Temporary Exhibition: «Picasso in the Busquets donation» 23 June 2023 - 6 January 2024
In 1990, Montserrat received a donation from the architect Xavier Busquets consisting of a collection of archaeological pieces as well as paintings by the great figures of Impressionism and Catalan artists, with a significant number of works by Picasso.
Busquets and Picasso became friends, as a result of the commission for the friezes for the new office building of the Architects’ Association of Catalonia in Plaça Nova in Barcelona, which was opened in 1962. Due to Picasso’s involvement in the project, Busquets often travelled to the south of France, where the former lived for the last thirty years of his life. These visits, the aim of which was to follow up on the commission, were the beginning of a friendship, as he spent time and shared conversations with the painter and his last wife, Jacqueline Roque, as well as all the friends, artists and photographers who constantly surrounded Picasso.
During these stays, Busquets took the opportunity to have the works he acquired signed by Picasso. These form part of the collection at the Museum of Montserrat, although most of them are not displayed in the permanent collection. This is a legacy that is now being exhibited, on the fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s death, together with documentation and photos related to the donation, as well as books, images and press articles that contextualise the three main stages of this journey: the arrival of the donation in Montserrat, Picasso’s years in the south of France and the growing interest in Picasso’s work in B arcelona due to the driving force of the Sala Gaspar.
Àlex de Fluvià Palimpsest: What Lies Beneath
Palimpsest: What Lies Beneath
The word “palimpsest” derives from the Ancient Greek palimpsēstos. It literally means “scraped clean and ready to be used again”. Palimpsests are also ancient manuscripts drawn by scribes on parchment in which writing was removed, covered or replaced by a new layer of text. They reveal a history, just as a chalkboard sometimes allows us to see partially erased marks. Àlex de Fluvià’s paintings are reminiscent of palimpsests. They are constructed by overlaid erasures, strokes and gestures resembling written forms. Moreover, they also share the same intrinsic quality of retaining recorded traces and revealing an apparently hidden meaning. In the ambiguity that arises from the transparencies of collected layers of paint, each work in this exhibit reveals its own history and carries deeper layers of thought.
Àlex de Fluvià generates three dimensional spaces through a multiplicity of pictorial languages juxtaposed on his canvases. Creating a meticulously orchestrated fusion in which the universal and the particular coalesce. A palimpsest of the ancient and modern, in which his personal life experience is present and the traces of a collective memory exist. His art is an experiential cultural tapestry–densely painted and layered to mirror everything humans accumulate in their interior. De Fluvià exposes our experience by expressing ideas of transformation and uncertainty in a compressed modern era.
The gaze of the biblical scholar Photographic collection of Fr. Bonaventura Ubach
Jordi Isern Memory
Memory of my body. Memory of the abyss. Memory of Everything
The work of Jordi Isern can be described as the need to know beyond what our senses allow. It draws us in, disturbs us, and awakens an echo within us, as if we ourselves had traces of a prior knowledge within us that feel familiar. The three sections of this installation provide a window into the artist’s thought process and personal experience. In the first room, the set of faces and bodies represent Memòria del meu cos [Memory of my body]; in the second, the five painted beds evoke the Memòria de l’abisme [Memory of the abyss]; finally, in the third space, Memòria del Tot [Memory of Everything], we find the scrap of shroud in which he suggests the Absolute. Whether it is flat or three-dimensional, if we let it act within us, it ends up forming part of us, as viewers, invited to become an actor in this scenario. Jordi Isern is an artist aware of his footsteps and approach to transcendence, allowing the limits of knowledge to fade away and being able to perceive the final vision of the Absolute.
Jordi Isern (Barcelona, 1962) has based his artistic work in recent years on the reflection on the look of painting. How he and the public see it, and how the painting looks at us. The artist is concerned with generating a perceptive and transcendent climate for the viewer, and his exhibitions-scenarios aim to generate spaces where the work can be breathed deeply. This is also the purpose of this show at the Museum of Montserrat. Isern seeks a meditative experience, a reflective space about the meaning of human existence, evoking one's own body, fears and longings. “I paint to reconstruct I do not know what exactly, but I feel like a tracker, like an archaeologist who investigates, who looks for tracks, marks, clues of not evident dimensions in the simplest, everyday things, in the inevitable transit of bodies and things”, he says.
Jordi Isern lives in Sant Iscle d’Empordà (Girona, Catalonia). He has a PhD in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona. He obtained the grants of Plastic Arts of the Generalitat of Catalonia (1985) and the painting one of the Fundació Güell (1986). Among others, he has been awarded the 1st Honda Painting Prize (2007) and the 1st Painting Prize of the Vila Casas Foundation (2010). In recent years he has developed the Origin project at the Museu de la Garrotxa in Olot and in various areas of Girona. He has also participated in the Travelling Exhibitions of the Diputació de Girona.
J. Corredor-Matheos, exhibition curator
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