Espacio pictórico en la obra de Joan Hernández Pijuan, El
SUMMARY OF DOCTORAL THESIS:
THE PICTORIAL SPACE IN JOAN HERNÁNDEZ PIJUAN'S WORK
We have set and analyzed Joan Hernández Pijuan's work in its conceptual context; we have described, as comprehensively as possible, the latent firmament of art, philosophy, and science as an artistic spectrum, we have related and valued his work altogether. We have strayed, to the extent possible, from the numerous comments and writings of art critics, discussing them with our criterion; as the foundation of an investigation that rightly values and classifies where and how his work is set in the art world; in order to "learn about his pictorial space" in connection with his predecessors and as a result of his current environment. Although it seems that we are straying from the "core", my intention is that all complementary information can soar, go around or wander about the "spirit" of his work and thought; so as to help us value, set and know him better. We have shown that Joan Hernández Pijuan has not achieved all the things he has achieved by sheer chance, but as a consequence of a series of relatively "ancient" and current events that he has been able to capture in our times, apply and adopt as his flag.
"It is impossible to see the world, in this case the pictorial space of Hernández Pijuan's work, from the core, we can only see it by going through it in all directions".
Fernando Zobel pointed out the adjectives that, in his opinion, better described Hernández Pijuan: "clean, subtle, rigorous, cerebral, elegant".
The thesis is structured in different sections that lead to the core of our analysis, which is the pictorial space.
In the first section, we have thought it advisable to set Hernández Pijuan in the context of the Spanish art, mainly Catalan art, of his times, in order to make it clear that his personality was very different from other painters, pointing out his individuality and creative freedom, regardless any kind of fashion.
The second section explains his formal aspects, the nouveau roman related to his work, his artistic languages in connection with the influence of extreme art - Eastern art and above all, what we have called the indescribable images of his works.
The third section is structured in three large sections that try to explain his work in connection with a series of cultural interferences that we think may have had an influence on him; some of them are very close to his environment, and others-primitive cultures or non European cultures-that we can see when specifically analyzing each and every work.
For this section, we have deemed necessary to describe in greater depth the broad European cultural spectrum from Pre-Socratic philosophy to the most current philosophy, including the vital scientific scene, such as life and human genome, the relationship with art and religion, which we have conceptually related with Hernández Pijuan's work.
Connecting his work has truly become the main feature of our thesis, the guiding principle that explains where, when and why his compositions are set in the global scene of art during the second half of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century.
The fourth section tries to explain his artistic career from the point of view of the pictorial space. It is divided into eight subsections, which are summarized in the conclusions in four clearly differentiated periods that show all the signs of his identity, his plastic solutions, his thought about art in general, his work in particular and his cultural references. We mention artists that include, among others, Giotto, Cèzanne, Monet, Franz Kline, Barnet Newman, Saura, Millares, Van Gogh, Tàpies, Kandinsky and Seurat; philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle; and the poetry of Mallarmé, Paul Valery, etc. As in the previous sections, all this includes the obliged counterpoint of his compositions that graphically show what literature explains. Two subsections bring this chapter to an end: The first one analyzes his graphic work, and the second one tries to explain his personality through his limited portraits, and attempts to compose Hernández Pijuan's self portrait.
Next, we present the Conclusions together with the thesis' Bibliography: Books, articles in newspapers - magazines and artist's catalogues used for the thesis. We also attach the complete Bibliography concerning Hernández Pijuan. Finally, we attach a Documentary Appendix.
In the pictorial space of Joan Hernández Pijuan's work, the thesis could start as "Once upon a time", in order to talk about his beginnings until the present time. Gombrich's words illustrate this idea: You were young once, and when standing, you barely reached your mother's hand. Do you remember? If you wanted to, you would be able to tell a story that would start like this: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and that was you. And once, you were also a baby wrapped in nappies. You can't remember, but you know this. Your father and your mother were also young once. Your grandparents too. That was a long time ago. However, we say that they are old people. But they also had grandfathers and grandmothers that may have said this: once upon a time. And so on, we continue going back. Behind each "once upon a time", there is another one. Have you ever stood between two mirrors? What you see in them is mirrors and more mirrors, increasingly small and blurred, but none of them is the last one. Even when you can't see any other mirror, more mirrors still fit in other mirrors, turning into the most absolute reductionism. It is impossible to imagine that it could end; the grandfather of the grandfather of the grandfather of the grandfather. If you take your time and think about it, you'll be able to conceive of it. Add another person. This way, we get to an ancient period, and then, to another period that is even more ancient. Always beyond, as with mirrors. But never getting to the beginning. Behind each beginning, there is another "Once upon a time".
Right now, we are in that pictorial space, this microscopic space in the history of painting in which Joan Hernández Pijuan participates, (dictionaries, books, catalogues, exhibitions, awards, academician, professor, etc.). This is what we are going to study and investigate as another goal of this thesis, and from now on, the space continues, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. The pictorial space continues until other persons start replacing it, and so on and on, we continue pulling the thread, as Joan Hernández Pijuan used to say.
! "It is a bottomless hole!. Does looking down gives you vertigo?! Me too! If we throw a burning paper to the bottom, it will fall slowly, deeper and deeper. And when reaching the bottom, it will light the walls of the well. Can you see it down there? It continues going down; it has gotten so far that it seems a minuscule star in the dark bottom; it is increasingly smaller. We can't see it anymore".
That is what happens with memories and with the future, which will eventually be a memory. Memories cast a light on the past, and "dreams" cast a light on the future. As María Girona says: "To have something to say and to know how to express it is the most important thing". This is what Joan Hernández Pijuan has taught us with his art during the course of the years.
Advisor:Orenes, Francesc; Guasch Ferrer, Anna
School:Universitat de Barcelona
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:03/29/2006