I just can’t resist it

Place: Vallpalou Foundation. Lleida.

Dates: October 26 2017 – July 2 2018.

Opening: October 26, 2017.

Curator: Glòria Bosch.

Texts: Jaume Pont, poet

Review: Glòria Bosch.

Presentation of the Artist’s Book ‘Blanc (to be or not to be)’, a joint work by Víctor Sunyol and Vall Palou.

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Glòria Bosch
I just can’t resist it

The constant movement and development that comes with the mysterious world of expression. What is the device that creates circles of affinity out of differences? What is it that moves within us and brings us to things that we may not have thought about nor even wanted to say? What is all this about “I just can’t resist it? Is creation an unknown language? Do we become the transmission note that validates a collaboration? Where are the others who live within us?

I did not want to limit myself to codes that could easily label a large number of connections with the languages that are more than known to us within the fields of abstraction and informalism… Creative identity is a complex phenomenon because everything – including life, circumstances, what surrounds us at every moment, the contours and infinite abysses of our own intuition – moves within a constant process. In short, what I propose is to generate complicities through resonances, acts of intuition, the silences that possess us and which allow us – as spectators – to create a dialogue with the author.

She (Teresa Vall Palou) is not an author who likes to speak about and specify aspects of her work; she always tries to distance herself from anything that could perpetuate a cliché. However, she does let us see how she works: in an open way, and in accordance with the fluency of a circulation which never ceases. She does not want to give away clues that would confuse the clear view of the pieces (we do not find titles, but rather compositions) and – above all else – she values the difference that allows us to come out from a comfortable interior, which is too well accustomed to routines, in order to immerse ourselves in everything that may be unknown to us. She never emphasizes what she would like to say about her own work, as so often occurs with the desire to project limits and with the fears that prevent us from advancing. Instead, she wants us to move around freely and to open dialogues in which each of us can enter and share her world and then leave it again, with our own experience. She wants us to read from our own intimate perception and for us to be the ones who throw ourselves freely into our interpretation.

Even so, there is also an inevitable trace which, in some way, marks us all and I am very interested to discover re-readings of her own work. It is as if she has written over what had previously been written after erasing it. In fact, it is a kind of palimpsest that is associated with the idea of the creative process, in which both the ideas and the concepts appear in a different way over time and are rewritten in a new context. Many times, I have asked myself about this transversal reading of days and years. In the end, I realize that my (your, our) journey through life is like a grattage, which needs to be erased (but never completely!) in order to be rewritten.

This facility with which we reduce a person to a few items of data because “a person is a multitude of fragments, their life is not a story but a map – or, better still, a reticule, or even a rhizome – that offers various itineraries, each of which would lead, if we were to follow them, to us building a history different from others” is something that has also attracted the attention of the poet and essayist Chantal Maillard (1). It is an approach that I share and which has made me advance in my own way of understanding the human being, including everything that derives from the combination of art and life; this is very much in line with the attitude promoted by Vall Palou. The metaphor of the snail’s drool, used by Maillard in her essay title, leads us to the integrating expression of writing poetry.

As I walk through her workshop, observing works from different periods, looking at objects, ceramics and sculptures, I see another decisive point in her process: working from an object that was found and establishing interactions involving ideas, perceptions, intuitions … And, as I continue to advance through this labyrinth in her company, I once again hear whispered, in a low voice, the murmur of another time… one experienced at the beginning of my journeys along the paths of art, the world understood via intuition, which I had discovered in the visual and literary concepts of Italo Calvino. Now that we are in the millennium that corresponds to them, rather than in the midst of a prediction, the validity of those proposals that he foresaw as an essential part of another way of perceiving the world are again manifested in this “everything is possible” that we are given by the combination and multiplicity of creative languages. This is existence! Existence is an open structure that needs to breathe so as not to be drowned in what is concrete, and work – both that which is already a physical result and that which is still in process – can be assembled and disassembled as many times as you like, breaking away from the I am (2) which – for many – is just a form of false solidity to cling on to and where they can feel at ease with any affirmation embedded in time.

