Monday, 6 March 2017

A visit to the Museum

"You use a glass mirror to see your face, you use works of art to see your soul."
(George Bernard Shaw)
Congratulations to all the students who took part today in the project "Museum Visit".

You did the job of outstanding guides for the works of art of those artists whose exhibitions are permanent in the museun Casa Gourié.

Thanks also to the museum staff for letting us do the activity there.

Santiago Santana Díaz

Santiago Santana Díaz was born in 1909 in Arucas, although he moved from an early age to Moya. In 1923, he received his first scholarship and he studied in Madrid. He travelled to Paris in 1932 with another scholarship from the Cabildo where he attended the Free Academy. There he receives influence from the works of Modigliani and Cezanne. In 1933 he studied at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Barcelona where he receives classes of sculpture and ceramics and eventually exhibits in the gallery Syra ( Barcelona). He also exhibits in the Balearics and in Madrid where he shows the landscapes and flora of Gran Canaria. After that period, he returns to this island and becomes director of the School Luján Pérez where he would work for thirteen years.

Santana  is usually defined as a multifaceted genius (urbanist, draftsman, painter, ceramist, sculptor and cultural advisor). He mixes classicism (and its harmony) with  modernity , represented in the ‘indigenista’ character influenced in its passage by the School of Luján Pérez. As a faithful indigenist painter, he translates his interest in popular culture into architecture. For this reason, he chooses those simple buildings that do not clash with the landscape, using materials of the place for his works of art (sand, clay…)
In 1948, Santana intervened, among other works, in the refurbishment  of the House of Columbus , mainly carving the facades overlooking  Calle Herrería and  Plaza del Pilar Nuevo in Las Palmas, as well as El Pueblo Canario. In Arucas he acted in the remodelling of Casa de la Cultura, helped by the labeler (labrante) Pedro Pérez Viera. He also worked in the design of the square and church of San Andrés, as well as in some paintings inside the church.

A faithful example of Santiago Santana's pictorial work is in the hall of the municipal museum that bears his name. From the pictorial collection we will highlight the work entitled "Escorzo de mujer" or " Mujer Tumbada ". It uses the so-called mixed technique, which means the use of various techniques: oil, almagre, earth .... As we contemplate this canvas, we admire the careful stylization of the drawing of bodies, barely veiled by simple tunics; the delicacy of color, almost always based on white, gray, blue and pink ranges; the balance of the composition, not subjected to stress, naturally assembled all its elements. Nothing tragic seems to be in this harmonious and flowing world.

With this work, Santana demonstrates his love for the popular, creating an insular Indian painting, and  showing his preference especially for the Canary woman. The clear and vital colors, together with the full and compact forms, present a woman of humble and hardworking condition (peasants, fishermen, washerwomen) often solitary . He likes to  draw /paint these women with big hands and feet,  which involves their work and effort. Santana was a singer of the southern woman, with thick lips and broad cheekbones, who alone faces the work of the field and the care of the children.
(Alberto; Fabiola)

Guillermo Sureda Arbelo

Sureda was born in Arucas in 1912 and he moved with his family  to Santa Cruz de Tenerife at the age of 14. There  he studied at the School of Arts and Crafts. Since his childhood, Sureda demonstrated a great ability to perceive and feel, that manifested itself, professionally, in a great skill for the drawing and for the music, arts that  he initially discovered in an autodidact way. This quality along with his sociable character, the search for perfection and detail, as well as that interest in everything around him, especially for the stories of the people, was reflected in his paintings.
Guillermo Sureda has excelled in the field of painting for the use of watercolor, managing to perfect this technique to the point of being recognized internationally. Perhaps the choice of this technique was due to its spontaneous nature, its sensitivity together with the somewhat impulsive desire for the work to take place.
Sureda's extraordinary manual dexterity coupled with his capturing ability has always allowed him a speed, almost without limit, to execute a landscape. On many occasions, he dropped  the drawing and attacked them directly with the colours. The brushstroke is therefore loose, quick, lively, simple, full of colour and light. With the watercolour, he manages to reflect with total mastery the transparent effects of the water and its reflections, as well as the luminosity of the landscapes.
His bohemian life led him to represent countless landscapes and urban scenes from different places, like London, Venezuela, Puerto Rico or  the Caribbean and of course,  his homeland. Hence, it is said that he was a man of two worlds: the Old World and America, especially of Puerto Rico, defining himself as the pictorial singer of San Juan, its capital.
 However, he also stands out for the strength of his portraits, generally, of anonymous people. This choice leads him to represent, with care and dedication, the humble and sincere expression of his models, their typical clothes and their customs.

