June 2 - 28, 2012

"Conxita Oliver Retrospective - Art as the Essence of a Long Life"

Rodez Art Gallery is proud to present for the first time in the United States, the already consecrated Catalonian artist Conxita Oliver. Coinciding with the celebration of the artist's 89th birthday, Rodez Art Gallery will offer collectors and the public in general alike the rare opportunity of meeting the person and acquiring the works of such an accomplished artist.

Conxita Oliver was born in Barcelona on June 5, 1923 in the heart of a family who lived between fabrics and paintbrushes. Daughter of the artist Juan Oliver Sardá, sketcher and renown portrait artist painter, who also worked in the field of artistic glassware, and niece to well-known landscape painter Ricardo Durán, Conxita began showing her gift as an artist as a little girl. Years later, she would begin her long storied career learning from her teacher Emili Bosch Roger. Later in life, she would expand her know-how and vocation next to another great teacher of the times, Juli Paschal.

As noted by Francesc Fontbona, "Conxita Oliver is an artist whose work first encountered its roots in such a difficult and depressing context as was Spain just after the Civil War. The bodies of work presented are key testimonies to this critical period of Spanish history. They show us what art signified and what Art was in those years, as well as the circumstances and difficulties an artist faced in her country at the time. There is also fascinating sociological or political details in her work that reveal so much about life then, such as the fact that in order to paint landscapes in Mallorca in 1946 one had to overcome a series of obstacles like requesting a permit from the Coastal Command of the Civil Guard. This all sounds so remote nowadays, although there are still survivors from that period who suffered firsthand all those controls over their lives and their work.

The consideration of Conxita Oliver as a painter, with her dedication to paid portrait work, flowers, still lifes and landscape painting, and the fact that after a few years of a "normal" career, she had to spend her time as the copyist of great works in art museums, leads us to remember that in those days, the 'debut' of a professional did not exactly come from the great Biennial exhibitions, or in free creativity art galleries, but that most painting took place precisely in these types of lesser tasks. In fact, there were specific and dreadful circumstances in the working life of people in Franco's Spain that led Conxita Oliver to abandon her exhibitions during the 1950's to dedicate her talents to copying the classics, especially at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. These same circumstances are what led her to direct her painting skills towards the vital skill of restoring, leaving examples of her work in the collections of various cultural entities and associations all over Catalonia. This work then is a biography of a person who has experienced Art with great intensity but who, for circumstances that Life has thrown at her, has had to create her art from a different side other than is typical for most artists. It is also an important reminder that art and painting often have different paths to follow than simply the free creation mentioned earlier. Today Conxita dedicates her talent to that freer world of art, despite the fact that she was forced to adopt more standard forms of earning her living by copying and restoring in her long and experienced past."

Come meet the artist on opening night Saturday, June 2 during Coconut Grove Gallery Night.
The exhibit will be on view through June 28, 2012.

Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 7 pm, and Friday & Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm.

 

 

 

CocoWalk, 3015 Grand Ave., Suite 237, Coconut Grove, FL 33133