Exhibitions & Books

Museum of Contemporary Art, Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife

A small collection of 20th Century Spanish and international art housed in the beautiful old customs building in the harbour.

The style of these 2 portraits really interested me having just completed a couple of fauvist style portraits myself. The earlier 1954 portrait is painted with a fairly rough brush and has unblended areas of colour. Some realistic skin tones along with greens and blues. Background plain colour with some tones for shadow. The later 1963 portrait is much smoother and blended, mainly realistic colours. Don’t know what the figure in the background is about though – rather feminine shape, possibly his mother? why is it included? Both portraits include rather more body than is usual with the head taking up less than half of the height.

Two artists with similar surrealist styles which draw you in to unravel and figure out whats happening. ‘Bullfighting’ appears to be 2 donkeys (teeth and horizontal ears so not horses?) being attacked by a smaller bull. Perhaps the oval shape behind is the bullring? A second set of bull horns (they are drawn the same as those on the bulls head) with no body are by left donkey, why ??? Ink drawing using mark making patterns of squiggles and cross hatching. Limited colour palette. The other painting is harder to make out. A multi-limbed dragon being slain by a figure with a spear. There appears to a some cowboy type spurs and a hand holding some hair. Tones of black on white with outlines, no patterning this time.

Figures portrayed with much simplified outlines and detail though still very much human.

Again I love the colours in this and the challenge of un-puzzling it. Table with lemon and box, dice, view to the outside showing blue sky, plants and trees. Geometric lines taking your eye from one place to another. Blocks of colour, no blending or shading.


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