JOAN HERNÁNDEZ PIJUAN
The Intimate Space – An Experience of Nature
Exhibition until 30 December 2021
“Repition – a return to the same subject, an insistence on the familiar, an evocation of memory – is a clearly recognizable constant throughout Joan Hernández Pijuan’s oeuvre. That is made explicity clear in his „Iris“ series, which he began in earnest in 1994 during the Holy Week and Easter vacations at the family home in Folquer. – Joan’s drawings tend to be exercises in memory, created from images seen on his walks through the countryside, his reencounters with nature, the places and landscapes to which he enjoyed returning.“ Elvira Maluquer
Joan Hernández Pijuan was born in Barcelona in 1931. He has taken part in the international overview exhibitions of Spanish art since 1967. He took part in the Venice Biennale exhibitions in 1960 and 1970. In 1989 he was appointed Professor of Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona. His work was represented in the Spanish Pavilion at the Universal Exposition of Seville (Expo’ 92) in 1992. Comprehensive overview of his work at the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía in Madrid in 1993. This was followed by numerous international museum exhibitions. Consolidation of his standing as one of the most influential Spanish artists of the second half of the 20th century. The Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York buy his work. Special exhibition with Agnes Martin at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005, the years of the artist’s death.
His occupation with questions about space and landform were the starting point for the artistic oeuvre of Hernández Pijuan. In the foreground is the consideration of gaining space from the perception of the painting and the painting itself. This applies in equal measure to his impasto canvases painted with oil and his gouache or oil work on paper, which retain something of the artistic density of the canvases. “Pijuan’s surfaces are physical. They have meaningful depths that belongs to the work… His surfaces are build up for the disclosing what is underneath.” (Arthur C. Danto) Graphic motifs are pictorial manifestations of his landforms, the elementary form of the object, graphically reduced and shown in relation to this space. This creates an interaction between what is presented and the area as a space. The high degree of abstraction and the immediacy and sensory presence of the works are one.
Among other works, the gallery is showing works from the iris series, a number of variations of which the artist created with almost ritual regularity, always around Easter, in his house in Folquer in the west of Catalonia. Nature is his starting point, with the iris motif standing in for nature. Every variation is captured in its pure colourful manifestation in this process, and yet at the same time become a prototype of its type.