The refuge of the light | Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

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El taller de Joan Miró en Mallorca en una de las páginas de 'El ojo de Miró', editado por La Fábrica.
Joan’s Miro workshop in Majorca in one of the pages of ‘The eye of Miro’, edited by La Fábrica.

They tell that it was on having visited Joan’s Miro workshop in Cala Mayor  when Aimé Maeght understood, with real accuracy, the essential component for his future Foundation in Saint Paul of Wins. After numerous studies and projects of prestigious architects, Maeght would discover a homogeneous and vibrant light in the study of the painter, such an intense light and at the same time so agreeable, that had to travel very far, without mattering for him, to find the author of that prodigy, the creator of an atmosphere who should repeat, if come the case was possible.

That architect, a refugee Spanish at the time in The United States, was Josep Lluís Sert.1

The visit to the workshop takes place in 1960. After losing the marriage Maeght to his son of only eleven years in 1953, his friend the painter and sculptor Georges Braque, he proposes to the collector a vital adventure that somehow should turn concerning the beautiful property of the Maeght near Nice: the construction of a Foundation of Art (museum, workshop and residence for artists), slightly unusual for the epoch2.

The plot was actually a landscape in the high thing, a rural hill lived only by a Mediterranean forest with generous conference on the sea. They tell that Sert realized models to scale 1:1 to reproduce that light that still was resounding in Aimé’s memory, a nearby, almost visible light to another side of the horizon of the Côte d’Azur. It is possible feel almost the lightness of the provisional frameworks in that place, his movement for the plot – for one year – looking for his better position for the works of Braque, Chagall or the own Miró.3

In the image a set of objects seems to float in the middle of a thick light, a constellation detached from the soil before the surprising absence of shades. In the workshop of Miro the light accepts equally to the linen or the armchair, the table or the stool, the bottle or the rocking chair, turned here into a luck of free offering of the abject coal of the days (Gentleman Bonald).

Maybe beyond the homogeneous atmosphere that demands the noble trade of the painting, beyond even of the illusory submarine and weightless perception of this strange tavern which order we do not know, maybe we were saying, this human unrepeatable and tormented group was looking in the light for the meteoric breath of a universal refuge: the refuge of the light.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho. PhD Architect
Madrid. February 2016.
Author of the Parráfos de arquitectura#arquiParrafos

1 Sert had cultivated a very good impression in France after the construction of the Pavilion of the Spanish Republic for the International Exhibition of Paris of 1937.

2 The chance wanted that in the plot there existed a few remains of a chapel dedicated to San Bernardo, precisely the name of his son. The reconstruction of this chapel serves Braque as balsamic argument, introducing immediately later the idea of the Foundation.

3 In this respect, Sert could support “long conversations” with the artists. Sees Connaissance des Arts, (Redacteur in chef, Philip Jodidio), Paris, Société Française de Promotion Artistique, 1998, page.  15.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

Doctor en Arquitectura, Decano de la Facultad de Tecnología y Ciencia UCJC. Presidente de la Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura,  perteneciente al Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España. Director de MADC Arquitectos, estudio profesional con premios en concursos nacionales e internacionales, en la actualidad desarrolla proyectos en España y Noruega. Escritor y crítico de arquitectura, es autor de los libros “Párrafos de Arquitectura. Core(oh)grafías” (2016) y “Arquitectura y Cambio Climático” (2018).

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