(in brackets) (IV) | Jorge Rodríguez

(in brackets) (IV) | Jorge Rodríguez

Portrait of the mother of the artist. Pablo Picasso. 1896

I want to finish this one series of articles that are grouped under the umbrella of my parenthesis by this image. This one I portray of ends of the 19th century, a print of the most common thing, a mother adormilada, throwing a siesta. That of today, it is a very special text.

The influence that has in the human being the environment in which it develops is incalculable, and someone of the factors that define it might be understood as unvariants if we put it in relation with the changeable character of the human being1.

These circumstances are sometimes so near that they happen to form a part of an ego in which fissures are not distinguished, where the modifications in addition or subtraction that the time they inflict him they form the own scars of a tanned face; they materialize the experience.

In the first steps of any process of artistic expression we come to our more near environment to obtain a fertile substratum that satisfies the creative instinct. We search in us themselves across the work of other2, trying to reveal our essence to form her and to communicate it. This creative instinct, which it leads us to being sorry, to express and to report, definitively, to living, is something inherent in the human being. It is our way of trying to calm this impulse escópico that forces us to look, and to be looked, and that with so many frequency transports us to the world of the imagined, of the aesthetics.

On the other hand, there appears for system between the artists of beginning of the 20th century an attempt of knowing what is beyond the horizon. Of travelling to the most primitive conditions, moving away from the influence of previous generations. They try to bring a few limits over and to extend the environment of which his work was nourished, since they were feeling a tedium and depletion for the influences of his most nearby environment and the motives of the western European.

I like specially the example that us Borges brings in Norton Lectures of 67, in Harvard, in this occasion speaking on the poetry and the epic. He was saying that for centuries the human being satisfied counting three histories, the Ilíada, the Odyssey and the Gospel. All the histories were turning concerning these and the reflections that they enclose, that is not small. From a point that it does not happen to locate, there began to appear new histories, which lack the power of the previous ones for not being “a part” of the human being, for lacking this almost familiar character that has the classic epic, in which we can recognize all our worries, our fears, our desires. This way, he says, sees impossible empatizar with the Ulises de James Joyce, but nevertheless in that of Homero it recognizes every man, fighting against yes same, his loneliness and his sea. It distinguishes this point as the moment in which the poets stopped counting histories.

Nevertheless surprising it is the fact that Picasso shows us. When he speaks about the black art, which appeared in his life across the compulsive purchase of African masks in an antiquarian of Clichy’s boulevard, speech with an amazing nearness, instead of needing an interpretive exceptional effort to know his nature it recognizes the essence of our culture, we might speak even about nearness in the field of the primitivism. This aptitude to recognize in such a remote culture in time and place, the most primitive and deep of our being can that it is reserved to the geniuses. Because the aptitude to extract of a great conglomerate of places, materials, persons, times, senses, emotions … the fuel that stimulates our project is fundamental and very complex. It attracts me specially what happens in the moment to begin to produce, once left behind the place of the observation and the study4. This moment in which the tool takes contact with the support and begins to establish the rules of the game, the limits with which we are going to interact. This moment in which to Matisse him the flowers were turning into ballerinas5.

These instants of transformation depend largely of the assimilated of our influences. That one that has happened to form a part of ours more personal I is translated and codifies in a natural way. Nevertheless, the knowledge newly squeezed, that still has not been digested, poisons our language snatching a fundamental characteristic; the aptitude to express what we are. For it, I want today to do a small apology of the immediate thing, of ours. Of the nearby thing.

Since already I have shared with you, I go a time looking fondly at that one that me surrounds in proximity, which is left to feel. These immediate constructions done with few means and very much common sense that they are growing of the soil there where it needs. I am interested in the lessons so polished that make us like bequeathed that we come less than small. This attention to the immediate materials and to the handled, almost genetic technologies transmitted far from an academy that rigidice, it typifies and classifies; learned from grandfather to grandson, as the things really entertained of the infancy are learned. I am interested very much this one channel of thought. I am interested where we place barrier of the nearby thing. I am interested in Giacometti’s sculptures. And his drawings and paintings. And the houses of Le Corbusier.