This expository proposal to which an art historian and a poet have been invited, seems very interesting to me because of the different versions and interpretations that can be made of a work each time it is visited. And yes, I just can`t resist it, because art is part of this process of discovering ourselves which – with the right tools to provoke and surprise us – places us in each of the spaces along the way, as if it were a circle of affinities that unfolds in a synthesis-antithesis, unpacking the difference in registers in Vall Palou’s work. It is an open process in which generating contrasts is most evident as a visual set and – at the same time – as an individual composition that is always located between expressive rhythms which overwhelm any world prescribed for us to inhabit.

Light, matter, colour, transparency (what can be glimpsed from beneath each composition), opacity, gesture, space, time (the palimpsest of accumulated registers in the plot of an infinite discourse), chance …, an accumulation of references which would not be present without emptiness and absence. Although we find that the majority of these works have been produced recently, they also include some that make it possible to open the arc of time as if it were a conversation in course: a constant renewal of intimate perception.

The need to open paths in a network in order to escape from what she would never want – in other words, to be included within a cliché – leads us to the naked sculpture, the white walls with the white of a few volumes in which it is necessary to value not only the forms, but each accident of matter; the scraped and rewritten painting, like a palimpsest of liquid transparencies where the plots are diluted with the pieces of white ceramic; the dialogue of the most austere pictorial imprint with the volumetric lines that transit, between two rooms, to take us to the gesturing of a painting that coexists with writing; the recovered fabric, with its own imprint, and which has been transformed with the insertion of letters that open and close calligraphic alphabets, finds the other object in which to reflect itself: an old mirror frame that welcomes its most convulsive world of line; and now, finally, the paper with all the qualities, again the whiteness that opened the way for us in the first space, with drawings, engravings, the plan for the target book that brings together all the poetry.

The paper, and especially the engraving, take us to a magnificent exhibition, organised by this Foundation. Gènesi 2015, from the careful hands of Josep-Maria Sala-Valldaura, clearly places us within the affinity that is produced between the white sheet of the author and the artist’s canvas, the complicity that allows us to establish connections when it comes to advancing along paths that are unknown to us. And D´això, no me´n sé estar, because it is multiple questions that allow us to form the question without an answer or to become, what Clarice Lispector called, a parenthesis that never closes. Movement, transit, life … What is it like to exist other than to become and to be created?

Glòria Bosch
Translated from catalan by: Malcom Hayes

(1) Chantal Maillard, La baba del caracol. Madrid/México, Vaso Roto, 2014, p. 69.
(2) Glòria Bosch, Qui sóc? Museu d´Art de Girona/Llibreria Sala Blanquerna de Madrid/Sala Ibere Camargo. Usina del Gasómetro de Porto Alegre, 1999.

Sparkles / Éclats

Place: Centre d’Études Catalanes de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne. París.

Dates: May 4 – June 12 2017.

Opening: May 4 at 18:00h.

Curators: Vicenç Altaió and Josep M. Sala-Valldaura.

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Ximo Company
Beats

VALLPALOU
FACERE, INGENERARE

At present, in western Catalonia, Vallpalou is the most prominent artist where she works most on is in the creative silence of her workshop. She is the most fruitful. The things –and things happened– she has to say in terms of expressive language, pictorial and plastic. She is the one who most refines and distils everything she does. What she has best distilled is a serious, convincing, own, compact poetry. She is the best to swim against the current. She is the one who can stay out and above everything with the more personality. No doubt, she is the one who stays the furthest from the ‘Plaça de Sant Jaume de Barcelona’. The loneliest and perhaps the most unknown. But also the soberest, the freest and most authentic in the country.

Again, Vallpalou is today by far the most prominent artist of Western Catalonia.

Artist to her roots, she is all made of an unpredictable dose of ‘manus et ingenium’, Vallpalou operates with extraordinary creative freedom, difficult to qualify and liken; unimaginable. Sign, gesture, ductus, dense matter and yet liquid, transparent, mixed, manipulated, dripping, brushes and utensils of all kinds intertwine and come together in the tireless –and impossible to bribe– original mind of this Catalan artist, who almost always ends her work with a chromatic explosions and metamorphosis and gnaws matter to the bone till achieving an unsuspected plastic skin.

