Xiprers a Folquer was painted thirty years after Pijuan's first solo exhibition and thus represents the peak of his artistic maturity. It dates from a time when the artist himself considered that he had brought several periods to a close, completing a first cycle, and was ready to render his early ideas with greater technical mastery and a certain degree of freedom.
During the first half of the decade, black and grey reappeared among the dominant colours on his palette. His approach to the motif became more immediate and natural, resolving itself in abstract forms or paradigmatic outlines of the reality being referenced. The brushstroke, which had been systematic in the seventies, became freer, stronger, and yet subtler and airier too.
The artist stated that his sensibility was marked by a taste for monochrome and by the fact that what made up the composition of the entire surface of the painting were not the figurative elements, but the spaces in between, as well as those between them and the limits of the canvas. Something the artist defined as “the validity of the void as an element of composition”.
His great interest in landscape, especially a harsh kind of landscape, was due in part to his family background: his father’s native Aragon and his mother’s home county of La Segarra, near Lleida, which appears in many of his paintings featuring the image of a house. The location of his own country house and studio, however, also plays a role, given that Folquer is where Xiprers a Folquer is set. The painting belongs to an extensive series of works begun in 1983. Another reason for his interest in those landscapes was their range of colours, defined by shades of ochre, green, straw-yellow, even ashen hues, which are all amongst his favourites.
Ochre is the predominant colour in Espai ocre, as well as in the painting entitled Paisatge ocre 2, one of the works included in the retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. From this piece, one gets a sense of the quality that defined his approach to the landscape or panorama; transferring his perception of reality to the painting is not what matters, but rather how the painting—the act of painting and its practical considerations—shapes and transforms his vision of the landscape. The same is true for the spectator’s vision, although inevitably to a lesser extent.