LITA CABELLUT DRIED TEAR
DRIED TEAR 2013
DRIED TEAR 2013
‘Every painting I do is a little story, each trace a phrase and every brushstroke a syllable...’
DRIED TEAR NEXUS In Cabellut’s work there is an implicit relationship between the “method” used to create her paintings and her perception of the universe which tends towards a global view and an acknowledgment of the past, that becomes a silent witness of the changes and developments of the present through a flexible balance between East and West, pierced by aesthetic language that thoroughly uncovers the connections between both. The “Yin” and “Yang” forces converted into shifting concepts that imply transformation, metamorphosis, shades and gestures in a constant movement which reveal the quintessential quest for the essential, created based on new surfaces and textures on the canvas, imposing light on darkness, emphasising the representation, the colour contrast on our emotions, all of which is included in the boomerang, the transparent connection between two cultures. The conceptual contrasts that are welded within the “Dried Tear” series, provide access to a secret universe through a complex sequence of furrows, pores and grooves through which we can penetrate and discover a new and unique approach to the magic role of paintings. The ability of distinguishing invisible and visible beauty is a challenge to our senses, an assessment based on matter where the nature of the artistic representation dissolves and becomes an integral part of our imagination. The artist expresses herself through a straightforward combination of the conscious and the subconscious, of the content and the physical qualities of the works of art. The essence is the attitude towards the imaginary world, without ethical principles or aesthetic trends, where we are enthralled by the result. The perception of the transfigurative process in the “Dried Tear” series entails a classification based on the NEXUS that flows between the object and its image, between a concept and the painting which includes allegorical figures, narrative representations, cycles and subjective interpretations. The iconography is only an option when the paintings have their own argumentation and a linguistic foundation that
allows us to interpret its powerful symbolic meaning, as is the case with the thirty paintings of this series in which the developed schematic “method” closes in to provide access to its iconography based on universal and individual behavioural codes. When faced by her works of art, we submerge in a bright chiaroscuro, we fall into the absurd and its consequences or as Cabellut suggests, into an empire deep inside the hysteria of ignorance, lost in the spiral of its schizophrenia. The people depicted on the paintings, guide us in our search for hypothetical immortality, transmit emotion, tension, sadness and strength and we sense a call for help, a protest and a sense of freedom that transcends the physical as if it were a mirror, where the imaginary NEXUS disintegrates in the fictitious mirrors of the canvases, overflowing with a clear varnish to simultaneously create its own simulation, mirroring our own image that will remain in our subconscious, helping us expand our sensibility and sensitivity and our personal perception of life. A shared fascination: the discovery of the oriental culture, with an aesthetic quality and a view of the world that seems distant, but that through art was able to establish a rich dialogue with the society of an entire era in the Europe of the second half of the 19th Century, during which such influential initiatives as the Universal Exposition of 1888, Siegfried Bing and “Art Nouveau” and Bracquemond, left their footprint in the works of artists of the post-impressionism, symbolism and modernism era and even in modern day artists. A great number of aesthetic proposals in works as diverse as the “Japanase Fantasies” of Marià Fortuny, Pablo Picasso’s oriental ceramics or the woodcuts by Edward Munch, Joan Miró, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel. A trend that provided subjects, techniques and formats within a poem addressing the West that uncovered a world of ideas and shapes.
Submerged in the “Dried tear” series where Cabellut’s portraits become an immense oriental landscape, we are able to discover the coherence with Siegfried Bing’s “Le Japon Artistique” published in 1888, where he pointed out the need to discriminate real art from vulgar products that imitate masterpieces. Her passion for rare and extravagant objects, for the exotic, has nothing to do with the paintings of this series. These works are not imitations or humiliating pastiches of other works of art. The series is a coherent aesthetic response, an aristocratic acknowledgement that paradoxically enhances the popular nature of a distant art to frame it within its own iconography.
The paintings do not have a story to tell, are not even a representation, they are subjective interpretations that interpret themselves, the concepts of which flow as disguised metaphors, attempting to communicate their individual ideas. These paintings are stuck in time, but we can breath life into them through their infinite cavities, introducing ourselves into their veins. “The scars are really the veins of the canvas. My greatest obsession is to give a skin to the characters I portray. I then apply the brushstrokes”, says Cabellut. A journey that requires a high level of concentration, all our inventiveness and creative collaboration in order to walk through them. The series is a reflection of the world in an enormous mirror that we have to enter to find ourselves in a desert where our imagination will wander freely among other imaginary worlds.
