'Ramiro Fernandez Saus, The Lightness of the Days' on view at Long & Ryle
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'Ramiro Fernandez Saus, The Lightness of the Days' on view at Long & Ryle
Ramiro Fernandez Saus, Theresa and the Moon, 2024, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 47 cm.

LONDON.- Long & Ryle announced an exhibition of new work by Ramiro Fernandez Saus, the celebrated Catalan artist. This is his first exhibition in London since 2019.

One of the paintings taking centre stage is, Therese and the Moon. A dog holds the ladder for the woman who climbs the tree to reach out to the moon. Is the girl in her right mind, or just a dreamer and an optimist? In Flying in Vilarodona a flock of birds circle around the ochre walls of a mysterious citadel as if searching for a direction, while above them a weather vane points the way definitively. Superficially quite light and entertaining but with a deeper level of questioning. In My Room by the Sea, an interpretation of the artist’s room in which nautical paintings and objects are juxtaposed against a view of an empty sea through an open window setting up an imaginative contrast. Is it a comfortable clutter of past memories contrasted with the quiet emptiness of the present? That is for the viewer to decide and it is a characteristic of Saus’s playful imagination at work.

Saus paints mostly from his own world and from the imagination, but there are familiar echoes in his work of folk tales, myths and legends and children’s stories. His almost magical subjects include a mix of historical elements and traditions with personal and collective memories. He has always lived in the same house, his parents’ house, in Sabadell in Catalonia. Saus acknowledges: “This is very important to me, as all my memories and references have to do with this house. Here is in fact where I have my tailor-made world.”

In 2019, the art critic, Andrew Lambirth, side-stepped the issue of symbolism in Saus’s paintings by focusing on its formal properties: “Although others have decided that these are coded paintings, the truth of the matter is that Ramiro is an intensely formal painter, who considers matters of shape and colour, of line and light, above all else… and though they [Saus’s images] can be rich in personal reference and symbolism, this is not essential for the viewer to know. As Saus himself says: ‘My characters are poetic figures; they don’t have a logical explanation.’” In fact nothing in Saus’s painting is straightforward.

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