I explain. An almost irreverent, challenging question, which Enric Miralles was doing to himself at the moment of beginning a project was of what time is this one a place? He was thinking about the passage of time and the fingerprint that stops in a place, tremendously influential at the moment of establishing a temporary limit at which to be employed. Of this form, he was assuring that he understood like nearby in the time everything what happened from the 16th century, his limit was Michelangelo Buonarroti. There it began the nearby thing, this they were his limits; without establishing these rules of game and this frame, it has not fitted for the caper, the jump and mortal draft of the trapeze artist. Giving for this concept of nearness valid, today I am interested in those nearby influences not only in the time or the place, but also in an emotional plane. These figures that so much affect us until we overcome the puberty, form a part of a first estate of sensory nearness; we have a deep knowledge without need of study or discovery. A connection far beyond of the time and the distance, which Ferreiro would say. These claim you appear it is difficult, but we must do it.

Alberto Giacometti, born in 1901 in Borgonovo, Switzerland, enjoyed enormously his stay in Rome, but nevertheless, cursed his days in Paris. Probably for his almost Italian roots. The City was allowing him to measure with a compass his paces without corset, was having the art at any time, for his study or production. Nevertheless, Paris, it was restricting him, there was feeling slave of a pace that it was marking the hours for the art, as if it was a question of an employment to divided day.

It was unable to portray not esculpir according to the doctrines beauxartianas, of study of up to six daily models. It was suffering portraying anatomical superficial studies, gestures, positions. Giacometti wanted to open the skin with scalpel and to be drunk the model; it wanted to portray something more than what saw, wanted to express what he was feeling across the sculpture. Because of it, it portrayed up to the satiety his brother Diego, his father Gianni and his wife Annette. Chapter separates there deserves the excellent portrait that it realized of his mother, without whom Giacometti’s work is not understood, being the deep fire that supports it and gives him life.

Portrait of the mother of the artist. Alberto Giacometti. 1947

The thickness of Giacometti’s work after his prompt dip in the surrealistic movement and the study of the African masks and the round forms; it turns always environment to the portrait, across the drawing, sculpture, painting and lithography of his relatives, and the plasmación of his doubts and his fears as well as his interpretation of the paper of the man of the 20th century, in his wayfarers. A very personal approach that changed completely the sculpture of the successive generations.

This one I walk of the resignation of the mere reproduction of a reality and the search of a character, of a feeling, already it had been passed before Giacometti by the first forefronts of the 20th century, between others for Picasso, who marked by his skill for the drawing and the painting from short age, understood his career as a constant evolution6 and search of a language that was allowing him to be solving the problems that he was finding in the previous generations, and in turn, to advance raising perplejidades on that to work and to extend his field of experimentation. During his different stages, it attacked different companies like the problem of the color, the construction of the plane, the light, the volumetries, the problem of the angles etc. But if we try to find a conductive thread, probably the idea of forming that one that escapes to the area of the immediate thing was serving us as guide. This determination in painting what he thinks and not what it sees.

Special it is the case of another Swiss, who had a relation, we might say that it reduces, with the of Malaga artist. Le Corbusier decided to be Mediterranean. He was a gentleman of cadenza slow, that enjoys the shade and that is capable of seeing the world in a glass of wine. That goes centuries coexisting with the beauty and it grew up in land of saints, poets and navigators. Though actually nothing of this was true. Not even his name.

This empathic, almost chameleonic zeal of Le Corbusier, appears in a special way in the India, when to the return of his first trip destrona his magnanimous urban development plans (Voisin, Ville Radieuse, Howitzer) in Chandigarh. He felt the alleviation of a shade, it had seen since in summer the roofs were filling with beds for the asphyxiating heat. Without leaving his fearless Mediterranean spirit, it approached a culture as different as the Hindu and was capable of giving birth to the villa Sarabhai. My word lacks the weight and the necessary stamp to enter judgments of value or interpretation of the work of Le Corbusier, but I do not want to stop recognizing the merit and the value to accept, with 70 years, the challenge of constructing a city in the India. And I do not satisfy, to answer since it test, success and recognition did, leaving aside a speech revealed for years of study, to become detached, to enter in known to come to good port. Certain it is, that was not the first time that was doing it, would not be the last one either7.

