Maniobra de Perejaume

4 out of 5 stars
Mirar la mà, d'Antoni Tàpies
©Marçal Folch

If we try to tell you what this exhibition is about, we'll fall short. Words are not enough. We could call it 'Underground Map (one of many) of Catalan Art (but not all of it)', 'Introduction to Perejaumian Thought', or, in particular, 'There Are Lots of Ways to Put on an Exhibition'. But we would still fall short, and we'd also be a bit pedantic. Let's examine the information we have: Perejaume is one of Catalonia's most interesting creatives. Artist, poet and essayist, he has constructed, in this exhibition at at the MNAC, a reflection on certain values of Catalan art by bringing together a series of works from varying periods, sources and disciplines, which together provide for an enriching reading.

Perejaume takes unpublished drawings by Joan Miró – the artist most extensively featured in the exhibition – from when he went to study at the academy of Francesc Galí. The professor had him touch an object, sometimes something as simple as a potato, with his eyes closed, and then asked him to draw it using only his tactile perception. To one side, he's put a 1960s drawing of hands by Antoni Tàpies. And some cut hands by Federico García Lorca. And an arm from the 'giantess' of Olot, created by the master Ramon Amadeu and cut from wood in 1816. The hand as subject, artistic protagonist, as well as an object, and, magically, possessor of the values of everything it touches.

In front of that, a series of notebooks and meteorological records from Ramon Fontserè, the majority from the 1930s, the scientific eye as observer of the landscape, not so different from 19th-century poet Jacint Verdaguer's notes on a day out. And there's the foot of the Virgin, as well as that of the artist, providing a frame of reference. Behind Miró, the architect Josep M. Jujol (student of Gaudí), Tàpies and Dalí let their breath be felt on the visitor's neck.


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