ANTHOLOGY OF TEXTS

One of the great successes of Cuixart was precisely, some time ago, to begin to admit metals […] in the chromatic composition. After using his brilliant qualities […] he started a “series” that we consider to be of undoubted importance not only in the informalist painting of the Barcelona school but also for the universal one. […]
These paintings seem like rites against the death of matter […], since they invert the sign of a Dubuffet’s art, by putting the rough blackish qualities in open contradiction with a splendorous power that covers and excites them. […] By magic of the contradictory, that unleashed vibrating of gold reactivates the expressive capacity of black […] to establish a dualism of intense pathetic virtue, a binary system in which each one of the terms seems to be the origin of the other.

 Juan Eduardo Cirlot
“Obras recientes de Modesto Cuixart”
1958

Vast historical phenomena of current art […] reveal that spirit that no one represents better than this Catalan perpetually devoured by the flame called Modest Cuixart. […] Cuixart is a resurrection — haloed by the rays of the apotheosis — of the Mediterranean baroque spirit […], of the ancient dialogue with the absolute of the characters of the Catalan altarpieces, drowned in golden atmospheres, and, like them, testimony of the intensity of the most ephemeral life, capable of dialoguing with the infinite. […] Here, with Cuixart, the return of the happy hell to which Fautrier one day dragged us. This is why Cuixart is for us the painter of our time.

Alexandre Cirici Pellicer
“Le dialogue de l’éphémère avec l’absolu”
1959

In the field of painting, Fautrier and Cuixart, in effect, seem to us to represent the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of an extraordinary plastic adventure.

Alexandre Cirici Pellicer
“Emblematic Cuixart”
1960

Thus, Cuixart’s pictorial adventure takes on the dimensions of the creator generated by his own creation, so that the long-awaited reconciliation is total, matter has given birth to an antimatter; and the dialogue is established for us around the impossible reality-non-reality discrimination.

Gérard Guillot
“Cuixart”
1961

Cuixart is also a poet and the poetic takes place in his pictorial manipulations. There are no metaphors or symbols … nor allegories, since they are invisible worlds that only come true in the language of the painter and that is precisely why they shudder. […] The perfection of the artisan work elevates the work to a superior territory communicated by means of hieroglyphics. Where could art be more immense than where it keeps its secret?.

Wil Grohmann
“Cuixart”
1962

He openly investigates himself, imprisoned by the temptation of the human. Thus, human figures stuck to the wall emerge out of nowhere in a falsely ordered chaos […]. Little by little, pure plasticity regains its rights, but in this extra-dimensional representation of the vast, the allusion to human patterns is tenacious.

Pierre Restany
“Un Art du dedans: la peinture de Cuixart”
1962

In all its stages, Cuixart’s work has always appeared to us as having great internal, spiritual coherence. Both in his surrealizing moment and in his informalist moment, Cuixart has been fundamentally the same. […] the important thing is that with his reinvention of painting we have also found man, his pride and his misery, and with them, the hidden and indecipherable heartbeat of poetry.

Joan Perucho
“Reivindicación de la pintura de Modest Cuixart”
1966

The restlessness of a restless spirit beats in Cuixart. He loves life above all else and, aware of its brevity, he knows the significance of each period. For this reason, Cuixart’s painting, still identified by constant elements: phallic signs, mathematical formulas, dreamlike background, visions and magic, shows different aspects in its evolution; apprehending each moment that corresponds to him in luck to live, and sensitizes him beyond the subjection to any logical imperative.
Cuixart’s painting, while emotional, balances at the same time in intellectualized rationalization.

