a cura d'Enric Baixeras Sastre
signatura saumells

Saumells conceived the human image according to various types or models, and frequently repeated them, with certain variations. This exercise began in the middle of the last century, as he entered his creative period. One of the first archetypes is a “bewildered” figure, with deformed limbs, suggesting sobriety, concentration, isolation, rejection…

In Catalan art, this figure has precedents. A century ago, Barcelona was engaged in a class struggle, with strikes and violent acts. On that occasion a stream of Catalan art arose which some refer to as “anarchising”. Three eminent artists coincided in producing “bewildered figures”: the gypsies of Isidre Nonell, the alienated figures of Carles Mani and the miserable figures of Pablo Picasso’s blue period. For a long time, part of society, and many critics, frowned upon it. In the end they were classified separate from modernism under the name of postmodernists. Saumells was aware of the historic controversy caused by the anarchising artists, and in creating his bewildered figures, he updated the theme, expressing it in his own terms.

We can link these individuals according to the critic Rafael Benet, who says that “future Catalan art was based on Nonell, Mani and Picasso”.

© 2010 Museu d'Art Modern de Tarragona