‘Lola Ruiz Picasso’, the sister of

Till 27 February 2022 the Picasso Museum in Barcelona boasts an exhibition dedicated to Lola Ruiz Picasso as a tribute to the painter’s sister and her zeal in preserving his work, as well as demonstrating the love they shared throughout their lives.

Maria Dolores Ruiz Picasso, known familiarly as Lola, was born in Malaga in 1884 and was a model par excellence of the artist’s early portraits. The first one dates from December 1st 1894.

Pablo Picasso. Lola with her doll. Sketchbook of Corunna, 1894. A Coruña, 1894. Graphite pencil
on paper.

Picasso was always very close to Lola, especially after the death of their little sister Conchita in 1895. She became one of his favourite models, remaining in the iconography of the artist until 1900. Then the Blue Period began and Lola lost her place among the artist’s symbolist subjects.

The first section of the exhibition is dedicated to these early portraits with works from the Museum’s collection and the family’s collections.

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Exhibition ‘Ground and Underground’

From 11 June till 26 September Patrícia Dauder exhibits her latest project in the Palau de la Virreina (La Rambla, Barcelona) called Ground and Underground.

In June 2015 the artist buried a set of works in an empty plot of land in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The works had been produced in the studio but were left underground for weeks. A wide range of materials were deliberately exposed to degradation caused by the climate and soil corrosion.

This process outside the studio prolonged the time needed to complete the works. All the works unearthed later evoked the atmospheric conditions that had affected them of which their deteriorated appearance bears witness.

‘Insulana’ (2021)

The exhibition brings together four projects carried out after that summer:
Groundworks – Documents (2021) records the earthworks carried out at the Hospitalet de Llobregat site;
Weather Sticks (2018) is a series of ceramic works manufactured following a process open to the intervention of climatic factors;
Sections (2021) presents on the walls an installation with numerous lithographs;
– a set that prologues the film Insulana (2021), inspired by the volcanic eruption that affected the Azores between 1957 and 1958.

The result is a compendium of the work produced in the studio and the work produced in the open—a  duality that is a recurring feature in Patrícia Dauder’s most recent work.

Source: Ajuntament de Barcelona

Sculpture Award for Stella Rahola

CO(NH2)2 by Stella Rahola (Photo: Fundació Vila Casas)

The Sculpture Award, granted by the Fundació Vila Casas, has just been awarded to Stella Rahola for her creation called CO(NH2)2. This work is composed of glass elements similar to those used for the production of chemical laboratory components, like borosilicate glass remnants, fertilizer crystals, stainless steel and 9 fluorescent tubes.

The sculpture, which is one and a half meter high and long, for 65 centimeters wide, invites questions about the production and knowledge of manual work, but also about the reuse and useful life of objects.

The second prize has gone to Anna III for her Desaparèixer cap endins (Disappearing inwards), in which she reflects upon vulnerability and loss.

Lyrical Abstraction

This year Catalonia is celebrating the 100th birthday of poetess and visual artist Felícia Fuster. As her Fundació remarks, the artist ‘developed a strong desire for freedom in all areas of her life’.

Below an example of her work, in this case an oil painting on wood of the series ‘Lyrical Abstraction’.

About her artwork the philosopher and art critic Arnau Puig is quite clear: “Fuster’s creative actions deserve attention because they always show an aim to elaborate unknown worlds and realities, which is Art’s main pursuit”.

Typewriting as an art

View of the Cathedral of Barcelona

It may not be your cup of tea, but Montserrat Alberich‘s art undeniably is striking. Using the typewriter as a paint-brush she created a large number of realistic paintings of landscapes, monuments, rural scenes as well as portraits. Her work won admiration among a broad national, and international public and museums and libraries acquired some significant pieces.

Professional typist
When Montserrat was born in 1912, typewriters were already common in offices for some thirty years. At that time more and more women began to enter the field of typists, thus playing a major role in liberating them from the domestic role that had been assigned to them.

At the beginning of the 20C being a typist gradually became the right choice for a “good girl”, meaning women who present themselves as being chaste and having good conduct. So schools, like the Acadèmia Cots of Barcelona, had to adapt their politics and open up their curriculums for young girls.

As early as 1879 Ramon Cots had foreseen future demands of typing and secretarial courses and had grasped the opportunity. His school at the Portal de l’Àngel, 38 offered education from general culture to specialized classes, such as bookkeeping in accordance with tax laws. The advertising poster emphasizes the ‘different classrooms for separation of both sexes’, the target group being ‘selected classes’.

Contests, technique, recognition and media coverage

Felícia Fuster, poetess and visual artist

The fact is that, like some poets as Eluard, Chard or Octavio Paz, Felícia Fuster has an existential touch which achieves its aims through research on the meaning of language“.

Francesc Parcerisas, poet and literary critic

This quote appears on the website of the Fundació Felícia Fuster, a private, non-profit organization created by the poet and artist Felicia Fuster herself. Its aims are “introducing the poetry and art of the author, awarding young artists’ projects, and spreading Catalan language abroad. The Foundation also provides scholarships for people without financial means.”

Felícia was born in 1921, so this year it is time to celebrate the ‘Any Felíca Fuster‘. That is why you will regularly read a post concerning this versatile woman.