Each painting unfolds into another answer, another version that suggests another intrinsic meaning, like a set of mirrors, moving to and from between excerpts of conversations, where we confront the tears, the challenge, reality or its illusion in a parody supported by Tachism: the various layers of paint added to the canvas to resolutely erase the source of the original idea. Nietzche’s theory of “eternal recurrence” converted into a parody of all possible theories. The objective is to check, through successive parodic deformations, the cultural melting pot that questions the essential, such as, the goals of humanity, the human condition, which limits should be reset, which limits should be overcome or how to rebuild a new domain, where legislation is regulated by new laws, laws against legislation, increasing our admiration for an artist with a view of another world who continually watches her reflection on the mirror of our diffusion with delicate inflection. The strong content of the images disintegrates the narrative line of a language, where no formal limits are applied to that which does not have limits, where the traditional relationship between symbols and meaning, between signifier and symbol no longer exist, no longer have value as these have been renewed by the strength of imposing new logic on reality, which starts to seem familiar by revealing the oriental painting principle in which the lack of “method” prevails, where the “method of no method” is an irreplaceable axiom in art praxis.
‘I always question what is real and what is a figment of our imagination.’
SEGMENTS The ideograms of Chinese writing are based on paintings, a pictogram that has taught the Chinese eye to rebuild a synthesis of the real, concentrating on its more specific features without the details, searching for a balanced and rhythmic shape for each figurative element. Every shape becomes a general symbol. Reality stylized into its simple form was consolidated by Jung Hai and Wang Wei a painter and poet respectively who lived under the Tang dynasty of the 8th Century. The characters embody the three fundamental tenets of the history of Chinese philosophy: Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism and the six SEGMENTS or energetic axioms that determine the aesthetics of BI FAJI or the absence of method: 1) CHI - The free movement that guides the brush / 2) YANG - Rhythm / 3) SI - Composition / 4) YING- State of mind / 5) BI - Skill / 6) MO -Knowledge of the subject. The structured proportions make us believe that real knowledge is impossible. The alleged appearance and similarities of two worlds can only be perceived through strength of intellect, through the depth of a brilliant look that brightens that other world with its own light illuminating a series of faces and bodies of another age. Looking at Cabellut’s paintings, reality overtakes us and returns us with its boomerang. It is a private experience that guides our eyes to teach us to once again look at the diversity of the world, changing every gesture and every figurative element into a privilege. This is not limited to the hallucinating and disproportionate spontaneity of the composition of her works, but through the search for a personal pictorial language, supported by an unusual and innovative technique, it manages to transcend also, the limits of the oriental speech, immersing us into “her” reality that will become the pictorial symbol of our own reality. A symbol that is far away from conventional concepts of contemporary art, that includes an aesthetic proposal that is founded on art that is more mysterious and less industrialized than the art of contemporary artists where monumental facilities, conceptual art, sensationalist art, etc. prevail. In these works of art, the communications are neutral, calm, passive and establish a dialogue with a cosmos far away from our immediate and daily life, creating a new language where the sublime unites with the possible and the impossible to compose the mise-en-scène of a universe, the drama of which is distant, hidden and enigmatic. Cabellut does not paint a portrait of a face or a body, but she reflects on how that face, that body decides to look at the world. “Do not paint the object, but the effect it has,” Stéphane Mallarmé suggested Édouard Manet, founding the Modern Art. The scale tips towards a scenographic realism based on the conception of the painting through the creation and raison d’être of the matter. The paintings are a direct juxtaposition and not a mere
representation-illustration of the feelings. The series is not determined by the dynamic tracing of a long unifying line, but by the relationship among its various SEGMENTS or energetic, scattered along the surface of the canvases. The space-time factors assign the work fundamental relevance through the enormous formats. The surface is structured through a common rhythm of multiple independent chromatic centres that seem to explode in their own areas due to the overlapping concentration of up to fifteen consecutive layers. The relevance of the pictorial novelty is the coherence and balance of shapes, juxtaposed to an imaginary world transformed in a dream where the persistent paroxysm is reflected between signs and symbols recalling an image of mysterious and archetypical reality that hinders, a priori, an unequivocal interpretation of the content. The oneiric axioms are the result of the technique applied on the canvases where we discover three inseparable SEGMENTS: - The idea of chaos and its representation. - The idea of the absurd and its dramatization that is diluted, since there is no possible dramatization within the absurd. - The synthesis manifests itself in CLOSE-UPS, substituting the total and the coherence, the unit ousting the analysis. There is a connection, a direct link based on the energy with which the idea of chaos is transmitted, as a representation of an ever-changing reality and the iconography of the work of a Spanish artist with gipsy roots that has developed a technical digression to service an idea that connects very subtly with the key factors of thought and oriental art evolution. From Kano- Eitoku, So- Shiseki to Zao Wou-Ki, we will discover the principle of “Synchronicity” that indicates a relationship between two systems, between two simultaneous status, in open opposition to the “causality” axiom of Western culture where life and chaos phenomena interrelate governed by cause and effect. In this synchronous vision of civilization, body and spirit are two perceptions of the same energy that Cabellut absorbs as a decisive model for the content of her work: fragility, sadness, hysteria of ignorance, the idea of the absurd, fear of death, degradation of power, dreams packed with strange monsters are the concepts rescued from oriental philosophy, condensed and confined in a setting full of tension. Hard paintings, often full of rage that is barely contained, within the margins and limits of the mammoth size, chosen precisely to extend the arm and the look, accepting the challenge of the selected scale. Our imagination stops to confront all the contradictions of a thought entangled in the absurd, covering with images that which it is lacking in reasoning, an effort in which intelligence and passion intermingle and disappear. Where the expression begins, ends the thought.
