The Painting between frames.
Ester Xargay

Jesús Galdón named his exhibition with a title that reverses concepts “Ui! Se me n’ha anat el cel al cap” (A word play: something like: Oh! I have lost my thought of train! Instead Oh! I have lost my train of thought!), and he uses the same game at his exhibition, changing the use of the stretcher as a support, and turning it into the content of his work.

We will see that the key of Jesús Galdón’s installation lies in this upside-down, the key that opens its different doors, the real and the figurative ones. In this way, we enter through a door into a wooden stretcher -high and large enough to fill the whole space-, made with many other stretchers, which act as a wall between the observer and the exhibition.

From the outside, we watch, as if it was a painting, all the elements that form this composition; the door and the emptiness on the frame of stretchers invite to enter. And inside, we can touch, prove, pass around, and sometimes, we could even cross the third dimension of each sculpture, all of them made with stretchers. At this point, the observer -transformed by Jesús Galdón into a visitor of this psycho-sculptural composition- will discover how each work opens, all around, another dimension, the literary one which reveals, in a Duchamp’s way, the background that lies in every work of Galdón.

As we go to the left, we find five closed boxes with locks “The sense of painting”. Farther we see a man and a woman (Adam and Eve), “Paint(ing)” (the stretchers), some silhouettes that remind of Botticelli’s painting which Galdón has transformed, with some stretchers and canvas, into sculptures. Next we can see a cloud which is an idea; another work that combines painting concepts and sculptural volumes, and where the visitor can gain access to the cloud.

At one of the side walls, there is a painter’s brush “Only for emergencies”. The cleanliness of painting: a big dismantled painter’s brush -displayed inside the suitcase of a fire extinguisher with some instructions of use “ego sum lux mundi” on it. And at the central wall, as a background for the whole exhibition, four dangling colours made of enamelled iron shaped with the word “Pe-nin-su-la”.

In the first place of this figurative artwork we find the stairs. The jewel of impossibility, a frame shaped as a ladder which steps show a written motto: “How to draw the line of horizon” And so it takes us to the moon, or small magnitude heavenly body. There is no shadow in the middle, but we can see there some paint on the stretched silk of this circular frame. Under the hanging moon, at the back wall, we find the Paradise’s door, a complex and wide baroque frame fitted with some mirrors to be opened as doors, to the emptiness. Altogether it is like a clever dialectical deceit which mixes artistic concepts and techniques and refuses any other “label” than visual-poetics.

Related to it, I will summon a suggestive dialogue that took place between Carles Hac Mor and Gerard Altaió. ”Walking through the stretchers, we become paint(ing), and paint(ing) then becomes nothing. Otherwise, walking through the paint(ing) we become nothing and paint(ing) becomes the stretchers. Or maybe…”

Ester Xargay
Poet, Commissar and Art critic.
Avui, 27th December 2001