In the early eighties, the hermetic atmospheres and almost uniform, extremely solemn surfaces of Broto’s work became more lyrical and emotive. As he was interested in the memory and tradition of painting, he worked in a direction linked to informal abstraction, placing particular emphasis on the expressive possibilities of colour. The gesture, often in a semiautomatic state, was freed in stains, but the composition remained strongly structured. Untitled (1982) belongs to the period when Broto structured and arranged his colours, which tend to occupy the whole surface of the painting, with clean, bright and highly luminous chromatic impacts. The white of the canvas, left almost raw in earlier works, was harmoniously coated. The use of new technical procedures or artistic media like oil meant that he could work the rich pictorial substance with a kind of action and vitality not unlike that of certain Abstract Impressionism. After a trip to Italy, Broto’s work took on a very forceful quality. Baroque traces and metaphorical forms of the Byzantine world began to appear in his work, shapes of monuments and mountains conceived with great sobriety. The increasingly uniform backgrounds darkened and the iconographic repertory was enhanced by very simple figurative references. These ambiguous images are referential elements in an essentially emblematic sense, with a marked preference for Romantic symbols and minimal forms, which share a dialectic connection to the pictorial support of the work. In a universe where chance and order confront each other, the landscapes, the ruined towers and obelisks, the steps, the traces, the brushstrokes and drippings shape the memory space of his paintings. Somewhere between constructive and lyrical, he is interested in the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, giving great freedom to colour in sumptuously sombre and very intense paintings. In 1984, he moved to Paris where he painted a simple series of paintings inspired by the troubled waters of lakes, rivers, springs and waterfalls. Celebración en el lago I (1984), part of this series, emanates a distressing atmosphere marked by romanticism and fury, torn between chaos and a strange void. The black paint, which covers almost the entire canvas, is whipped, scraped by a sharp point that drags a violent light out of the darkness. The works of this period contain obvious references to the classic pictorial language of Antoni Tàpies, Robert Motherwell and Cy Twombly.
Works that may interest you