The works of the Swiss teacher have supposed million pages of study, praise and interpretation. Distributed by the world they are a route of peregrination for the lovers of the architecture that we see in them the exposition and solution of so many perplejidades. The most ample digest of buildings includes all the scales, budgets, clients and imaginable situations. His references, cryptic, that swim between the most complete plastic arts (drawing, painting, sculpture, engraving, collage) are necessary a meticulous, very attentive study, with the opened well eyes.

Of between his works, always I have surprised, pleasingly, one 60 m2 t the edge of the lake Lemán, une petit maison. Newly initiated the happy years 20 of the white villas, the most carnal Corbu shows. With a project that travelled in his pocket up to finding the suitable place, where it was fitting as a glove, it is capable of concentrating the fondness that he was practising to his mother Marie Charlotte, in order that he was enjoying of his old days after a life of work.

It is not necessary to explain too much, it is enough to visit her, or at least, to throw a glimpse to the photos and to reread up to the embarrassment the wonderful small book that the raven left us for his enjoyment. A place of those where really the architecture, it matters little. A place where one is to taste. Or it seems, is not necessary to see any more than her.

Portrait of the mother of the artist. Le Corbusier. 1951

With all my fondness.

Jorge Rodríguez Seoane

Ends of 2013. La Coruña.


1.- Jorge Luis Borges in Norton Lectures of 1967 in Harvard’s university dedicated one of his meetings to the metaphor. In a passage, it admitted his amazement and it distresses for the famous Greek metaphor, “a man never lowers two times the same river”. It was imputing this distress to the passage of time, in I make concrete to the manners in those who are demonstrated and becomes tangible.

2.- Borja Lopez Cotelo writes  in his doctoral thesis “Sverre Fehn from the drawing” paraphrasing Glenn Murcutt, that we we all love what is in us and is across the work of others since realize what is what really we are. It serves as conclusion to the thesis, affirming that probably should treat itself about a self-portrait.

3.- “If you look for influence in the productions of other cultures [one notice the influence in his work of the lights of Tahiti, the African art or the Persian ceramics] you will obtain something much more complete. The painter will not be able to lose the contributions of the generation who has preceded it for being, very to his sorrow, in him”. Matisse, H. From the color. París, August, 1945.

4.- I do not want to penalize this one so important phase but the extension of the article prevents me from bringing me over with the precise thoroughness. It rests to say that the wealth of this process is cardinal in the later ones. One take as an example the reflection that Guillaume Apollinaire did on Pablo Picasso “A man as Picasso he studies an object, as a surgeon disecciona a corpse.”

5.- “I put a branch of flowers on the table, it wanted that in the picture, once finished, a gardener could recognize the flowers all the varieties of flowers, but do not be what happens for the way, they turn into girls who dance.” Matisse, H. XX Siècle nº 2, January 1952.

6.- Serve as example the following appointments gathered in Brassaï’s conversations with the artist.

“Always it is necessary to look for the perfection […] For it me means: from a fabric to other one, to go always beyond, beyond”.

Brassaï, Conversations avec Picasso (1964). París, Gallimard, 1997, p. 132

“But it changes constant […] Only it is possible to follow really the creative act across the series of all the variations.”

Brassaï, Conversations avec Picasso (1964). París, Gallimard, 1997, p. 285

Mis cuadros antiguos ya no me interesan… Siento mucha más curiosidad por los que aún no he hecho. [Picasso, a los 80 años]

Brassaï, Conversations avec Picasso (1964). París, Gallimard, 1997, p. 352

7.- The life of Him Corbusier is full of one to travel of unexplored ways. His architectural legacy plays with all the sticks of the card. From his beginnings with Ozenfant in the purism and L’Espirit Nouveau, it did not stop from his determination being renewed avoiding to turn into stagnant water, assuming risks. That better way of going away so, that swimming.

Jorge Rodríguez Seoane

Arquitecto y socio fundador y gerente de Seoane Arquitectura.

Experiencia activa en evaluación de riesgos y plan de negocio, gestión de personal y dirección de proyectos de ejecución.

Gestión de carteras de inversión inmobiliaria, búsqueda de activos singulares y representación de intereses.

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