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Artists of Ibiza

Artists on Ibiza

 

Vicente Ferrer Guasch

by José P Ribas



 
Artists

Vicente Ferrer Guasch was born in Sant Antoni, Eivissa, on the 18th May 1917. Most probably he would have followed his father’s steps in a military career if it wasn’t because, since he was very young, he started to show an exceptional talent for drawing and his preferences for the Fine Arts.

That pushed him to matriculate in the “Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes San Jorge” in Barcelona, in which he passed his degrees as a drawing teacher. Since 1962, he was teaching drawing and painting in the “Institut Santa Maria” of Eivissa, (Ibiza’s High School) until 1982, when he retired.

Ferrer Guasch is - without doubt - one of the most appreciated and rewarded artists of the cultural world of the Islands, one of our greatest painters of all times. His biography and his works figure in the pages of Spanish and the Balearic Encyclopaedia and Art-history books.

In his large career, he recognises he’s painted about five thousand art-works, half of them sold on the Island; that proves the respect and love that locals have for his art and his persona. The rest of his works have sold all over the world.

They form part of the private collections of Richard Nixon, Juan Antonio Samaranch, the “Fundación Juan March” or in the U.N. Building in New York, among other important collections. There have been around a hundred exhibitions (he doesn’t even remember himself) most of them in Eivissa, but also in some of the best Art Galleries of the world, such as the Wally Findlay Galleries, in New York.

At present and until the end of this month, we can admire a small and new selection of his works at “Can Berri”, the art gallery run by Gastão Herbele, in Sant Agustí, Eivissa. At the same time, Ferrer Guasch is preparing his latest material to be exhibited shortly, once again on their own request, after the successful experiences in the Wally Findlay Galleries of New York.

Eivissa, always and only Eivissa, the “White Island”, this is the life-motive of all his work. “The City of Eivissa is a real passion for me, a challenge that never ends. Like if this town was telling me to keep on working, keep on painting, because there is still a lot to be done, a lot more to paint until you can show me as I really am.

“For many years I have concentrated myself on this exclusive subject, Eivissa, which I feel so much deep down inside.

“This is the way that I feel so sorry for what is happening at present with it, and the worst thing is that I don’t have the strength or the way to fight against it.

“I never have surrendered in my battles, only now, only in front of these Islands that we are destroying.

“The greed of money (“por cuatro pesetas...” as he says in his own words) is turning Eivissa, our beautiful White Island, once full of tranquillity and peaceful harmony, into a “Heritage of Misery”, Ferrer Guasch declared to a local journalist, in his last exhibition last year.

Being in his studio, where Gary and I met with him and his charming wife Fanny, last Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock, a sunny apartment on the second floor, full of light, not far from the harbour, in the Avenida Bartumeu Roselló, the wide street that splits, or joins, the two sides of Eivissa Town, the old and the new part of it.

Looking at his paintings, I asked him why there are no people in the streets, or birds in its immaculate blue skies, or flowers showing by the side of the door or the tiny windows of his paintings, no signs of active life in them.

The answer was: “Life is action, movement; what I am trying to reflect in my paintings is the tranquillity, the peaceful harmony of its streets with its cubic white buildings, the serenity that one could feel in Eivissa.”

Here, (talking about Eivissa especially in the wards of “Sa Peña” and “Dalt Vila”, most common sides in his paintings) it’s one of the very few places (this also happens in some of the Greek Islands, he says), that the shadows have their own light and colours.

Perhaps it is because of the extreme whiteness of the buildings and the different planes of its cubes, in which the light rebounds in all directions. It is almost like they were mirrors, forming endless kaleidoscopes through the different hours of the day.

When the Sun is at its zenith, it is hot and the life is in the interior. It is that light - with its bright blue skies and slightly coloured shadows - and especially the tranquillity and intimate serenity that this town and the entire Island inspires what I mean to reflect in my paintings.”

“Now, in my latest works, I’m trying to simplify the most. I have stopped painting the points of colour of the doors and windows that I used before, as a “pattern” to be able to paint some colour transparencies in the different whites, and as a very personal way to balance my paintings.

“At present, I work three hours per day, and I keep doing it with enthusiasm and the same illusion as ever. Like all art-creators, I keep looking and re-looking for my own personal line, my personality as an artist.

“Now, at my age and after a hundred exhibitions, I don’t need to convince anybody, and I just look for a new pattern of interior composition, to paint just the essence, to synthesise all this just in planes of lights, volumes and cubes of different whites, simply lights and shadows on the Ibicenco walls. ”

This is something that the art-critics can also notice in America; let’s see for instance what the Wally Findlay Galleries brochure says about Ferrer Guasch and his paintings in his first exhibition in New York.

“Guasch’s work portrays the unique beauty of Ibiza. Although not the reality of Ibiza today, with its bustling congested streets and multitude of tourist, it is the essential Ibiza that captivates the artist’s imagination. In Guasch’s words... – the Ibiza that it was and will be again. His paintings reflect the tranquillity and serenity Guasch feels toward his subject.”

