Foundation Eugenio Granell’s Collection
29 November, 07 – 13 January, 08
This is an exhibition in which the collage, as a means of plastic expression, has the main role; in it Amparo Segarras collages (made between the 1960s and 1990s) merge with those Eugenio Granells (from the 1960s) and with a selection from the series of collages made by both artists in the 1950s. The works, which irradiate colour, humour and cheerful unconcern, were made in connection with a cultural event held in the University of Puerto Rico, where Eugenio Granell taught. In these joint works, Amparo Segarra seems to have been in charge of the spatial configuration of the image and of the composition of the masses in the two-dimensional surface, while Eugenio Granell participated by painting coloured backgrounds and introducing small elements with agile brushstrokes, which enrich the composition, such as curtains, banisters and miscellaneous touches…
According to the Granell Foundation Director, Natalia Fernández Segarra, these works are the first in Amparo Segarras plastic career, which would extend throughout her entire lifetime. Natalia Fernández points to the 1960s when the Granell family moved to New York as the starting point of Amparo Segarras truly personal and autonomous work. The collages from the 1960s reflect her great sense of colour and composition, a subtle sense of humour and a marked preference for the representation of the human body, which serves as an aesthetic idea per se.
A constant feature in the composition of the image in Segarras plastic work is an intelligible development of space with the application of classical representation mechanisms, such as a certain perspective display of the image that serves as the basis, being immediately distorted thereafter which gives the works a certain narrative character. This idea of narration is backed up by the repeated use of the human figure: men and women, children and groups of humans fill Amparo Segarras works.
Another noteworthy aspect is the fact that these are pure collages, in which there is no distortion of the original printed image normally images from periodicals only the act of cutting and pasting inherent to the collage: she adds no painting or graphics, nor any three-dimensional object, which would spoil the works appearance as a quasi-real image. Segarras images are thus like fantasies of the creative mind inferred in the dimension of what we recognise as real, common and everyday, demonstrating once again, as a surrealist artist, that the duality established by Cartesian thought between reality and inner world does not exist.
The works by Eugenio Granell included in the exhibition are a small selection of collages made in the early sixties, a small group of oil paintings dedicated to Amparo, the famous self-portrait that the artist made in the forties and a work from the nineties belonging to the group of sculptures by the artist designated by the general name of construction. The exhibition curator decided to include the works dedicated to Amparo to show his wifes real and symbolic presence in his life and art, since, as a surrealist, love was, along with freedom and poetry, one of the driving forces in his world. Amparo is revealed in Granells work as a person and a woman.
According to the lecturer Lucía García de Carpi, an expert on the artists work, Granell, at the beginning of his career, adopted the idealised concept of the woman, of Romantic origin, which prevailed among surrealists. Later on, his idea of women matured towards the perception of a free and autonomous woman, unlike the stereotypes of surrealist mythology portraying her as an absolutely marvellous, but unreal, entity. In this regard, the exhibitions only sculpture, La joven que abre las puertas de la noche, plays an essential role in the shows structure. The work, made around 1993, reflects, according to the curator, Granells new idea of women, and represents a late and apocryphal tribute to his vital encounter with Amparo Segarra. The works title, as is usually the case with Granell, gives her ontological status, referring to a young woman that opens the door of the night, a clear reference to the mysticism of encounters between beings from Bretonian poetics, in which the moment of creation and encounter gives rise to theoretical beings that are designated as the bearers of keys.