Artist Laurent Jiménez-Balaguer dies at 87
Artist Laurent Jiménez-Balaguer died yesterday at the age of 87 years old. The painter, born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona) emigrated to Paris in 1958 and forged a solid career in France. Currently he exposed an anthology of his work at the Museum of Montserrat. The exhibition The sacredness of Jiménez-Balaguer. Works 1956-2014 opened on March 13. Jiménez-Balaguer was actively involved in this project and he spent a few days in Montserrat -which he described as “idyllic”- with his wife. The opening day he was happily accompanied by his family, and also by the Abbot of Montserrat. He pronounced these words, the last public thought about his work. Laurent still looked to the future with confidence and expectation.
“Today we must engage in a new universe because there are no models. Only search of new languages, new aesthetics and new forms of communication are valid. A creator must guess the invisible today to represent over appearances and to act definitively by ourselves mirror. The work has to be the mirror of what we think. My attitude is the association of two elementary notions which are body and memory. My career includes three periods, concentrated in this way: ropes, logs and fabrics. When the pictorial language reaches its limits, strings draw the continuity and this opening leads my man’s memory man to a great universe, so there are no abstract images in me but only fragments of a reality that is the passage from the individual to the universal. Collect dead trunks, paint them and simultaneously convert them into sculptures is to give them a new life and I believe that art also serves to go beyond death. I reunite with fabrics inside and outside in front of a very closed world and discover it is the virtue of the human being and the knowledge of ourselves. My painting is an inner ability that does not look like the outward forms, it’s a truth that doesn’t look like external things. We must believe. I believe in the courage of believing in our dreams and above all to realize them to achieve the full realization of ourselves.”
The Museum of Montserrat remembers Laurent excellently for his professional and artistic quality but also for the generosity and friendship that he gave us from the first time we met. Despite being away from everyday Barcelona’s cultural life, there are many people who know Laurent because of his latest art exhibitions at Vila Casas Foundation in 2012 and the following year at the Museum of L’Hospitalet. The guestbook in our exhibition is full of testimonies of admiration and gratitude to the artist.