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Cloister of Santo Domingo Convent

(A Little Tribute)

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Palma 1945 – Santa Margalida 2016

PAINTER AND SCULPTOR. Gerard Matas Naurell studied in the Palma School of Applied Arts and Artistic Crafts and in the Superior School of Fine Arts of Barcelona.

Matas is considered one of the leading lights of the “New Mallorcan Plastic Arts” movement, which was an aesthetic renovation that occurred in the seventies and broke with the lingering heritage of post-impressionism. His work is characterised by a desire to constantly experiment with form and seek new ways of transmitting his message, which makes his work hard to define in terms of stylistic consistency. Restless, throughout his career he has alternated from painting to sculpture and back, and he has gone through figurative phases and abstract phases in both fields of art.

In the 70s he did several series of paintings where the motif was striped cloth. These led to an array of varieties in composition, colour and texture. Despite the obvious references to nature, he was at times able to reach a high level of abstraction. He also when through an informalist phase, featuring experimentation in materials and extreme colour austerity.

Iron later became one of his favourite materials. His soldering painted sheets of metal together produced a Neo-cubist-like fragmentation and give the impression that the internal configuration of each piece is solid, and which remind us of Giacometti’s stylized shapes and the totems of certain African tribes.

Most of the paintings that he did in the 90s was Neo-figurative. Occasionally, the meticulous and detailed rendering of some of his cityscapes and landscapes were closer stylistically to photographic realism. The distorted and impossible postures of the people in his paintings brings him closer to the spirit of surrealism with ironic and humoristic associations.

Matas’ work is displayed in museums such as the Museo de la Solidaridad (Solidarity Museum) in Santiago, Chile, in the Bartomeu March Foundation, the Museu dels Països Catalans (The Museum of the Catalan Countries) in Banyoles (Girona) and in the Contemporary Art Fund of the Belearic government.

(Source: Gran Enciclopèdia de la Pintura i l'Escultura a les Illes Balears [The Great Encyclopedia of Painting and Sculpture of the Balearic Islands]. Volume 3, pages 109-111)

Gerard Matas Naurell died on 15 May 2016. This brief sampling by the City Hall of Pollensa, in order to pay homage to him.