Josep Valles Rovira
“Aproximación a Cuixart”
1966

Like all great artists, Modest Cuixart is, above all, a storyteller. In the sense that he turns reality into a fable as soon as he touches it. […] When the image is buried in this way, the painter is left with the task of questioning the apparently inert earth. A whole part of the abstract painting of these last years would be a vain undertaking if it were not engendered by the madness of scratching the humus to the origins […]. Through the sediments of memory, it has been necessary to delve down to the sediments of the first layer. Fautrier, in the subtle purulent humors of matter, Dubuffet, kneading those petrified clay with dense obstinacy […] have contributed in a capital way to rediscovering the deepest layers [of painting] by revealing them. Modest Cuixart has played her role in these investigations of the matter, and an original role.
Thus, matter becomes a sign again. Its flow signs a labyrinth, forms an unknown letter, but which one can clearly see that it corresponds to an alphabet […]. The secret here is that matter, in the painter’s gesture, is orgasm, organ, organism.

Jean-Jacques Lerrant
Modest Cuixart
1967

Two inimitable characteristics stand out in Cuixart: its optimal material […] and its refinement of color, signage and execution [that] make its surfaces cuddly […]. Cuixart works with an artisan dedication and with a craft wisdom that guarantees for centuries and centuries the material durability of his paintings, without glued sand or perishable globs.

Carlos Areán
Treinta años de arte español
1972

In a way, through moments of plenitude and crisis, this calligraphy that – except in the abstract stage around the São Paulo Grand Prix (1959) – takes a back seat, is precisely what establishes cohesion most solidly depth of Cuixart’s work. It is not that it is the skeleton – it cannot be – but that it is flowering, the most spontaneous and necessary.

Jose Corredor-Matheos
“The drawing”
1976

Informalism yields to a singular variant of neo-figuration: the objects of everyday anarchy, the dregs of the counterculture transfer their symbols to the crowded effigies of a sordid and apocalyptic drama. The personal crisis of the painter, fearlessly confronted with the world in which he lives, has ended up involving himself in the crisis of his own painting. Or the other way around: it doesn’t matter. The consequences of abstraction could no longer serve as valid answers to specific human procedures.

José Manuel Caballero Bonald
Cuixart
1977

In such a complex work, the erotic treatment of the revelations could not be absent. There is no morbidity or sadism. It is like the awakening of sexuality in an invented natural history. […] but a copulative desire fills these pictures with a certain genetic intoxication. […] Cuixart has mixed mud and auroras […]. It was the luxurious agony of our society.

Eduardo Westerdahl
Viaje con escalas a través de la obra de Cuixart
1977

[Cuixart] was the most brilliant talker of all […]. [I] had in common with Tàpies an obsession with work; with Cuixart, the deep love of humor. […] We put on real shows that none of those who witnessed them have managed to forget. […] What we said and did in them was as interesting as what was painted or written, but it only exists in memory. I would like to be able to delve into the art that materializes and that which disappears forever […].

Joan Ponç
Autobiografía
1978

The painter says he feels especially concerned about the decadence, the vestiges of him […]. He has tried […] to mount a pictorial criticism, he adds, and he does not believe this to be possible without the rhetorical support of the baroque, without the ornamental exuberance of irony. He longs for the poetic extrapolation of all that lurks behind that real world, from which he gathers the ruins of a foolish splendor.

Josep Iglesias del Marquet
“Las enseñas de Modest Cuixart”
1981

Acròstic

Ara et retrobo, com en temps antic,
Més en l’arrel que en l’orba llum novella,
Oliós de silencis, de savieses ric,
D’acord amb l’home sol a cau d’orella.
Estàs entre els teus signes, dius: “Escric
Sobre l’aigua i el vent la meravella
Tèbia de l’ombra, de qui sóc amic
Com de la pura llum, que és més en ella”.
Ulises en el mar d’un somni altiu,
Importes dels misteris on habites
Xiscles d’ocells, Nausicas i caliu.
Astut concitador dels més vells mites,
Remot t’en fas i, alhora, d’argent viu
Travessant temps que a contracor transites.

