Berta Cáccamo

Galeria Alfonso Alcolea

Berta Cáccamo exhibited nine canvases, each entitled SERNAM, after the industrial district outside Paris where they were realized. Designated with the Roman numerals I to IX, these paintings all suggest cold rainy days, morning snows, and the desolation of the outskirts. Their undifferentiated grounds are fixed in a prefigurative intermediary stage. Overcome by indeterminacy, the figures do not achieve a condition of “being”; they remain shadows of things on the verge of becoming, stains of a dream—indecipherable visions that attract with their silence and that one fears destroying with words.

There is a melancholy here of worlds not yet formed. Subtle phosphorescences and iridescences insinuate themselves like transparent evocations of aquatic life. Cáccamo treats the canvas as if it were as porous as blotting paper, and the unusual visual effects she achieves suggest watercolor on canvas. The wetness permeates and confounds everything, so that light and shade, day and night, infiltrate each other in an ambiguous liquid cycle. The memory of landscapes registers in the lines—the almost imperceptible fissues of the canvas or paper.

The force of Cáccamo’s images comes from an internal strength, and her work reveals a will to persevere. Cáccamo has known the solitude of her vocation in a city that is not hers, and perhaps it is her strength in the face of of this sort of adversity that supplies the stimulus that enables her to follow her enviable trajectory and to continue painting.

Menene Gras Balaguer

Translated from the Spanish by Hanna Hannah.