(Andrea, Héctor)

Manolo Ramos González
Full name: Manuel Esteban de los Reyes Ramos González . He is one of the Spanish sculptors of all time. His timid personality, calm and confident, led him not to sign many of his works, conforming to the client's knowledge. He was very critical of his own production so, on many occasions, he destroyed his sculptures or drawings.
 Ramos was born in Arucas in 1899. From  1921 to 1925  he studied  in San Fernando school and some times worked in Miguel Blay’s workshop as his pupil. Later he lived for some time in Paris where he sold his works in the streets. After that, he travelled to London where he left a few busts, two of them in Lord Carlaysle’s collection. He comes back at the time of the Civil War.  EL Cristo Yacente belongs to this period. This breathtaking sculpture  we find in Arucas church. It  is made of  wood and stands out for the treatment of the nude and the expressive  power of the head. It shows on the whole the great knowledge Ramos had of the human body.
The way  Manolo Ramos carves his sculptures  is, above all, figurative. He always looks for the motives in which you can unleash the violent movements and positions of the human body . He  cultivated with equal profusion the subjects of religious and profane character. Within the profane subjects portraits, nudes, and, to a lesser extent, racial subjects, children, maternities and animals abound.
Manolo Ramos basically worked the wood, especially the noble one, like the barbarian, the cedar, the mahogany or the ebony. But he  also carved the stone and sometimes used the bronze.
In the room there are interesting drawings made with coal where he carefully studies the forms of the human body and the expressions of the faces. Of great expressive force is the theme Canary peasants where he reflects the principles of the Canary indigenismo in every detail: the hardness of their faces by the work and the suffering, the clothes, etc., but within a great harmony and serenity. That is to say, Manolo Ramos reflects the social concern, not based on an exaltation of the worker, but of a certain denunciation, putting itself face to face with the harsh reality of the disinherited, but with a bitter tint, almost leaving no chink for a solution.. .

(Elena,, Ruth, Víctor)

Abraham Cárdenes and his students
He was born in Tejeda and he entered the Luján Pérez School. He founded the Municipal Academies of Fine Arts of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (1942-1971), playing the role of director.

Boys and girls of different ages and social and cultural conditions gathered around him so as to learn from his work. It was a public with a common interest:  the illusion and the fascinating attraction of Abraham Cárdenes, who had an absorbing personality and leonine head.
He was always cheerful, affable and optimistic in the face of adversity, his life evolved around his work,  and  later around his disciples. On many occasions, the work of his pupils presented in exhibitions, competed with his.
Several authors, some of them disciples of Cárdenes, emphasized his high sense of friendship, the goodness of his heart and his disconcerting cordiality. For example, Santiago Vargas, speaks of his vigor and vehemence, always smiling in spite of misfortune and misunderstanding. In the same way, Berlamiño, stands out his ingenuity and bohemian romanticism.

His art was original as he was himself, unmistakable, arrogant, grim, strong, expressive, vigorous and Cyclopean. The mountain, the rocks and the pyramid are his starting point, adjusting the forms to this short conception. He is, therefore, a giant sculptor in the style of Michelangelo. He does not add strange grafts of sculptures  to the Canary race or to the integrity of nature…
(Aurea; Estela)


Ruth M. Rodríguez said...

Thanks to you, Dulce, for such a great, interesting and creative project!! ����

Dulce said...