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Pas du tout



2003. Acrylic / canvas. 46 x 184 cm

Private collection




    Guillem Frontera

    In many of Angel Pascual's landscapes, a human figure can be seen contemplating the scenery. It is a figure which the artist himself has found in certain paintings, those of Claude Lorrain for example, a figure that has invited him to partake in the ritual contemplation of eternity as it caresses, like the shadow of an angel, fragments of the earthly paradise. Beyond this landscape, man's memory has fallen, exhausted, amidst a devastated scenery.

    The figure which goes before us imposes silence. Who would dare to interrupt his contemplation? And he warns us that before our eyes nothing is trivial. Somebody — most probably the artist — was here previously and conscientiously restored the transient nature of things — the signs of the air; the first silence of the earth. The figure warns us: we stand before virtuous landscapes, whose perfection are a means; or a simply a point of departure. He reminds us that art is a way of learning, and a means of revealing the essence of things. 

    A brief survey of the paintings in the Pas de tout exhibition prompts us to ask whether tradition is a vehicle, or rather an active principle, and to what degree this question has determined Angel Pascual''s very refined incorporation into the Majorcan painting tradition — a tradition abundantly defined by landscape-painting, and requiring  periodical re-invigoration from outside. The repeated allusion to Pi de Formentor — nourishing, with its loaded symbolism, a new code; or the recreation of motifs which border on the banal, even the kitsch — a risk that the artist is very fond of taking, playing with such motifs now and then in order to lighten his always intense work; all these traits transmit the fidelity of a timeless vision compatible with a sensitivity fatally in touch with the times. 

    For this reason, the familiar landscapes feel so new to us; this is why they transmit nomadic mysteries and relocate them in their presence and absence. The same familiar bays now open out to unknown seas, and in the forests, hitherto silent, now lurk rumours of breezes. To this work of art has been added, after a fertile journey, hints of German Romanticism; explicit references to Rothko and Hiroshige; and an incitement to partake in the aesthetic experience of each of these in the works we see before ourselves: in fact we must follow, in active silence, the creative silence of the artist. 

    This exhibition by Angel Pascual converts into useless any criticisms about the value of the traditional language of painting. On the other hand it makes obvious the artistic ruin of the mechanical way some are using this language. And furthermore when the ineptitude tries to travel with the passport of modernity. The modernity springs from the use of the intelligent look based on the explicit or secret language of the tradition, not from the rutinious adulteration. 

    The career of Angel Pascual is, in this sense, an example to follow. With a seldom discretion, he has dedicated his life to studies and work, to reflexion. For many years his life is connected historically and geographically to Campanet, Majorca, where he learned to look very close and very far at the same time. The lesson is fundamental, very simple and yet so complex. We could say that a straw is the image of the world. This is an essential truth, so simple and at the same time so complex and mysterious that only the artist can reveal it.

      Translated by Omar Rifaat & Eva M. Almli