Return"Uncertain Equilibrium": A Show and Workshops at Gaudí's Casa Vicens by Txemy
Gaudí's Casa Vicens hosts an exhibition by Txemy, who also presents a couple of one-off workshops aimed at children and professionals.
Casa Vicens was the first house designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona and is considered to be one of the first examples of Art Nouveau. Converted to a museum in 2017, its most recent exhibition is dedicated to Txemy: a Barcelona-based artist with ample experience in urban art and new muralism who has made more time in recent years to produce studio work.
Txemy met MTN News at the exhibition to explain the concept of the solo show and preview the forthcoming workshops programmed in late October.
Having been selected through an open call from Casa Vicens, the early stages of his project couldn’t have come at a more dramatic time: “The concept for the exhibition was born two weeks into the lockdown,” Txemy explains. “There was a ‘click’ heard worldwide when it seemed like nothing would ever be the same again. As a muralist, I thought I wouldn’t be able to make a living, as all the festivals were being cancelled. So I had to think about a new way to paint.”
It was at that time that Txemy was searching for something to grab hold of, and he found it in his family: “Just then a discourse occurred to me that I wanted to adopt: stability. For myself, my daughter, my partner and surroundings. And two elements appeared: the dot and the line.” So exhibition found a name: Uncertain Equilibrium.
Txemy Batusolo has roots in Chile and the Canary Islands. He came to Catalunya in 2001, where he studies fine arts. He gained initial fame through his multicolored splattered portraits, he refined his approach and palette over time to the present day where his simple, deliberate forms and pastel palette are instantly recognizable. His approach has now come full circle, embracing the basics as a way to communicate.
“I was really young when I started by degree. At university I remember that we were taught that the dot and the line were the basis of everything. You begin with a dot, add a line and start to construct anything there is in the world,” Txemy explains. The return to his education provided the stability he needed at this tumultuous time: “I chose this simple concept to achieve a stable image.”
The pastel tones chosen by Txemy to illustrate his renewed approach contrast with deep blues – another reference to his past, in this case, the island where he grew up. He tells us, “For islanders, the sea is really important. It’s always visible. It’s a visual element that you have in your DNA, that you’ll never lose. So I chose to use blue as a new color within my painting, to use it as a reminder.”
Anyone visiting the Uncertain Equilibrium show within the cosy confines of the Casa Vicens will be struck by attention to detail and craft that has gone into the media that Txemy has used. “The surfaces are really important. Producing canvases over and over is just the same as shopping at a cheap store where nothing lasts. That’s why I started looking for paper artisans and found one, in Banyoles, around an hour from the city.” He was so delighted with the handmade results that one of the thick slabs of paper was left without a single line, as a mark of respect to the craft.
Canvases and sculpture complete the exhibition, produced with the collaboration of product designer Itziar Luna. The experience even includes a soundtrack composed by Perdi Rominger to set the exact mood that Txemy attempts to create.
The show finishes on October 31, but there are two activities designed to complement and educate two distinct groups of people. On 16th October, Txemy will lead a workshop for children in the garden of the old house, asking them to imagine how the house might have looked in the past, when the neighborhood wasn’t as densely populated. The participants will be invited to explore the house for clues and inspiration before learning the basics of mural skills using water-based spray paint.
On 30th October Txemy will direct a different type of class, this time aimed at professionals of the sector. For this session, the artist will present practical solutions to modern problems in fine art, from ecologically produced work to packaging, dealing with curators and sponsors.
You can sign up for both of the workshops, which will be delivered in Catalan and Spanish, here.
ShareOctober 13, 2021