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Virtual Exhibition

Joan Ponç


Viatge a la vida
Start 30/04/2016
Exhibited from September 24th, 2005 to June 4th, 2006 in Fundació Privada Vila Casas

Joan Ponç, Travel to life: collection llegat Joan Pons Ferrer

 

 

The Representation of Feelings in Culture, from the Mineral and Biological World

A madman is someone who goes around blurting out sentences and saying things. Whoever hears them understands the words but does not grasp the meaning.  In the end people say, about a madman, that they do not hit their target.  So, if I say Joan Ponç is a madman, a lot of people will agree since they can perceive perfectly the minuteness of his artistic design, but do not grasp its meaning. It is the same as when someone who speaks knows what they are trying to say, but others do not understand them. This happens in all...


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EXHIBITION PAINTINGS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
Autoretrat, 1978
1978
Painting
Oil on canvas

Subversive, acidic and fun. This is how Joan Ponç presents himself in this self-portrait from 1978. He is shown as a skeletal body in a coffin. But far from being a person devoid of life, he appears to us fully alive and energetic. With an ironic and sardonic half-smile, he observes us through his dark glasses and covers his body, more akin to a being from science fiction than a cadaver. Joan Ponç smiles at us from beyond the grave. For him life is insignificant in the face of death.
La cabra
1951
Painting
Oil on canvas

One of the most typical works from the Dau al set period is Goat by Joan Ponç. The period started in 1947. Offspring of Surrealism, they rejected the pure psychic automatism of the time. They centred on the Surrealism of the subconscious, but always allowing for a certain rational and transformative aspect. They always let themselves be governed by reason. Ponç preferred concept over image. This is a disjointed landscape with a central figure, which must have entered Ponç’s mind, since he stated, “I do not make my pieces, it is they which continue to come to me.” To commemorate the 30th anniversary of Joan Ponç’s death and donation of the piece to the Catalan National Museum of Art, a publication was released in 2014 which was a conversation between the piece and other artists, critics and writers such as José Corredor-Matheos, Evru, Vicenç Altaio and Frederic Amat. He made another “goat” in 1955 while living in Brazil.
Caps, ca
1981
Painting
Oil on canvas

As a result of a profound religious crisis in 1978 Ponç began producing hundreds of drawings. In many of them the artist’s anguish is evident. He created creatures from his subconscious, mixing animal qualities with culture. A combination that was only possible in his imagination. His paintings took on a malevolent aspect which in some cases points to Goya’s Caprichos.
Sense títol
1948
Drawing
Ink on marble

The artist went through a period in which he experimented with many different types of material and supports. Instead of evolving, his characters remained the same throughout his career, as if they were beings that invaded his mind or this was how he perceived reality. We can observe a pictorial equivalence between the body and the image that the artist projected in his work of his own body. What is certain is that Ponç did not look after his health, a fact which took its toll on his body. His creations and figures are often suggestive of self-portraits.
La mosca
1965
Painting
Oil on canvas

Ponç’s imagination was set in motion by all kinds of outside stimuli. A reflection, light, a shadow, a buzz could all set off his imagination, which was always a means and not an end in itself. Around 1965 was a good time for Ponç, both personally and professionally. After Rene Metrás held an exhibition of his work in 1964 and after coming back from Brazil, his work began to gain more recognition. This enabled him to move to Cadaqués and it was not until 1968, where it can be seen in a letter, that the artist had gone back to shutting himself away. It was at this time that Ponç established the groundwork for what would be his artistic language until his death. His characteristic formal instinctiveness and the consolidation of a language approaching the geometric.
Sense títol
1975
Engraving
Engraving

In this piece from 1975 we can observe the images that welled up from the artist’s subconscious. Images that swing between dreams and hallucinations from a highly imaginative mind. We can also find echoes of Afro-American rituals and images in his painting. Totemic characters, animals reminiscent of malign deities mixed with surrealism. His output centres on the representation of his psyche, invaded by metaphorical, strange, dangerous and hallucinatory images.
Suite capses secretes
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

His work often displays a predominant sense of repressed eroticism. His creation of shocking figures stemmed from a desire to poke fun at and challenge himself, and as such he also aimed to provoke the viewer. This particular piece, which is also from the period in which Ponç did a lot of his work in doctors’ waiting rooms, shows once again a figure straight out of his imagination. The figure shows itself to us as alive, human and terrible. It is a metamorphosed being combining a conception of the human with beasts from an anguished mind.
Suite fons de l'ésser
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

This work takes a pessimistic deformation of reality as its starting point. The figure forms a dramatic exaggeration. It is dismembered and tragically struck by a divine force coming down from the sky in the form of a bolt of green lightning. His self-sufficient repertoire of imagery and organic iconography speaks to us of a man of a strange and magical essence. His painting becomes a stage for feelings.
Suite capses secretes
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

As a result of his health problems Ponç began to work on his Secret Boxes series. He took artist materials with him to doctors' waiting rooms. While waiting he created the, generally small-format, pieces from this series. In them the ideas and fantasies that came to him are evident. He also sought to provoke and poke fun at, not only himself, but anyone who viewed his work. He arranged this series in subdivisions: Minigeperuts, Estranya, Degollats, Caps-espelmes, Èxtasi, Espurnes, Irregulars, Degenerats y Celestial (Mini Hunchbacks, Strangers, Headless Figures, Candle-heads, Ecstasy, Sparks, Irregulars, Degenerates, and Celestial).
Suite fons de l'ésser
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

In 1971 Ponç finally parted ways with Rogent, his old teacher, because he discovered that for him drawing was a way of putting limits on space to bring things into existence. And for him painting was also coloured drawing. These were ideas not held by his teacher. Ponç felt the need to represent what was inside him, not reproduce reality. He in turn discovered that all men are creators and the secrets and existence of art are to be found in the “depths of being”.
Suite capses secretes
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas

Home i estaques
1984
Painting
Oil on canvas

La vida
1971
Painting
Oil on canvas

Cementiri
1982
Painting
Oil on canvas

Taüt i cotxet
1975
Painting
Mixed media on canvas





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