L'art d'etiquetar (The art of labelling)

November 4, 2020

From here I would like to make a very special thanks to the words of Màrius Serra in his article El arte de etiquetar (The art of labeling), published in La Vanguardia of Barcelona on October 3rd 2020 and also to the Associació de Ceramistes de Cataluyna (ACC) and the Museu de la Terrisa de Quart. The words of Màrius Serra give voice to the often silent claim of ceramics as an artistic discipline, a claim that has always accompanied those of us who have dedicated ourselves to it, from the search for our own language from the conception and materialization of our works, always with untiring dedication that often does not find recognition in the world of art. The task that the ACC has been carrying out for years, the initiative of the Quart Town Hall to preserve the old factory and turn it into a museum with spaces to exhibit the work of today's ceramists, are also ways of giving us a voice to cross the customs that Màrius mentions in his article. 
Eulàlia Oliver (October 2020)


L'art d'etiquetar - (The art of labelling)

Màrius Serra - La Vanguardia – Barcelona, October the 3rd, 2020

Last Saturday the exhibition Mirades a través (Views through) by Eulàlia Oliver Manen was opened at the Museu de la Terrissa in Quart and will be on display until 8 November. The exhibition has a subtitle that plays with the passage from literalism to figurative language: "Everything moves, everything changes, nothing is certain, everything hangs by a thread". It is a phrase that defines the sidereal uncertainty that surrounds us, but which was already part of the germ of the project, more than a year ago, before we heard the word pandemic being uttered. The exhibition is impressive and justifies the trip to the Gironès region. More than two hundred pieces of porcelain exquisitely worked in shapes, textures, thicknesses and colours. The whitish purity of such a noble material breaks down and, in some cases, turns red like an open fig or a tasty watermelon cut. Those who know the secrets of handcrafted firing value superlatively, the effects achieved with such a delicate material. Most of the pieces hang by a thread and, as if they were birds, similar elements are grouped together in flocks that form relatively variable volumes. There are seashells, plates, shells and discs of a pop-like translucence. In one case, the general instability of the flocks is enhanced by metal supports that bring the piece closer to Alexander Calder's mobiles. Walking around the room, "exhibition through", is a first-rate artistic experience that changes according to the light. Everything is, as the artist writes in the exhibition handout, "always the same, always different".

I write artist, thoroughly. The exhibition is possible because the Museu de la Terrissa de Quart, located in the premises of a refurbished roof tiles manufacture, offers the space to the guild so that every year a ceramist can exhibit. The potters live their activity in the anteroom of the art that the cliché associates with the craft.

It is difficult to see the works of a professional ceramist of Eulàlia Oliver's talent in the art exhibition rooms

To me, the work of Eulàlia Oliver seems to be that of an artist with all the letters, because it transmits a sensitive look that goes beyond a technique that is, on the other hand, very complex, but the exhibition framework influences the perception we have of it. Many artists of the reputation of Picasso, Miró or Palau Ferré, were painters and ceramists, but it is very difficult to see the works of a professional ceramist of Eulàlia Oliver's talent in art exhibition rooms, without labels. The same happens to many illustrators, who live on the eternal border between the craft and the lack of profit. In recent years, many photographers have passed through these customs. Some, like Joan Fontcuberta, because they already had a very marked artistic discourse. The performing arts also welcome such unclassifiable creators as Pep Bou and his soap bubbles. There is more art and more arts. Just before I went into the exhibition, I saw a sign that said: "Quart poble terrisser!" The lack of a comma made me wonder what the first three should be (2). The exhibition is not missing a comma. The Paurribiana "noia de porcelana" (1) practices art without labels.


(1) Pau Riba  “Noia de porcellana” (1968)
(2) "Quart" the name of the town, also means in Catalan language "the 4th"