Acrostic (Translation)

Now I meet you again, as in ancient times, / More in the root than in the early blind light, / Oily of silences, of rich wisdoms, / According to the man alone in the ear. / You are among your signs, you say: “I write / On the water and the wind the wonder / Warm of the shadow, of whom I am a friend / As of the pure light, which is more in it.” / Ulysses in the sea of a Haughty sleep, / You care about the mysteries where you live / Bird cries, Nausicas and heat. / Cunning stirrer of the oldest myths, / You become remote and, at the same time, quicksilver / Going through times that you reluctantly walk.

Rafael Santos Torroella
1981

The exteriorization of Cuixart’s imagination of inner experiences has a different meaning from that of the surrealists. It is not predestined as a demonstration of the unconscious, but rather as an evocation that can bring us into an unconscious state of mind. […]
It thus has a less immediate reading than the images of the surrealists, who fetishized the unconscious in a series of increasingly standardized images, while Cuixart in his Dau al Set period tried to unfetish it, to restore our internal sense as a domain of uncertainty. . […] Works from the alchemist period (1959-62) show Cuixart contemplating the leap to the limits of coherence that began in Dau al Set. It is as if he had to destroy the traditional surrealist imagery and reach the abstract terrain of the total fluidity of the unconscious to begin again to draw images — personal images. This task, creating the personal from what is already manifest, continues to this day.

Donald Kuspit
Cuixart
1987

The Cuixart de Dau al Set shows the admiration for the world of Max Ernst and Paul Klee, Miró or Chagall, but also the primitivism between naive and magical of the Catalan Romanesque. Unlike his fellow group members, Cuixart stylistically offers us a whole signic and symbolic world of extraordinary richness […]. Cuixart will be the most genuine representative of a pure plastic […], something that no postwar painter had yet discovered.

Pilar Parcerisas
“Modest Cuixart. Exposició Dau al Set”
1988

His presence in a series of European and American exhibitions speaks to us about the international impact of those Cuixart works of the fifties, and the awards that mark those years: the Torres-García Prize in Barcelona in 1957, the International Abstract Painting of Lausanne in 1959 and the Grand Prize of the São Paulo Biennial of that same year. From 1958 on, René Drouin, one of the most lucid and prestigious dealers in post-war Paris, exhibited Picabia and Fautrier, Michaux and Dubuffet, Mathieu and Wols [.. .]. Less well known is the fact that André Breton, in a 1959 letter to Cirlot, expressed his desire to include a Spaniard in the international surrealist exhibition Eros, […] suggesting the possibility that this Spaniard was Cuixart. Despite his preventions towards abstraction, the founder of surrealism was able to perceive the burden of mystery and poetry that contained his works.

Juan Manuel Bonet
“The central Cuixart”
1991

There is a magical and evil Cuixart that was forged in a few years in which living was a continuous uncertainty. There is a rebellious and agnostic Cuixart that took shape in the years when life was a continuous fight with the political shell. There is a torn and provocative Cuixart from when existence was becoming pleasant for a few. There is a harmonious and sweetened Cuixart from when life was becoming more pleasant for him. There is a Cuixart that takes up a past when his consciousness takes up positions cornered for a long time.

Francesc Miralles
“Medio siglo de creación”
1991

Modest Cuixart was following his own artistic instinct and moving away from participating in recurring fashions or trends.
Solitary and independent, he continued to delve into his entrails to extract from them the pictorial impulses that propitiated him the embodiment of the stimuli that are in the essence of life, the vigorous pull that pushes man towards love, and the anguish that it entails. the consciousness of death.
Attentive to the forms of social behavior of his time, and aware of living in an aggressive and devastating world, he has been able to include in his painting the violence of action that decomposes and corrodes matter, treating the surface of his works as a terrain. organic, eroded, in which the remains of our daily life are sometimes inserted.

Enrique Valdivieso
Cuixart, Cillero, Arcenegui
1991

In recent years, Cuixart has given new impetus to his work in a kind of reunion, a critical recapitulation of his past, […] he returns to his original language of matter and sign, and offers us a new, disturbing, full work of maturity, in the line where the best Cuixart has always been.