The series personifies the drama of intelligence, but only indirectly, demanding an artistic approximation towards the specific, for which the interpretation means nothing more than the specific. Once again, these images propose a return to the exaltation of beauty as a supreme impulse within an apocalyptic combination of the sublime and the chaotic.
way. We can base ourselves on our intuition, but never on the extraneous power of reason and argumentation. The energetic axioms and iconographic SEGMENTS of art provide even less support, but the painstaking observation of details, sensitivity to her style and an in-depth comparison of the two cultures based on our visual memory can help us find our interpretation.
Allowing the world of the absurd behind Cabellut’s paintings to conceal us, entails a very demanding mise-en-scène and it will pose a challenge, since there is no previous method or model to show us the
‘The mysterious power of the “DUENDE” implies another way of thinking and feeling.’ INTENSITIES The narrative style obeys a rhythm, it is the metronome makes time beat regularly accentuating the longitude and amplitude of the canvas. This vibrational and musical feature is evident in the “Dried Tear” series where the portraits convey a resounding INTENSITY full of sensuality, setting the pace where remarkable differences between both cultures are diluted and disappear as these do not need to remember the past, as these do not need special procedures for the fusion of their stories. The portrayed people include the faltering rhythm
we keep locked away, which, when heard makes a circumflex accent hover over our heart, transferring us to the confidential territory of internal dialogue where a set of emotions juxtapose interchanging ideas based on knowing how to act, how to look and how to listen. From the very beginning, shouting has been the greatest display of excitement for any living being, either based on pain or pleasure. A resounding trace, a verbal cover, an exacerbate moan remind us that we are standing before an abyss that spreads out between the body and the symbols, between the sign and the language, where words
act as a boomerang between the interior and exterior features of our senses. We sense a call for help, a protest and a sense of freedom that reaches out from the images in Cabellut’s paintings, within an organized delirium that transforms into poetry. Poetry that fills our ears with silent music, with its unvoiced plaintive moan that due to its INTENSITY sometimes prevents us from wandering through the pores of these enormous paintings. A wide range of interruptions of our train of thought is pushed towards the linguistic level, without violence. On the contrary the unvoiced melody accompanies us on our journey through foreign thoughts thereby breaking into subjectivity. The “DUENDE” emanates energy and with its musical rhythm brings us near to a universe where the daily events are considered to be the faithful image of our thoughts and feelings. A very subtle vision of life, adapted to the human capacity of composing signs and figures within perpetually rotating chaos.
skill which was applied by Durero to metal sheets in 1498 to create his amazing “Apocalypse”. At the time of German expressionism the IMPASTO technique emerges. It consists of adding onto a very wet and thick surface of paint, more colours and textures to create grooves and furrows to guide the eye, the hand and even the arm of the artist beyond its limits, achieving a three-dimensional effect on the paintings. Fetish-material, tracing and shapes combined with colour masses, the significant once again replacing the symbolic, a spiral journey from Auerbach to Tàpies to finally arrive at Richter, where the purification and sophistication of this technique reaches its climax. Applying the reference theory and absorbing the influence of the great masters, Cabellut adds the CRACKING technique to her canvases. This consists of distilling the molecules of a few chemical compounds that transform at high temperatures to become less complex chemical substances, but are not any less impressive.
The Buddhist MONO NO AWARE concept, used in oriental art to communicate a feeling of beautiful sadness, a deep melancholy that wraps us in ephemera, insisting that time, space and matter act as shelter to our sensitivity puncturing our thoughts in silence. The complexity and arbitrariness of the texture are also essential elements in the close relationship with oriental culture, specifically with the WABI SABI or the Japanese “Art of Impermanence”, since without the texture, the art would not be able to suggest the nature of evolution of thought, based on the idea of perfection as an unattainable goal. This principle is reflected on Cabellut’s canvases of which the surface does not have a soft and clean finish, but on the contrary, is the result of the organic nature of the decomposing material, based on complex research that took over five years to develop. The canvas becomes a laboratory table where the eloquence of the subject is combined with various layers of colour to produce astonishing results.
