Room information sheet

In 2019 Jordi Martoranno (Girona, 1965) was the winner of the Painting Prize of the Fundació Vila Casas with Y-Zone, a work that can be seen in this exhibition. The prize consisted of a financial award and the organization of a solo exhibition in any of the Foundation’s artistic spaces, as an opportunity for winning artists to develop their creative capacity.

The Oceanic Heart of Things is the title that encompasses Martoranno’s exhibition proposal for the Museu Can Framis. It features some twenty paintings created principally in oil on linen and India ink on Ukiyo-e paper.

Jordi Martoranno began his creative path as a deliberate choice when he was still a child, an instinct that would manifest itself unwaveringly at the age of twelve when he made the firm decision to dedicate himself to painting.

The presence of the Girona artist Isidre Vicens, who he trained with in the latter’s studio when he was young, was of prime importance, as a vast domain of creative possibilities was opened up with him. In the words of Martoranno himself, this is still the case, as everything he knows about painting, he still owes to his master. He also draws from leading figures in contemporary Catalan material abstraction, such as Miró, Tàpies and Hernández-Pijuan. In turn, as a result of a stage spent in New York, he was drawn to the work of certain American artists he had a predilection for, such as Sol LeWitt, Carl André, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback and Ellsworth Kelly. The discovery of these artists contributed to Martoranno’s pictorial-formal evolution and to the discovery of what is most essential in painting, leading to an authentic distillation, as he has explained.

Martoranno has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Barcelona and a Masters in Graphic Design, and has done some forty solo exhibitions since he first began to show in 1984, with shows at the Sala Fidel Aguilar in Girona and at Barcelona’s Sala Lola Anglada. His career has included experiences that have contributed to his educational and life enrichment, benefiting for example from grants and artist residencies in relevant cultural centres like the aforementioned New York and Paris.

Martoranno’s work can be found in numerous collections, featuring the Fundació ”la Caixa”, the Church of Notre Dame in New York, the Girona City History Museum and the Girona Provincial Council, along with the Fundació Vila Casas itself, amongst others.

Jordi Martoranno conceives painting itself as one of the most instinctive human actions, allowing for an immediate connection between reality and consciousness.

Starting with this transcendental premise, his work tends to be linked to a spiritual dimension. It depicts lines and symbols in undefined, weightless spaces that invite contemplation, calling our gaze to be attentive and aware. The forms can be connected with something perennial and pre-archaic that might already be taken as a given. These figures go beyond time, cultures and civilizations, and continue to manifest themselves in various spheres of contemporary society, for example in technology, science and industrial design.

Philosophical thought on universal enigmas like the origin of life and the meaning of our existence are part of the content of Martoranno’s works, which delve into classical and contemporary philosophy in search of references to these predetermined archetypes already referred to by Plato in his world of ideas, as well as by other philosophers over the course of history.

Martoranno uses these images, which are inherent in our mind, spirit and soul, as if they were valid working tools in defining the cosmos and our relation to it. In this regard, he does not consider himself to be an abstract artist but rather figurative, since he depicts the essence of what surrounds us, the universal structures that are repeated in the totality of our existence, from the smallest (like a cell) to the most unreachable (like the universe itself).

The Oceanic Heart of Things is thus, in turn, a nod to the “oceanic feeling” referred to by Romain Rolland, that impression of being a wave in a limitless ocean, of being part of a mysterious reality.