"These stones are a refuge and a protection for the fragile, the delicate and the fleeting. It is a place where all our dreams can nest and rest. May painting never die! I want it to leave my studio and get soaked in the rain and let it dry in the sun and feel how the spring breeze blows gently on it. ‘The Cadmium House’ is that pure place one dreams to find in life. That place where memories lie and where we can pay tribute to the art before us. That safe place called history where so many things are unchangeable." (Lluís Lleó)
The journey of these five stones began seven, or maybe eight, centuries and twenty-eight years ago. They came from the tradition of frescos during the Catalan Romanesque period - reaching Lluís Lleó through several generations of painters in his family – plus the time that he has lived in New York during which time he took on the tenets of American modernity. The work of this Catalan artist is a collection of the tradition of austere medieval spirituality and the avant-garde positions reflected in the meeting of two worlds, the European and American.
There is a solid relationship between the semantics of this trip through art history and the life and work of Lluís Lleó; a relationship that transcends both the conceptual and the formal and leads to circumstances in space-time that converge in these stones, from Barcelona to New York. It is the coming together of moments and places.
The result are these pieces of art which are created using pictorial forms varying in thickness and density - in some cases they compete on the same surface in which they are located - through compositional space closer to the spirituality of Rothko than to the tradition of the Color Field. It is artwork that seeks harmony, a reconciliation of opposites and the comfort of home. The same search of naked and formal truth that Lleó applies throughout his work; not in vain, his work moves amongst the tenets influenced by Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin o Pablo Palazuelo.
The work of Lluís Lleó is a work of balance, which creates spaces that are transcendent, spiritual, and blur the boundaries between interior and exterior, dealing with poetic finesse seemingly harsh materials that culminate in a sculpture-painting that validates the maxima of Van der Rohe according to which "structure is spiritual".
Text: Paco Cano
Photos: Corrado Serra
[This project is the result of the collaboration between Lluís Lleó and The Fund for park Avenue, NYC Parks, Galeria Marc Domenech, The Hue, Instituto Cervantes NY, Institut Ramon Llull, Banso Sabadell Atlantico, Indus]
TVE Informatiu Catalunya
DIARIO LAS AMERICAS
TENDENCIAS DEL ARTE