Retrospective is an exhibition of work by the artist Lita Cabellut (Barcelona, 1961) which can be viewed at the Espai Volart galleries from 5 October 2017 to 27 May 2018.
After the show Trilogy of Doubt, held in Espai Volart 2 in 2013, the Fundació Vila Casas is debuting a new gallery with this exhibition which surpasses the conventional limits of painting to locate itself in the terrain of risk, gesture, and psychological portraiture laced with a latent classicism reminiscent of Goya, Velázquez and Rembrandt.
Conceived and directed by Antoni Vila Casas and Lita Cabellut, Retrospective brings together works from recent years organised in series from between 2008 and 2017, such as Flower Installations (2016-17), Disturbance (2015), Blind Mirror(2015), Tempus & Divine (2015), Black Tulip (2014), White Silence (2014), Dried Tear (2013), After the Show (2012), Camaron(2011), Memories wrapped in gold paper (2012), Coco (2011), Frida (2011), Madness and Reason (2010), Installation (2010), State or Grace (2010), Country life (2009), Ethics (2017) and Dillusion (2008).
Room information sheet
Beauty is the origin of everything that moves us, what is purest and most profound; but also of what is durable, since it can be hurtful, in the same way that cultivating it is painful. It is love. Like a rough kiss. And its eyes are intelligence.
Lita Cabellut (Sariñena, Spain, 1961) is an artist whose work goes beyond the limits of conventional painting. A free, determined creator with a strong, passionate character, Cabellut advocates painting that is not restricted by the norms governing the art market. For her, art must be above such things and the artist completely free, for only in that way can we ensure art for art’s sake.
She calls herself privileged, in the sense that she has been able to dedicate her life to what moves her the most, to what arouses her feelings and interests her, namely beauty, recalling that what best represents beauty is the human being and the human body. This is not, however, a reason to shy from uncomeliness – since beauty would not be possible without the ugly – and this is where we find the first of many dualities in her work.
The next set of dualities we need to speak of, in further exploring her creative world, is without a doubt the one contrasting exploration of the human soul with reflection on the body, one found within and the other external, immaterial on one hand and material on the other. Lita portrays the human body, which she finds captivating in all its manifestations, while likewise delving into psychological portraiture.
Her main concern is diversity, that which makes us different and (here we have another duality) diversity’s unique character. She specializes in solitary, marginal people, as seen the various series that make up this exhibition, featuring Disturbance(2015) and Memories wrapped in gold paper (2012). This subject likewise ties in with another recurring aspect in her work: women, and (quite beyond any sort of purely gender-based reflection) women who have suffered abuse.
As a woman, and because of her life circumstances, Cabellut upholds her deep connection with the female gender, so that a good part of her work is focused on gender issues. Lita thus reflects on how a woman feels after having been insulted by another or after having been subject to abuse, the pain of which endures. Cabellut holds that the artist must bear witness to these realities as a way of staying close to those who are suffering.
Cabellut has said she is passionate about Rembrandt, Goya, Ribera and Velázquez, although in her work we can also see how she has studied other masters, such as Dürer, Rubens, Zurbarán, Van der Weyden, Raphael and Titian. Here too we find a new duality in Lita Cabellut’s identity, with her vast knowledge of many great figures in art history seen in detailed, classical compositions with the drawing handled academically, combined with an impulsively instinctive way of finishing her paintings. In this regard, Daniel Giralt-Miracle speaks of a way of working that recalls Pollock’s action painting, without considering any kind of external condition, governed only by internal, personal energies.
Cabellut works with large-scale canvases and a personalized palette that has been carefully studied; her colours (like her work) are intense and temperamental, as her way of treating the canvas, enhancing surface materiality and voluptuousness. It should be emphasized that, even while using oil paint, many of her paintings have been done using the fresco painting technique.
Lita Cabellut is a highly prolific artist, with an abundant body of work which she has developed since she was just 15 years old, when she discovered painting at the Prado Museum, thanks to her adoptive family. In this exhibition, we present a selection of work bringing together the past 10 years of the career of this Aragon-born artist, who was raised in Barcelona and now lives in The Hague. The exhibit takes us through some of her most important pictorial series, testimony as they are of the views of one of the most significant artists in the international contemporary art scene.