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Valencian Institute for Modern Art presents an exhibition of works by José Saborit
The paintings that José Saborit is showing in this exhibition present a journey that ranges from figuration stripped of anecdotal aspects and from reflection on landscapes that lie close to the artist's eye to abstraction.
VALENCIA.- The director of the IVAM, Consuelo Císcar, writer and art critic, Carlos Marzal, and artist Jose Saborit, presented the exhibition "José Saborit. Further south ", which will remain on display through June 24. The Regional Minister of Culture, Lola Johnson, opened the shows.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Valencian Parliament and curated by Carlos Marzal and the artist himself, of some one hundred works that explores the landscape Saborit making a journey from figurative stripped of anecdote, to abstraction. His pieces are characterized by the absence of color in a search for the essence treated as white.

The paintings that José Saborit is showing in this exhibition present a journey that ranges from figuration stripped of anecdotal aspects and from reflection on landscapes that lie close to the artist's eye to abstraction. An invitation for us to advance from colour to absence of colour. A search for whiteness understood as the essentiality from which consciousness undertakes its creative work. Whiteness interpreted as a necessary activity of stripping away in contrast to the present abundance of images, in order thus to heighten the intensity of our experience.

The show opens with the series Doble sombra (Double Shadow) and landscapes that speak to us of what lies close in a kind of return to the origin in the act of fixing details of Mediterranean vegetation converted into shadow and then into marks of paint. Also to the beginning of the gaze, with its emotion, taking a close look at the surrounding nature that makes the landscape, its landscape. In this seemingly more modest work we see one of the basic principles of the artist's attitude. Painting deals with the very small and also with the immeasurably large, with the humble and the opulent. The painter's gaze is an act of thanksgiving for the visible and the invisible, for what is close and what is far, for what seems tiny and what appears immense.

It is a question of distance, of a new proportion of things. Saborit establishes two points of anchorage in the immediate vicinity: the contemplation of the hills of Náquera, Serra, Porta-Coeli and the Sierra Calderona, on the one hand, and the Albufera on the other. Spread out between these two geographical features is our sky, the beautiful dawns and spectacular dusks on the horizon of Valencia. One of his great achievements is succeeding in giving supreme importance to skies – skies that have no model, skies that have just been invented. Because the sky and the light are the things that give the landscape its true shape, not the earth. It is the gradation of light that gives real differences to what we see. That is what gives "mobility" to matter.

In the seventeenth century the notes and jottings made by travellers, scientists and painters were crucial for the development of meteorology, the study of clouds and light and the aesthetic construction of the landscape, going beyond mythology and the impulse of allegory towards a necessary and complete geographical understanding of the world which enriched the painting of landscape and gave it wings between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. In fact, great scientific expeditions included in their teams artists who were responsible for documenting them.

Thus José Saborit has gradually expanded his view of landscape, studying, inventing and altering the air of the places that he has seen and admired in his travels. From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, and from there to the Pacific, the experience of the sea and its horizons has been a constant feature. All sea is the same sea, although it is never exactly alike. And from there he has travelled even further South, from Punta Arenas to Navarino Island and King George Island in Antarctica, to an ahistorical landscape: one that is not altered by the seasons nor associated with human destinies, a landscape of perpetual snow trapped in snowstorms and glaciers, a wholly white landscape where differences are almost imperceptible. Beyond the boundary there is an inner landscape that does not correspond to any specific place, one that is an attitude of mind.

Is it possible for there to be a proximity between distant landscapes? Can there be worlds of landscape that the good painter's eye discovers? It is clear that human feelings and individual interests are universal, rising above the circumstances of space and time. We have been and will be moved by the same inclinations, by the same ambitions, for the sake of the same passions. May it be that the aesthetic emotion that a painting gives, like the human emotion of subsistence, shrinks latitudes and horizons and makes them one, converting the diversity of geography into a higher geographical unity? Is painting, in its multiplicity, a rite of persecution of the eternally elemental?

Más al Sur (Further South) is an exhibition of paintings by José Saborit, curated jointly by Carlos Marzal and the artist himself, who are associated by a long series of affinities and complicities.

Carlos Marzal is a writer and was awarded the National Poetry Prize and the National Critics' Prize in 2001 for his book Metales pesados (Tusquets, 2001). Evidence of his attachment to the visual arts is his book of essays on art, El cuaderno del polizón (Pre-Textos, 2007).

José Saborit is a painter and writer and has been professor of painting in the Fine Arts Faculty of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia since 2000. He has presented numerous exhibitions of painting (such as Con el aire, Centro del Carmen, 2008) and has published essays, such as Retórica de la pintura (Cátedra, 2000), and two books of poems, Flor de sal and La eternidad y un día (Pre-Textos, 2008 and 2012).





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