these pieces. In an act of deconstruction, Guinovart once again communicates with his own language, doing so in the most visually structured way possible, by taking apart guitars. The choice of this instrument was possibly due to it being a poetic object that he associated with Lorca’s poetry, as well as it being related to Andalusian cante jondo. The way the details are dealt with in his work points to the passion Guinovart so deeply admired in bullfighters, using the same chromatic range as found in previous work.
Sense títol
1959
Drawing
Ink on paper

The influences of Picasso, Miró and Lorca are all present in the artist’s creations dedicated to bullfighting. Whether directly or indirectly, we can always perceive the inspiration of any one of them. The importance of the world of bullfighting and his fascination with it as an art, turned the struggles between bull and horse or matador and bull into the expression of a struggle of existential sacrifice. The liturgy of bullfighters as they prepare themselves for the bullfight, or the expectant public awaiting the bloody duel, are the subjects of the scenes chosen by Guinovart in this series of ink on paper.
Portada original de la Carpeta de la Sèrie "Els Braus"
1950
Drawing
Gouache on paper

Fascinated as he was for bullfighting posters, Guinovart dedicated part of his work to emulating the features of these advertising media in his pictorial language. His most important contribution to this genre in terms of iconography were his famous bullfighting images, with the first edition made in 1816. In all of them, we see scenes focused on the spectacle’s cruellest moments, or others referencing typical features of Andalusian culture, such as Spanish guitars. In many of these pieces Guinovart’s signature appears, along with references to Lorca.
El toro i l'estel
1958
Painting
Gouache on paper

Guinovart’s stage in Paris in 1953–1954 opened up new perspectives for him, enabling him to set off on a new artistic adventure, as seen in various pictorial shifts in his creative language. In the piece El toro i l’estel we can already perceive the reflection of this allegorical freedom of expression, deforming the bull’s face along with the depiction of a star and the matador’s weaponry in the upper part of the frame. Once again, a desperate cry and hidden drama are metaphors for the struggle of life, revealing to us the brutal, ferocious view of the animal’s suffering, nonetheless expressed in softly-rendered brushstrokes.
Corrida de toros
1949
Painting
Gouache on paper

Toro
1955
Painting
Gouache on paper

Escena de una corrida
1954
Painting
Oil on canvas

La Tauromaquia
1962
Painting
Ink on paper

Guitarres Lorquianes
Sculpture
Mixed media on wood

Cap de toro
1956
Sculpture
Gouache on paper

Toro al sol
1956
Painting
Gouache on paper

Esbós de l'escenografia per a "La Feria y calla" de ALfredo Mañas
1964
Painting
Gouache on paper

Portada de la carpeta dels gravats de Lorca
1951
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

La Cogida y la muerte
1951
Engraving
Graphite on paper

Malagueña
151
Engraving
Graphite on paper

Jondo
2007
Painting
Mixed media on wood





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