Original title: Retaule
Oil on wood
Dimensions: 9.5 x 15 cm 11.5 x 12 cm 11.8 x 15.8 cm 20 x 20 cm 15 x 9.5 cm 9.6 x 15 cm 16 x 12 cm 9.3 x 15 cm 11.5 x 15.8 cm 16 x 21.5 cm 9.8 x 15 cm 10 x 15 cm 15.1 x 10 cm 10 x 15 cm 13.3 x 13.5 cm
Reference: ACF0714
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This set of fifteen small format pieces brings together some of the recurrent themes in Perejaume's career. The narrative character of the piece is heightened by its linear appearance, as if it were a sentence that stitches different themes together. So, read from left to right, the sentence begins with an identification of the theatre and the museum as places where representations are housed. The fifth painting from the left marks the transition between the two spaces, revealing, behind thick curtains, heaps of paintings and frames. Nor can we fail to see this altarpiece as a concentrated art gallery where images are accumulated. Although, as usual in Perejaume's work, the museum represented in it seems to be threatened by an excess of them. There are so many paintings in there that the museum is saturated and flooded. The overflow of painting is reflected in panels like the tenth of the set in which a rough sea is subtitled with a caption which reads: "La pintura contra el món" (Painting versus the world). Once inside the gallery, ambiguity takes over the landscapes hanging on the walls. The constant confusion between representation and reality can also be found in another caption that appears beneath the image of a 19th century character: "De com a les mans de Verdaguer els Pirineus van esdevenir un fil de tinta" (How in Verdaguer's hands the Pyrenees became a trickle of ink). Likewise, in the third panel from the right there is an illustration of the classical motif that blends the window and the picture. Another means of transition between representation and reality is the one that focuses on the frame of the painting. Thus, in the last panel but one the gilt frame breaks in like an extension of the very mountain relief it encloses. Frames and mountains run into one another like continuous reliefs. In short, Retaule strings together and superimposes images of very different origins, including disparate visual codes. The fragmentary, independent nature of each episode is dissolved in a rich, complex visual essay which, being an essay, also includes quotations. The twelfth panel imitates what would be a fragment of a real Gothic altarpiece. If early in his career Perejaume often used collage, he is now using the altarpiece as a composition and narrative structure that enables him to extract meaning from diversity. Carlos Guerra

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