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Eva Ariza - França 1973

The genuine creations of Joan Xandri. 31/01/2022 Diari Bondia - Carmen Soler Castellà

 

One might think that when one visits an artist's studio there will be works, thoughts, or words, of creative intention that will surprise or inspire. But it is not always so, as in many cases one can leave with a sense of déjà vu, not because the works, the technique, and a long etcetera are not of interest, but are a déjà vu of the conceptual void.

Two days ago, I went to Joan Xandri's studio with Aminda Saludes, to see the works that the artist will present at the Taranmana gallery at the end of the month. All individual works, in the format of an installation, under the title Survival.

I entered without any expectations, as I always do, with an open mind and eager to see art from the hand of its artist. There was a brief introductory moment about the artists' participation in the 56th Venice Biennale, the exhibition at Casa de la Vall, the exhibitions at the Pilar Riberaygua gallery... After a while Joan showed us what he had recently produced and talked about the works he would present at the end of the month. An innovative exhibition of creative authenticity that would break with any plastic language.

Joan Xandrí will present an installation with a series of different works, inspired by multiple visions of a forest: the perfection of its free order, the presence of fire, the regeneration of the forest after the flames or the work inspired by the Haikús d'Arinsal by Agustí Bartra. Works that evoke the intention of the artist -  of the most intimate and infinite appreciation of nature.

The burning forest is represented by 40 rectangular pieces of rice paper painted in red, orange and maroon hanging from a structure, reminiscent of Tibetan darchors (prayer flags). The visitor can interact with the work while walking amongst it. There is no unique formula to walk through it, each person lives the experience in a different manner, as everyone lives their interaction with the surrounding forest in their own way. I found it magical, and an incredibly innovative artistic creation of plastic language expression.

The regeneration of the forest after the flames is presented with about 15 works on paper, some suspended from the ceiling, others hanging on the wall. They are monochrome, with black and white shapes that the spectator can freely interpretate and associate with. They are austere in shapes but full of meaning. I have always thought that monochromatic paintings have an inherent elegance and that their austerity invites to pause and reflect, between the work and the artist, between symbolism and analogy. 

Other works inspired by the Haikús d'Arinsal by Agustí Baltra are also shown, and in which Joan Xandrí follows the aesthetics of the monochrome work while adding written fragments of Baltra's poems. The result is a poetic exaltation of Andorran nature; with subtleties that invite you to penetrate and discover the authenticity and value of art.

The work surprised me and caught my attention for being innovative in aesthetics and format, but I was dazzled by the artist's intention to create it. I simply found it beautiful - that from the nature of the forest that the artist loves, observes, knows, walks through, and that inspires his thoughts and feelings, he creates works of art, free in their execution, so that the spectator can freely interpret, as nature is free in the perfection of its order. What a beautiful analogy.

Carmen Soler Castellà 

Art historian

Foto: Installation view

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