The paintings that make up the “Dried Tear” collection concentrate on a world model that is in constant movement, giving us the identity, the finished shape, of a face, as a sign of the static, as the surface on which to introduce our subjectivity and our impulses. A meeting place for individual INTENSITIES and impulses that together form human life. Sensitive to the “eternal recurrence”, the paintings reflect the continuous changes of the face, transmitting a sense of movement, intensifying the learning abilities of the soul. The faces seem cracked, eroded and in connection with the other faces, in a complex network that never ends. The constant tension of thresholds and progressive “glissements” (landslides) that alters the changing world of human existence, decomposing through its vicious circle the tendency towards uniformity of our imagined self image but that is actually the most visible sign of perpetual change. A figurative model that ties our thoughts with fiction, with the fable of the meeting of two cultures in perfect harmony leading to multiple interconnections. East and West, oriental and occidental, two different ways of interpreting a world full of signs, of symbolic substitutions, of juxtaposed dialectical levels, in which Cabellut acts as a mediator, as an alchemist of the matter attempting to restore the simultaneous use of two correlative functions, the imaginary and symbolic, in Universal Art.
The origin and evolution of Cabellut’s pictorial technique starts in Ancient Egypt with the discovery of the PALIMPSEST, whereby texts and hieroglyphics on papyrus or wax-coated wooden tablets are overwritten with new texts. This method was successfully transferred to painting, where the material organized the creative process. New layers of paint are applied almost simultaneously to paint, erase and add to the canvas to have these coincide on the same surface. Later the same idea was used for XYLOGRAPHY or UKIYO-E (woodcuts) during the 12th Century in Japan. The engravings or inscriptions on cherry wood were used to stamp patterns on cloth. Several plates were prepared to produce a single image. Each colour required its own plate. These plates were used to print on the material. As opposed to Western style printing, the Japanese did not use a press, but a circle of ropes that was used to press on the back side of the cloth with circular movements. A hand-made process that required human
Painting fabrics for the 2 kimonos specially made for Raffles Design Institute
‘Lifting my head I watch the bright moon Lowering my head I dream that I’m home.’
Painting fabrics Mr Giuseppe Joe Spinelli of Raffles Design Institute
Dried Tear 55 280 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 22 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 35 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 16 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 33 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 34 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 36 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 37 280 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 11 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 15 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 29 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 38 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 07 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 31 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 30 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 39 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 40 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 41 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 42 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 46 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 43 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 52 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 45 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 48 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 47 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 49 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 50 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 09 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 44 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 53 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 54 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 26 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 08 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 23 115 × 100 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 32 250 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 51 150 × 150 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 04 180 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 13 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 14 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 12 200 × 180 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 05 280 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
Dried Tear 06 280 × 200 cm 2013 Mixed media on canvas
EXHIBITIONS 2013 Trilogy of the doubt / Strong woman, Noordbrabants Museum, ’s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands 2013 Behind the curtains, Opera Gallery, Hong Kong 2013 Trilogy of the doubt, Fundació Vila Casas, Barcelona, Spain 2013 Between you, me and the others, Werstas Museum, Tampere, Finland 2012 Portrait of human knowledge, Opera Gallery, London, United Kingdom 2012 Memories wrapped in gold paper, Opera Gallery, Dubai 2011 Coco, témoignage en noir et blanc, Opera Gallery, Paris, France 2011 Frida, la perla negra, Opera Gallery, London, United Kingdom 2008 Art in Sport with Adidas, Multiple museums in China 2001 Between earth & heaven, PMMK Museum, Ostend, Belgium Permanent exhibition at Opera Gallery Paris, Monaco, London, Geneva, New York, Bal Harbour, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Dubai
PRICES 2011 Price of the Culture Gitane – Fine Arts
COLLECTIONS Collection of the Foundation Joop & Janine van den Ende, The Netherlands Collection of the Théâtre Mogador, France Fendi Collection, Italie Collection of the Foundation Paul van Rensch, The Netherlands Collection of the Group Copelouzos, Greece Collection of the Fundació Vila Casas, Spain
COLOPHON Paintings, poetry and art direction Essay Graphic design Photography Translation essay Publisher Printing
Lita Cabellut Gerardo Gil studio frederik de wal John Tromp / Eddy Wenting ASA vertaalbureau Utrecht Opera Gallery Lecturis, Eindhoven
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catalogue of the exhibition "Dried Tear" Opera Gallery SIngapore 18 October - 3 November 2013