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IV. THIRD REFLECTION: A POETICS OF SPACE. For those of us who have had the personal satisfaction and professional good fortune of following, with interest and passion, the progress of Enric Mestre’s singular artistic career, our recent encounter with his latest works, in the process of selecting the “Twenty pieces for a museum” for this exhibition, has merely served to confirm a whole series of conclusions that we had been reaching regarding the defining, definitive characteristics of his solid evolution. There are no leaps, in fact, nor jolty variations in the rigorous evolution of his artistic investigation. And it is precisely this personal trait —born of consistency, without any special concessions or favors, more and more demanding of himself and unforgiving with his own work— that has always led him to observe maximum simplicity. But let us be clear: it is a growing, refined formal simplicity, the product of a complex synthesis of coexisting variables. Hence the surprise and the revelations gleaned from the exhaustive contemplation of his ceramics, inexhaustible deposits of a wealth of suggestions. Such rigor and simplification merely bring us straight to the heart of his personal aesthetic values, which —in the case of Enric Mestre’s ceramics and murals— are also inseparable from an entire series of life values, never stated outright but only gradually insinuated, discreetly incorporated into the formal structure of his austere works. We might say, then, that the demands he makes on himself in the extensive process of his work are not absent in the aesthetic experience either. Nor are they spared the observer of his works, who should —pari passu— become an ascetic of the eye and a persistent regulator of his own sense of touch, to thread together the series of discoveries made. Because in fact, each of Enric Mestre’s pieces —in that radical elimination of boundaries between sculptural approaches and the emerging architectural keys that embody their foundations— are nothing but brief, rational labyrinths to be deciphered. Extremely simple in their configuration, when we observe his pieces and make our respective interpretations, following the

perceptive thread of the discoveries that they allow us to make, we see that they are inexplicably loaded with hermeneutic possibilities. To be honest, this has often occurred to me in my tactile experiences with sculptures. And, in this regard, Enric Mestre’s ceramic sculptures, with their intensely physical materiality, are no exception. I’d say that they allow me to explore new worlds of experience through touch. Not only do they give us unquestionable visual values, they also exemplify a certain economy of touch, something that has always been present in contemporary art and its volumes. In fact, touch is the most basic, primitive form of communication. And there is no reason why it should be marginalized from our aesthetic experience, just as it does not have to be separated from the cognitive activity that Enric Mestre’s elaborate, complex (intellectual) architectures can prompt. If the eye is stimulated by the rational component of his sculptures, the hand is stimulated by their textures and surfaces. After all, by exercising this basic form of communication that touch allows, we might discover a forgotten part of the real. Wasn’t it Bertrand Russell himself who said that we experience reality most directly through touch? Do not many of us, then, try to obtain a greater awareness of ourselves, of others and the world around us through physical experiences, to complement the information we obtain from words or through sight? This importance attached to the sense of touch, which I would like to stress following my studies of Enric Mestre’s work, also influences the processes of identifying the “I”. How often do we tell ourselves “I’m the one who is touching”, when we are in contact with things and people? And that “I’m the subject who experiences” is a basic, determining factor in our aesthetic awareness. Such a personal experience means, by extension, that interpreting sculpture is as an essentially tactile exercise. This invariably makes Enric Mestre a more or less conscious continuator of a kind of branch of modern sculpture, which seeks to know and express the world through the activity of our body. But apart from the passionate dialogue with material, which all ceramic art in itself inevitably entails

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Profile for Javier Mestre

Enric mestre; vint peçes per a un museu  

Catálogo de la exosición "Enric Mestre; vint peçes per a un museu" que tuvo lugar en las tres capitales de la Comunidad Valenciana; Valencia...

Enric mestre; vint peçes per a un museu  

Catálogo de la exosición "Enric Mestre; vint peçes per a un museu" que tuvo lugar en las tres capitales de la Comunidad Valenciana; Valencia...

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