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Art gallery, Valencia (Spain)


De la piedra, la luz, el humo y el agua

De la piedra, la luz, el humo y el agua
Jose Luis Albelda
Crítico: Alberto Carrere
Diciembre 2002

"De la piedra, la luz, el humo y el agua"

OF STONE, LIGHT AND WATER

This is not the case, but it is strange how the starkest images of desolate or terrible scenes inevitably cause some degree of attraction. So the harm that they cause is accompanied by hidden pleasures, which are not at all incompatible with a necessary feeling of infinite sadness. It seems impossible to express with any good sense how, being sublime, the poetic effects offer no relief for the absolute despair of images that are capable of beating the mind, whilst this sincere, personal rejection does not prevent the awareness of pleasure from being activated in some part of our gaze. Pedriza producida por una herida de flecha. (Falling Stones Caused by an Arrow Wound) Mixed media on board. The “gaunt one”, better known as “death”, sleeps beneath the forms of pain and suffering as its ultimate end when, however, this companion in life and love puts an end to any conscience and brings the only lasting peace. It is that terrible pleasure which made us see the mountains -the old ones- as the true foretaste of hell, until their beauty was reinvented by eyes that discovered in them, in forests, seas and deserts, their varied pictorial recreation of scents and experiences, or the emotional counterpoint that their infiniteness rouses in our finiteness. But now this is the case. The pain that afflicts us is that of stones and totems that are unchanging in appearance which have lived their life in a death that eventually comes to all of us. The death of mountains, forests, water and breezes cools the warmth of the natural pulse, it is the great pain of life that we know and must wholeheartedly surrender ourselves to: the sacrifice that Nature continually offers, while awaiting another human one, which is too human to be a spontaneous event. José Albelda stops his paintings on the contemporary sacrifice of the mountains, but he has rested in moments of peace, the critical look and the terror of images of destruction. He has chosen the most beautiful part of the sacrificial rite in nature: the giving of life that arises out of this rite, the act of love that unites death and life, whilst it points to communicative and symbolic significance of the sacrifice. It is a mistake to believe that the mountain is something lifeless, that its earth is insipid and that the dampness that it contains possesses no goodness that is the same as human fluids, which makes us tremble with reverence. In the face of the aggressions of the World of man, -these mountains of oil and gold, which receive and give life from their baptism of light, to keep and offer water and its nutrients-, they offer up their entrails with a generous landslide of poetic stones, and from their wounds flow rivers of love and brushstrokes of Nature. Therefore it is no surprise to find this clear similarity to forms that are organic and human, too human. It is no surprise to find to find the same vital function of a heart that waters the new shoots that sprout. It is no surprise that, in the end, life flows out of suffering landscapes, which are reminiscent of the sacrifice of Saint Sebastian that has so often been painted. From modest paint materials comes this miracle once again that makes what are also fluids of water and oil, earth and gold, into a symbolic text that undergoes it process of drying and rusting, sensitive to the inclemencies of evolution, subject to the natural process of death that opens up the way for life. Thanks to this possibility of material transformation, paint is the most appropriate mediator for this process, but also due to its slowness and the close, careful way in which it can be worked, or because of how it requires gentle brushstrokes and is scratched by the palette knife… When we look at the works of José Albelda, we can understand that the shoots of new life emerging from the heart of the mountain are buds of paint and we can feel how the sacrifice of paint, this medium which is so irrelevant for the World in which we live, is relevant for the world that we long for. Alberto Carrere. Doctor in Fine Art in Valencia, lecturer, painter and essayist. His works include: Retórica de la pintura (in collaboration with José Saborit). Montaña carbonizada proyectándose hacia el cielo (Carbonised Mountain Projecting upwards to Heaven). Mixed media on board Bautismo de la luz (Baptism of light). Montaña perdiendo sus espinas (Mountain Dropping its Thorns)

Alberto Carrere