“The paintings are clean and pure. Guasch’s palette has a prismic quality, which he has harmoniously adjusted to the light and colour of Ibiza. As one critic cited: “I don’t think it would be possible to portray with a higher degree of flexibility, the atmosphere of a place, the reflective whiteness of the walls and the cool shading on its streets, than Guasch has done in his pictures.”

“Ferrer Guasch is a master of geometric balance. Each of his paintings contains an order and serenity, yet there is not repetition or similarity of composition and his forms, although life-like, are not photographic. One might say that Ferrer Guasch is an artist of the abstract school who still feels a responsibility towards true representation and aestheticism.”

As some of his most representative exhibitions and awards.

1932 First exhibition, in the “Societat Cultural Ebusus”, Eivissa

1952 “Real Academia de Sant Jordi”, Barcelona, where he obtains the award of this Fine Arts School for his landscapes

“Premi de Paisaje Josep Masriera”

1964 “XXIII Salón de Otoño”. Golden Medal of the “Circulo de Belles Arts de Palma de Mallorca”

“Premi Mallorca” de la Diputació Provincial de Balears

1981 Spanish Tourism Office in the U.N. Building, New York, USA

1983 First exhibition in the “Wally Findlay Art Galleries” in New York, USA
“Golden Medal of Fine Arts” For his 50 Jubilee as painter.

“Man of the Year” Voted by the local paper “Diario de Ibiza” as most important or popular person of the year.

In between, several and regular exhibitions in: Eivissa, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Barcelona,

Madrid and Bilbao, Spain

In Vevey and Konstanz (Switzerland), Philadelphia and other cities of the USA

Bibliography

“Ferrer Guasch, Mestros Actuales de la Pintura y Escultura Catalana” N° 16 Ed. La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca. 1980

“Ibiza y sus pintores” Cabot Lompart J. Palma de Mallorca. Ed. Imagen, 1970-1979

“Enciclopedia Catalana” VII. Barcelona 1974

“La senda de los elefantes”. Mariano Planells, Ed. Antigua Imprenta Soler. Palma de Mallorca, 1980

“Viatje a les Balears Menors”. Baltazar Porcel. Ed. Noguer, Barcelona 1974

“Diccionario de Artistas de Cataluña”, Valencia y Baleares. II, Ed. Catalanas, Barcelona 1980

“Maestros Actuales de la Pintura y Escultura Catalanas”. Ed. Catalanas, Barcelona 1980

“Nova Enciclopedia de les Illes Balears. V.” Palma de Mallorca

Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1932
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1937
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1950
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1958
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1963
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1965
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1979
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1982
Vicente Ferrer Guasch October 1993
Vicente Ferrer Guasch 1997
Self-Portrait Vicente Ferrer Guasch
65 x 54 cm 1942
Plaza Palacio (Barcelona) Oil 61 x 54 cm 1944
Carrer De Sa Penya
Oil 46 x 37 cm 1952
Plaça De Dalt Vila
Oil 31 x 61 cm 1964
Paret
Oil 73 x 54 cm 1977
100 x 73 cm
100 x 81 cm
110 x 89 cm
73 x 100 cm
100 x 73 cm
92 x 65 cm
92 x 65 cm
61 x 50 cm
89 x 61 cm
89 x 61 cm
92 x 65 cm
100 x 83 cm
Ventanas con Torre
Oil on Canvas 36¨ x 25½¨
Casa en Ibiza
Oil on Canvas 29¨ x 39½¨
Calle Hacia el Mar
Oil on Canvas 29¨ x 39½¨
Calle de Dalt Vila (Ibiza) 55 x 38 cm 1964
92 x 65 cm
Puerta y Sombra (Oil on canvas) 39½¨ x 29¨
Rincón de Dalt Vila (Ibiza) 81 x 60 cm
Calle de Sa Penya (Ibiza) 73 x 54 cm
Calle de Sa Penya (Ibiza) 61 x 46 cm
Casas (Ibiza) 73 x 54 cm
Las chimeneas (Ibiza)
Calle de Sa Penya (Ibiza) 61 x 46 cm
Dalt Vila (Ibiza)
Iglesia de Santa Eulalia (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 72 x 54 cm
Rincón de la Marina (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 73 x 54 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Casa tipica (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Pozo tipico (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 73 x 54 cm
Casa tipica (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Calle de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Calle de Dalt Vila (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 73 x 54 cm
Iglesia de San Rafael (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Iglesia de San Lorenzo (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Iglesia de Santa Eulalia (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Iglesia de San Rafael (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Calle de Dalt Vila (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Calle de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 100 x 73
Ventana (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65
Casa típica (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 55 x 33 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Casa típica (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 61 x 46 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 73 x 54 cm
Pórticos de la Iglesia de San Miguel
Oil on Canvas 46 x 33
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Casas del Puig de Missa, Santa Eulalia (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 92 x 65 cm
Balafi, San Lorenzo (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 100 x 73 cm
Calle de la Marina (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 50 x 100 cm
Rincón de Sa Penya (Ibiza)
Oil on Canvas 81 x 60m cm

All Pictures Courtesy of Vicente Ferrer Guasch

Jose P Ribas

josepribas@liveibiza.com