MARTA VÁZQUEZ

LEAVING A TRACE BEHIND

How many of us have ever felt before the childish desire to leave our mark over a layer of fresh cement? For sure many of us have observed before the curious animal tracks in a concrete sidewalk, or with curiosity admired a celebrity sinking her hands into a soft mass of concrete to assure immortality. The human instinct of leaving a trace is related to one’s experience, it talks about the fascination we feel about the possibility of registering a fleeting present, to challenge ourselves to the pace of time. A material like cement has in itself the act of the present time. The process of leaving a trace requires quick action that allows us to record a moment on the material before it hardens permanently.

This is the creative process that has been chosen by the Catalan artist Núria Guinovart (1961), which has cement as her best ally. For years being aware of the properties of this material, Guinovart has created an intimate work that comes from the risky and decisive moment when the piece is created. The action of making incisions and cuts when the surface material is still fresh introduces the artist to a rich universe of hues and textures. Her work engraves over the cement such personal strokes that her works give birth to poetry; out of the refined balance that footprints impress when they are put against the force of emptiness.

The presence of this unique moment impregnates all Guinovart’s works. These works are expressed in a language made of simple and abstract shapes floating in gray silent spaces. We are in front of spaces built with elegant compositional equilibrium that exude zen essentialism, a reminiscent of delicate creations from oriental cultures.

There is no place for superfluous elements in the work of Guinovart, which, it appears, participate in a peacefully floating aura that surrounds her artworks. It seems that, it is precisely in the monochromy of cement where we can better appreciate the power of emotions.

THE LANGUAGE

Guinovart’s works attract because they manage to challenge the characteristics of a material such as cement. From the hard and cold appearance that it evokes, the artist prints the warmth of intimacy.
From its urban character and unrefined aesthetics, we found ourselves amazed in front of a surprising and refined elegance. And further more. Against the feeling of a heavy weight, the emergence of light-weighted spaces, show us a work that breathes, expanding itself. From this moment what has been recorded is passion and life. An art full of content, where the aesthetical result is not the end, because it allows the possibility to appreciate the beauty of imperfection. The imagination runs naked and unconsciously travels leaving behind traces and cracks, while it is being guided by the instincts.

It seems that we feel the same fascination for the act of leaving traces behind as for the act of contemplating them. As if they were fossils of some outdated present, this artworks invite us to observe them to appreciate the hardness of the track, to see how they have been recorded. Unchanged.

 

Marta Vázquez