Josep Navarro and his luminous movement

V. N.
Jun 11, 2016 5:14PM

This artist has no desire to create definitive, complete works but changing ones that invite the spectator to engage with them and help shape their meaning. Greens, oranges, greys, reds, yellows, blues, whites, ample surfaces in which a pure colour serves as the field for infinite stripes, dots, squares, simply furrows of the paint itself, where in each case the symmetry is broken by swift geometric spirals, by subtle waves in the line, by an emphasis of tone here and there. As I said, it is colour and light in an indissoluble fusion; it is optical composition; in its entirety, it is a kind of symphony of sensory movement, of pieces, of chromatic musicality.

You see the silent, compelling movement, an absorbing conjunction of purity of concept and of frenzied, multiple and minute iridescence. Only some readers will guess that I am referring to the work of Josep Navarro, one of the country’s most outstanding yet most isolated painters. Josep Navarro, who has his colours specially made and who devotes days and days to each work, in patient labour, is a man, like no other artist in this country, whose art has assumed the dynamics of a contemporary technological revolution. There is obviously a whole tradition behind Josep Navarro’s investigations, but equally evident is the originality of his discoveries. Navarro never—or very rarely—constructs his works according to stylistically uniform or conventional schemes within the avant-garde. And therein lies his success, in never having embraced a specific school. In fact, it could be summarised thus: Navarro imbues the cold, schematic nature of this type of art with warm exuberance.

The luminous movement through geometry and colour stems from a porous conception of art—indeed, of life—that is half emphatic, half festive. Navarro likes to call it “Mediterranean”. When you know him, his authorship is crystal-clear: Navarro is an extrovert, an emotional, effusive person who subjects himself to the constraints of a calculated discipline. (Excerpt from the article by Baltasar Porcel, Destino, 1977)

V. N.