Lluís Lleó. Marion Papers

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Lluís Lleó. Marion Papers
Menelaus, 2016

This is the story of an obsession. Nothing's worth a lick if it doesn't take hold of us and we suffer the consequences. From an obsession with losses comes metamorphosis. This is the story of Lluís and Marion. 

Lluís Lleó, a third-generation painter, has spent nearly three decades working out of two studios – one in New York and the other in the Catalan town of Rupià in Girona. Marion Selig was an important art collector and close friend of Lleó's, who encouraged him to draw more and more, to the detriment of his painting. While Selig was hospitalized with leukaemia, Lleó carried on drawing and, as he finished each piece, he would send a snapshopt of it to Selig via mobile phone. When Selig passed away in 2015, Lleó baptized the series with the name of a butterfly, 'Morpho'. Every one of the 48 drawings that make up the series corresponds to the 48 varieties of this delicate butterfly – 48 fine pages that aren't displayed under glass on which Lleó spent months applying patient strokes with graphite, as well as of 'Palazuelo' blue, vaporised Chinese ink, and some clusters of colour.

But beyond the particularity of the Marion papers, beyond even the numerous influences in the Leonine line – Romanesque, minimalism, Cimabue, Rothko, Johns, Guston, the architecture of Moneo and Siza, and the poetics of Rilke and Saint-Exupéry – there's a work that's naked, laconic, a morbid point that captures our gaze and, as soon as we allow it, takes us to that place where reason becomes an abyss and whispers in our ear, 'Jump!' Just don't take it too literally.

By: Ricard Mas

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