Barcelona

Perejaume

Galeria Joan Prats

Perejaume had his first one-person show in Barcelona in 1978 when he was barely 20 years old. Although he is still quite young, his work shows the conceptual strength of a mature artist. In part this comes from the work's profound connectedness to physical reality and to Catalan culture, without being literal or uncritical. Perejaume's intense identification with his surroundings continues to emerge in his work with transparent clarity. He finds his inspiration in the dynamic “collage” of contemporary Catalonia, with all of its contradictory influences.

Perejaume does not pursue any single direction systematically, instead following spontaneous impulses that lead to the discovery of connections among language, time, and space. His means are poetic rather than analytic; they affirm emotion through fantasy and irony. The result is a wide-ranging group of forms that, because they are embodiments of abstract energies, seem to exist in a continuous transformative process. In this sense they resemble Marcel Duchamp's “figurations of the possible,” and, even more, the art of Joan Brossa, whose startling hermeticism and magic have had a direct influence on his work.

Perejaume uses the power of language as an instrument for navigating a virtuoso and solitary trip through the crosscurrents of objects and landscape. He conceptualizes landscape as—in his own definition—a sculpture of a postcard. For him, as much as for us, the world is a “collage” of various images that overlap one another, forming new relationships that transform the meaning of both. Thus, one of the installations in this exhibition, A la furor dels estels. . . (By the light of stars . . . , 1987) consists of a five-pointed star that Perejaume constructed from segments of train track and then illuminated with video images of beams of light. In La distància més curia (The shortest distance, 1986) a fragment of a train wheel creates the illusion of a crescent moon, while right next to it the artist placed a sphere made out of sections of automobile tire joined together. The moon also appears in some of the paintings, conjured by a variety of means, from a thickly outlined black crescent against a plain, pale background to a daub of color that emerges from an atmospheric landscape. Another installation, El mirall del Crous (The mirror of Crous, 1987), recreates the sinuous outline of a puddle in the form of an irregularly curved gold frame, photographed in a woodland setting or simply displayed on the floor. Perejaume is a magician who, in his attempts to demonstrate that “the lyric is the epic of our times,” gets us to see things that are not really there.

Gloria Moure

Translated from the Spanish by Hanna Hannah.