a cura d'Enric Baixeras Sastre
signatura saumells

In the pure clay and the fine metals there are symbols reminiscent of liturgical use. Saumells used them when creating sacred cups. Sometimes he adorned them by superimposing scenes, for example the father and the prodigal son.

It may seem that producing small pieces is secondary work. However, famous and acclaimed sculptors, such as Martorell and Mercadé, produced excellent small works in art deco style, and some time later, Lluís Saumells did so of his own accord. They all did so for a reason: sculpture is expensive. Given that small works are inexpensive, many of us can take pleasure in acquiring them. We can admire them at home, occupying the place of our domestic gods.

Saumells, despite later producing symbolic myths like the giant Thales and the soldier of the Batalla de l’Ebre, also produced valuable small-scale works: plaques, medals, small heads, figurines… in ceramic, stone, precious metals and coloured enamel, both turgid and brilliant. The figures reveal the expressionism of the author in their details and in the spatial and arbitrary treatment of the outlines.

One of the small works, the image of the Anacoreta or Anchorite (an archetypal Saumellian man or woman with an appearance of solitude, leanness and penitence, with a thin skeleton, exacerbated by fasting), produces an image that is both unreal and difficult to grasp. Making the mystery our own, having the figure of the prophet in our hands, can become something glorious, or an encounter with the human warmth of the artist friend, who seeks us with thought.

© 2010 Museu d'Art Modern de Tarragona