Vallpalou always operates with some entirely surprising and unsuspecting chromaticism, unusual and very personal; each of her works, made and remade, reincarnated, it ends up being, by force, a unicum.

Vallpalou is not at all linear or conventional. Difficult to elucidate. Fortunately.

Vallpalou, what is more, also rebels, day by day, minute by minute, against the known. And enters full of courage, day by day, minute by minute, against the mystery. You need to explore the unknown. You need to do and undo what is done to return to facere, to return to ingenerare. This is the greatness of Vallpalou: make and unmake to do again and provide new flesh to her own work, all that this artist, unequalled, day by day, produces and represents.

Often, this Vallpalou manages with just a small touch of colour or small gestural lines… but also, –and this is another great distinguishing feature of her boundless creativity–, can achieve by building material silence and more extraordinary conceptual –and adult– currently taking place in the creative scene in Catalonia.

Silences that creates stupefaction, silences that makes you cringe, material and conceptual silences, silences of a magical aesthetic eloquence, never felt before. Something that today in my country, is only available at the hands –and the ability to think– of a few privileged artists; Vallpalou is one of these privileged artists; almost deific.

I can assure you: we will take a long time to find, in my country, artists like Vallpalou.

Anyway, what I have said and I emphasize here again, right now, Vallpalou is the most prominent artist of Western Catalonia.

Ximo Company
June 2016

Conxita Oliver
Beats

In a world immersed in the speed and the whirlwind of information, Teresa Vall Palou takes us to a cosmos of reflection and solitude allowing us to delve into the essence of the absolute.  For the artist, art is an extension of life itself, a place where he or she seeks to recognize the state of intensity with which he or she lives.

Heir to the tradition of in-formalism and of abstract expressionism, she does not avoid any expressive formula to explore and investigate a great variety of registers: painting, engraving, drawing, artist books and ceramics.  Different art language which she use every opportunity to achieve the results of desired expression. With a silent solo career, developed through a strictly abstract language, Vall Palou has carried out a thoughtful exercise of subjective interpretation of the feelings with strength and boldness of resources that do not hide at any time her introspective side.

The re-vindication of painting and its discourse goes from the Gestural to the Material, going through the Spatial and Stainism. In spaces without limits, which she usually executes in large formats, her impulsive and dynamic practice responds to her most energetic concerns that gush with total freedom of execution. She leaves aside all that is superfluous and keeps hold of the pulse and gesture, the way of the pigment, the transit of the mark of the brush, the length of the stroke on the canvas, the accumulation of density, of drippings… on which are successively superimposed, overlapping and merging till it establishes a framework and a pictorial grid made of subtle contributions and sedimentations. Its own energetic cadence gives it a vibration that offers its interior pulse, which is so characteristic of her work.

Veritable labyrinths that allows us to visually travel through its interior, from the surface to its compact depths and converse with its most intimate secrets that often pip through cracks of light. In the present compositions, colour takes centre stage and its ranges are bright and impressive: green, blue, red, black and white, particularly becoming energetic vibrations. Also, spaces with atmospheric moods, made of glazes and transparencies, and seek dialogue with compact mass and fields of monochrome colour that accurately compensates space constructively.

A study of an indisputable pictorial claim interrelated to a single whole. A battle that the artist maintains with her work, superimposing, juxtaposing, coming together… until the work itself no longer asks for anything more and surrenders. This confrontation, however, admits no insecurities, doubts or retreats because this battle is only won by hard discipline, reflection and demand in the method and in the process. On the other hand, she would not impose her will over the work till she has completely defeating it and making it hers.  A large visual and tactile expansion of great aesthetic pleasure, where the profusion and abundance of accidents involving a great plastic forcefulness and evocative lyricism, between the power of emotion and mind control. An emotion that gradually leaks through the entire process of execution, a passion that has been rationalizing and slowly altering from the first instinctive impulse.

But in contrast, there are other works that are the product of a much more direct action that emerge as completely fluid and impulsive without a sum of consecutive experiences. They are like visions or microscopic cellular organisms multiplying in a corpuscular expansion of constant evolution.