Cesáreo Rodríguez-Aguilera
Cuixart
1992

Cuixart, the one who showed us the poetics of his unconscious in the first years of his artistic creation, the one who later offered us anger about the society of debauchery, the one who, later, exposed the faces of infamy and corruption, now , as if returning to the original source of painting […], it offers us the background of everything, that place where everything happens, where man is installed, the landscape.

Arnau puig
“Un trànsit per l’obra de Cuixart des de l’individu (Dau al Set) als media d’avui”
1997

When I was very young I stumbled upon Cuixart’s art, and when I fell, the pupils in my eyes broke. I discovered that there was an internal imagination in his work.

Vicenç Altaió
“Cuixart, 80 years”
2005

[Cuixart] fought a particular battle for maximum freedom of expression. Knowing all the secrets of the technique, he knew how to put it at his service to do what he proposed to express. He refused to stagnate in style, as the new ideology of postmodernity would mark years later.

Maria Lluïsa Borràs
“Una particular batalla en favor de la libertad”
2007

In the early 1960s, Cuixart’s abstract works were exhibited in galleries around the world, from the Guggenheim in New York to the Tate in London. […] By 1956, when the members of Dau al Set went their separate ways, Cuixart had become a leading exponent of the Informalist school and later of abstract painting. […] he once said that the textures conveyed the sensation of the civil war and the consequences of it, a feeling that persists not only in his art but in Spanish life at the time, despite the return to democracy. In the early 1960s, he was working with collage and producing the kind of works that would soon be described as pop art. […] In 1959, Cuixart gained international recognition when he won the award for best painter at the São Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Other selected contestants included Francis Bacon, while Barbara Hepworth won the grand prize for her sculptures.

Phil Davison The Guardian
“Modest Cuixart”
2007

He is a key figure in the history of Catalan art in the 20th century. Happy meeting between seny and rauxa, he was a painter with a great humanist vocation, with a good French culture, who poured into his work a profound metaphysical discourse. He made an anguished reflection on the human body typical of the existentialist cycle in which he lived and greatly influenced by his medical studies. He is the prince of darkness because in his work of baroque density there is always that journey through the immeasurable, the mysterious. His is a dialogue between life and death, figuration and abstraction, matter and spirit.

Daniel Giralt-Miracle
“The reactions”
2007

There is a crisis in every minute of your existence. You like things and you dislike them simultaneously; you love them and hate them at the same time. But the contradiction not only governs the changes but also the searches […]. Sometimes I have looked through the keyhole and other times I have looked out onto the wide open balcony. But I believe that all the acts of a human being are fragments of a unique set, although plagued with successes and errors, of comings and goings. In some moments I have leaned towards absolute abstraction and in others towards a certain presence, but my nature and my way of being demand bodies, things that burn and that are seen, that shout, speak, are full of fire, of colors . This is how I am: abundant, epicurean, lover of nature, of everything that grows and reproduces, passionate […]. What happens is that, at the time of execution, in front of the canvas, I have put into operation certain controls […].
My work has had a very sincere and authentic dynamic, that is undeniable. But I would like it to be seen that it has preserved a basic unity.

Modest cuixart
Conversación con Cuixart
[Paloma Chamorro]
1975

It is evident that all artists undergo changes in their way of painting throughout their lives, but deep down the work is the same, although said in a different way. […] I think that I am in the magic that has lived with me since the days of Dau al Set. […] It has been said that my work is a return to the origins, but in reality I am always at the point of origin of my creation. My work has always been dominated by the need not to jeopardize my creative freedom, I have never been a mannerist. I cannot copy, I am absolutely incapable. If I didn’t need to innovate every day, I wouldn’t paint. Painting demands this feeling of constant renewal.

Modest Cuixart
“Modest Cuixart, un hombre con convicciones”
[Joan Gil]
1993