Perejaume’s final two decades of painting and sculpture on show in Barcelona

Perajaume is one of the main Catalan artists of our time, part of a generation that is already gaining a lot of international recognition, with artist’s such as Jaume Plensa. Perajaume is known for his landscape visual poetry, expressing the excess of the current times and exhorting the return to natural roots. The exhibition is not a conventional retrospective, but instead a “programmatic proclamation”, an element of reflection on the function, the limits and the fate of art when opposed to excess.

CNA / Margalida Amengual / Sara Gomez

November 3, 2011 03:11 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- The famous Gaudinian building of La Pedrera in Barcelona is hosting a retrospective of the Catalan artist Perejaume. The exhibition gathers approximately 200 artworks from the past two decades of his career, of which 80% are unpublished. It was unveiled last week and will run until next February 12th. Under the title of ‘Ai Perejaume, si veies la munió d’obres que t’envolten, no en faries cap de nova’ (English for ‘Oh Perejaume, if you saw the countless works around you, you would not create any more’), the exhibition revolves around two main characteristic issues of the painter’s creative universe: the culture of excess and the decrease. Born in 1957 in Sant Pol de Mar, a picturesque small seaside town some 40 kilometres north of Barcelona, Perejaume started his career in the 1970s and since then he has developed a personal style that combines plastic, literary and natural influences.

A multidisciplinary artist

Perejaume is known for his landscape paintings, which are related to both the romantic painters style of the eighteenth century and to avant-garde vision.Through these paintings, Perejaume redefines landscaping as a whole where the authorship appears and disappears with a strong territorial sense. This powerful relationship with landscaping is a way of capturing reality and showing it to the observer, who immediately feels the empathy thanks to Perejaume’s visual poetry.

His technique comes from a collage of varied artistic sources such as Dalí’s surrealism, Tzara’s Dadaism, Catalan linguist Coromines and poet Joan Brossa’s literary works or sculptor Antoni Tàpies' informalism. Perejaume drinks from these different branches, a fact that allows him to not differentiate between the literary influx and plastic universe. He experienced the artistic transition of the 1980s in Catalonia and is part of the same fruitful generation of Catalan speaking artists such as Miquel Barceló -famous for painting the UN Human Rights Council’s dome in Geneva- or Jaume Plensa -whose sculptural works have been exhibited in public spaces in Japan, Germany, the United States or the UK among other countries-. As a versatile artist, Perejaume soon developed an interest for other artistic fields such as photography, video and poetry that have been a constant throughout his career. Perejaume’s creations show subtle manipulations of images, always maintaining a notable recreational goal which becomes obvious in his written production, where the rich and genuine discourse serves both as an object and as an instrument for his purpose.

The art excess as a common thread of protest

The works on display at La Pedrera are a compilation of Perejaume’s artistic imagery that “has been transmitted literally through his collection of poems ‘Pagèsiques’ and visually through this exhibition”, explained the curator, Martí Peran. He also highlighted that the relation between both spheres is “extreme and absolute”. The first part of the exhibition “stresses” the excess of culture, painting, images and representation, and the second, focuses on the “world’s routine”. “Two times draw a single statement, in which small stories hide and complement this main idea”, explained Peran.

When explaining the idea of art creation and consumption excess the Catalan artist uses a parallelism between fossil fuel abuse and imagination: “Imagination is also limited, as we abuse it, we exhaust it, and there are certain artworks that as long as they stay in a conflictive or hidden hotspot they might survive”. Perejaume manifests that most of the artworks on display refer to “this pre-Socratic world that withstands, that is located outside the image, outside a possible representation, opposite to the media spotlight”. “In this exhibition I want to ask La Pedrera to dance and revive some of the artworks of these past few years”, reassured the multifaceted Catalan artist.