Silent world

Maria Antonia Castro

maria-antonia-de-castroThere are a series of divergent factors in the work of Dolores Sampol which are juxtaposed as to create a strange balance of tensions.  Of these factors perhaps the one which turns out to be more superficially obvious, whilst at the same time carries a major risk, is that of beauty.

A vilified concept throughout a century of demythologising art.  A factor which has become corroded, to the point of becoming taboo, and as such is something indescribable. The romantic artist was the one who delved into the conflict between art and good academic taste, but romanticism was also responsible for exalting the idea of the sublime uniting with beauty to drag them both down the vertiginous slope and the desire for death. Part of this romantic exaltation arises from a peril of venturing into the landscape of the unknown.

The determinant presence which scenery has held in the Majorcan painting and poetry, the intensity with which this landscape assaults the senses is already tradition. The result has been that of colourful painting, lit by the luminosity of the sky and the amazing chromatic scale of the sea. Dolores Sampol distances herself from this pictorial tradition to delve into a re-creation of nature and a dream landscape, closer to the bitter-sweet romantic feeling than the complacency of the traditional representation.

Of the two slopes of the island, the southern plain sliding towards the turquoise sea, and the northernmost slashed above the deep waters of the sea, Dolores Sampol feels a special predilection for the latter. Given this strange relationship which lies between the mental status and the way in which we perceive the environment, it is significant, as a symbolic sign of her way of internalising, and not only as a preference for a certain form of landscape.

In a nature which is presented with an apparent secular stability, under the myth of a fictitious calm, the perception of this artist plays on the fear of unknown places, on the anxiety which sometimes hides below a calm surface. Dolores Sampol makes a show of austerity and an economy of radical colours in order to adopt the tension of this silent world. The nakedness of the canvas contributes as much to the balance of the intensities as the energy of the brushstroke. In one sweep the strokes which define the flight of a bird and the sinuous form of a tree trunk, suggest the distant horizon and the glimmering of the water, creating a successful link between the abstract line and the figurative form.

With this sobriety of colour and this frugality of mediums which gradually steady the evolution of this work, the pictures acquire greater rotundity and a deeper expressive capacity.

Madrid, 1994


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