Mariona Berenguer in Berlin

This year artist Mariona Berenguer has been invited as Berlin’s GlogauAIR’s guest resident. Her project bears the title The Empty Nest and “is part of an ongoing investigation into the subject of desire.

Following this continuing line of development, the exhibition is comprised of a series of works that explore the notions of need and longing, and the complex emotional, philosophical, and conceptual positions surrounding these topics.”

The residence program aims to “create a dialogue between Berlin and the world, the Berlin Guest Residents share their perspectives and their work while they engage in the process of exploration, creation, and exhibition over the period of three months.” They also organize open events during which the public can see for itself the result of the program.

On GlogauAIR’s website you can find more information and photos of her work. Founded in 2006 by the artist Chema Alvargonzalez and supported today by La Memoria Artística Chema Alvargonzalez, GlogauAIR is a non-profit art space and residency in a historic building in Kreuzberg open to new ideas.

The women of Cinta Sabaté

‘They are vigorous women. I think we cannot do without women’s strength. (…) I want to prove that for many years it has not been made good use of.’

Sculptor and painter Cinta Sabaté was born in Tortosa, Cultural Capital of Catalonia 2021.

You can find more of her work in the catalogue of her exposition titled ‘Mystery of form. Pure line. The silent trajectory of Cinta Sabaté’.

Quotation from Surtdecasa.cat, 25 June 2015.

Painter Mireia Mateo on Instagram

The way artists get into contact with their public is changing. There are a lot of painters of your generation and even younger who use Instagram as a platform. How do you live this transformation?

Like torture. I would like to spend the whole day in my studio without having to explain myself, without doing anything that is strange to my small world, but we live in the now and we just have to be part of this absurdity. One sees oneself obliged to enter in these networks and I feel very reluctant to do so.

Source: Ada Castells interviews Mireia Mateo in the digital cultural magazine Catorze. For more information about the painter, click here.

6-universo-poetico-2018-carbon-lapiz-sanguina-y-papel-sobre-papel-japon-72-x-130-cm-1024x588
Poetic Universe (charcoal, pencil, sanguine, Japanese paper)

Art and NATO

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Photo: ACN

Last Friday visual artist Bea Sarriàs finished the painting of a mural in the corridors of the new NATO Headquarters, a complex in Haren that is part of the City of Brussels (Belgium). This feat is quite unique for an institute whose daily affairs seem light-years away from art.

According to Bea, the imposing structure of metall and glass is ‘a very cold space, very big, a bit dark.’ As she wanted to capture the soul of the building, she used acrylic painting in multiple layers in order to ‘catch its light and transparency’.

In former projects, especially portraying specific architectonic spaces  like her portraits of lived in houses, critics have praised her careful handling of perspective, light, color and a clean brushwork. These elements are clearly present in this wall painting.

At the end of February Bea started working on this project making the first sketches in a studio in the Belgian capital. Later she continued working in situ on this enormous piece of art  which made her change her use of colours.

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The assignment proceeded from the Art Committe of NATO that had seen Bea’s work a year earlier during an exhibition which took place at the same time as the inauguration of the new political and administrative headquarters of the Alliance.

For more examples of her work, click here.

Elsa Fábregas: the art of dubbing

‘As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!’, swears Scarlett O’Hara at the end of the movie Gone With The Wind (1939), one of the most famous quotes of film history. At that time in Spain every motion picture was dubbed, so the Spanish public never heard Vivien Leigh’s voice making this oath. But it was made unforgettable in their language  by Elsa Fábregas (1921-2008), a dubbing artist who was at the beginning of a long and successful career. Advocates as well as opponents of revoicing recognized her big talent which made her one of the most important artists of Spain.

 
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Foto: Joan Sànchez

Elsa made it to the top, because she mastered every single technique and gained expertise of the art of dubbing. The first principles were revealed to her by her aunt Marta Fábregas who in the 1930s already was a great and well-known dubbing artist in France but had moved to Barcelona to look after her orphaned niece. Marta continued her work in Catalonia’s capital and took 13-year old Elsa with her to the studio of ‘La Voz de España’, one of the first and most significant dubbing studios in Spain where she was a successfull director. Soon after this introduction Elsa played her first rôle; after that her dedication to her work, discipline and experience made her into a great dubbing artist who performed in 819 films during her 73 years of active life.

Techniques
During her long career she gave her voice to a long list of actresses who displayed different speech characteristics, speed was one of them. This could present some difficulties: at times Elsa was close to despair. For example when working on Glenda Jackson who to her seemed to talk like a machine gun, a complex task as the dubbing voice somehow has to coincide with the movement of the actress’ lips.

Moreover each character, rôle and scene requires another way of speaking. Apart from the ability to adapt oneself to these particulars, dubbing also means you should be able to learn the text by heart in order to give the dialogues its original brillance and sincerety. A great sense of hearing and a feeling for the music of words is needed. With just saying ‘hello’ you can convey an infinite number of emotions (cheerful, annoyed, gruff, absent-minded). Not mentioning the physical aspects of the work, like controling the breathing process and using all the vocals when laughing.

Censorship and anecdotes

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