Mad Love
Original title: L'amour fou
Mixed media on canvas
Dimensions: 285 x 403 cm
Reference: ACF0295
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In the first half of the eighties, Barceló’s work was shaped from more or less deliberate references to classical painting. While he was staying in the south of Portugal he once again took up landscape, particularly seascapes; he had already produced a number of works in the genre while he was living in Mallorca. In Paris the human figure began to appear in themes of an autobiographical nature: he represents himself working in his studio or reading in a library, spaces loaded with cultural references which take the shape of metaphors for memory. Barceló paints views of his own surroundings and is interested in illusionist representation of space in images of the interior of the Musée du Louvre, cinemas and travel scenes. Those paintings are no longer done with a single frontal plane and the relation established between material, light and image is structured in expressionist spaces with interesting perspectives. The excess of colour of his early Barcelona paintings becomes material texture arranged so as to provide the elements of his iconography with a strong plastic presence. L’Amour fou (1984) is one of a series of works in which he draws himself surrounded by books, deep in reading and meditating about the meaning of art and the role of the artist. The library represents his strong relation with the literary element—there are unmistakable references to some of his favourite authors, such as Góngora, Stendhal, Baudelaire, Conrad, Pessoa and Lezama Lima—and it is structured as a creative space for expressing states of mind that are constantly changing, like matter. As a result of his interest in the Baroque and the work of Anselm Kiefer, he explores the alteration of perspective in “a space where inspiration reveals itself as an irrepressible sexual impulse, which cuts off introspection and heralds the creative act.”

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