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a place. We have to resort to the philosophy of theorists such as Gilles Delueze and Felix Guattari to understand that Cobero’s work is not about the one sculptural object itself but the crossings of the possibilities of material, shape and process. .As Deleuze and Guattari declare, the “the intersection of all concrete forms....It is the abstract Figure, or rather since it has no form itself, the abstract machine of which each concrete assemblage is a multiplicity, a becoming, a segment, a vibration.” Described this way, Corbero’s artistic works conjure up in their emotional and tactical interaction a variety of feelings based on this sense of abstraction working to create the possibilities of form. Xavier Corbero was born in 1935 on the eve of the Spanish Civil War in Barcelona. Throughout his life he endured difficulty using his singular will and ego behind his will to art to keep him going. Having survived smallpox and WWII, he grew up exposed to art and the potent process of apprenticeship from his father and grandfather while attending the Escuela Massana in Barcelona. He comments, “It was a school for working apprentices who polished themselves with school, which is how people should do it. You learn the craft working and how to speak and draw and how to think geometrically.” While learning his craft, his family life in Barcelona was marked by the presence of a rich community of creative people that started during WWII. “Even with the war, people were coming to the house, sculptors and poets and musicians or something. After the war, it was very boring, there was no food, no books, no films, no nothing. I left Barcelona when I was 19 and went to Sweden because I thought Sweden was a very modern country and it was socialist and it was fantastic.” He later broadened his vision through further education at The Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and Fundición Medici foundry in Lausanne, a key period in his training. In 1959, he moved back to Barcelona to Esplugues de Llobregat at that time a

village 11 km. outside of Barcelona, and today a suburb. “I remember a gallery in Barcelona saying, ‘you’re crazy, it’s so far.’ In Spanish terms, it was very far from Barcelona, back then there were no cars or taxis, but in American terms (he lived in the U.S. through the 1970s and 1980s), not so far. In Europe, you can travel the distance from Manhattan to Brooklyn and you could have two presidents and six kingdoms.” This house in Esplugues was soon to turn into a compound and artist retreat and later a gallery and outdoor sculpture garden for his work. His house today is a continuing project that is his home, architectural project and experiment in making forms from the earth. “The space is big, but it is only big mentally, because the space isn’t more than any lobby in Chicago,” says Corbero. “What is good is the scale, if you get the scale right, space stops being space to become mind. And this happens in a sculpture and it happens in architecture.” Corberó’s art cum home has transformed into his largest art work, a surreal scenography for an experience beyond what can be labeled architecture. His relationship to surrealism can be traced to his friendship with fellow Catalan artist, Salvador Dalí. “Dalí was my first patron,” says Corbero. “But I didn’t know it until many years later. Somebody had called on the phone and said ‘Hello, this is Dalí’ and I thought it was a friend of mine pulling my leg so I said ‘Yes, and I am the bishop’ and hung up.’ And that was it. Many years later I had an exhibition in New York and Dali came every day. And I said to him, ‘Why do you come every day,’ and he said, ‘because I find your work very interesting. The only problem is that you are not very polite.’ ‘Why am I not polite?’ I said ‘Because I bought every thing at your exhibition with Arturo Lopez (a patron of Daliís who lived in Paris and was very very rich.)’” While surrealism is part of his larger approach to space, his connection to place especially to the strength he finds in the earth of Catalonia. Thus while work can KASIM-ARALIK 2010 • NATURA 31

Natura Magazine 001  

Stone architecture and interiors magazine published by the Turkish Stone Exporters' Association, Istanbul, Turkey

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