With pictorial practice Vall Palou has made the claims of non-figurative art not as a limitation, but, on the contrary, as an imposition. Mental landscapes that are the result of an introspective processes, full of internal demands, criticisms, ideas and personal challenges that become the  reflection of the most vital points of herself. Some canvases, within a substantial pictorial abstraction, at all times confirm the link established between the self and the environment.

In this sense, her work expresses the deepest feelings of man: satisfactions, frustrations, pain, joy… through roughness of texture, the vaporisation of a transparency, stabilizing organization, disestablishing structure, sequential rhythms of extreme verticality, the dissolution and liquidity of the painting; the hardness of a black, the depth of a blue, the overwhelming strength of a red or the infinite purity a white. Regardless of all accessories that offer the purest essential universality, that is, the intimate question of the world. A repertoire of formal energy released in an explosion of nuances and registers that enhance the metaphorical force that allows everyone to evoke his own imaginary world.

This entire process is referred to the support of canvas but it is much more magnified in the case of papers. The radical spontaneity, automatism and gestures reach the maximum impact, above all because since the same technique offers much more freedom and allows, above all, immediacy. Vall Palou’s paintings on paper are direct, of the first intention and thus preserve the freshness of the first ray. It is a privileged language of direct expression, constant experimentation, a vehicle that allows ductile autonomy of action difficult to achieve in painting on canvas. All this constitutes a kind of personal laboratory, the artist’s much more intimate space, the instant download between mind and hand flowing rapidly on the surface; in short, the means which wins the battle of time. For Vall Palou, this practice is a genuine writing of her thoughts, an exercise that allows her to follow the traces of her emotional swings and each individual moment within the set of her work.

Moreover, Vall Palau’s raku pottery, of dry and rough skin, talks with a series of black paintings of spectral depth. The Voice of pottery – the ancestral art of clay and fire – the possibility to investigate new approaches and new morphologies. A clear  determination to experiment, along with practicing good craftsmanship  and intricacies of tradition have resulted in a ceramic, which is, above all, a pure art that is conceived as a defence of the material with all its palpitation and its intrinsic qualities. If traditional morphologies have been centred exclusively on the hollow – where it’s utility resides -, limited to shapes that enclose spaces within the classic types, designed to hold something in. Her ceramic pieces are an open expand of creativity in favour of the concept. Transgress the function of deposit and alter formal and conceptual traditional concept means that the ceramic material can be used to create sculptural objects away from orthodox forms like the cliché glasses, plates, bowls or containers that serves some thing.

In Vall Palou’s work a balance of opposites is often manifested that give this point of opposing polarities so evident in her work: organization and chaos; light and darkness; pleasure and distress; full and empty; heaven and hell… dualities at the service of a piece of work that is beyond the format and is continuously expanding to three-dimensionality.

The current exhibition includes a selection of recent work carried out in recent years and follows a structured through the different series, organized into seven areas.

A rigorous work, honest and consistent, that of Vall Palou’s, who makes no concession and invites us to enjoy enriching our sensations by deepening impressions.  A work that claims the intentions of the look and leaves in the perception of the viewer different exercises that can be done through memory, tracing, poetic reflection, fictitious permanence, space of dreams and… we enhance what Marcel Duchamp defended by asserting that the observer makes the work.

Conchita Oliver
Art historian and member of the International Association of Art Critics

Heartbeats

Place: Vallpalou Foundation. Lleida.

Dates: September 14 2016 – January 30 2017.

Opening: September 14, 2016.

Curator: Conxita Oliver.

Review: Conxita Oliver, Ximo Company.

Seven areas: Víctor Sunyol, poet.

A selection of recent work, structured following a walk through the different series, which is organized into seven areas.

image of the exhibition room
Opening of the exhibition, September 14 2016.

Genesis

Place: Fundació Vallpalou. Lleida.

Dates: September 22 2015 – January 31 2016.

Opening: September 22 2015 at 20.00h.

Curator: Josep M. Sala-Valldaura

Review: Josep M. Sala-Valldaura 

Graphic work. Woodcuts and litographs 2014-2015.



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