III Biennale of Sculpture “Valldoreix dels Somnis 2022”
The Biennale Sculpture Valldoreix dels Somnis was inaugurated and developed by Amicart Valldoreix, a local non-profit association. The event was initiated as a project to create an art competition occurring on a regular basis; an art competition aiming to combine the interrelatedness of sculpture and urbanism. This in turn was intended to provide the local area with an artistic heritage, transforming public space into a cultural experience for both local residents as well as visitors.
Valldoreix, with its 8,400 inhabitants (2018), is a district of the city of Sant Cugat, has its own local city council (EMD) and lies 12 kilometers away from Barcelona. Its archaeological heritage dates back to Roman times, to the Visigoths and through to the Medieval period. The architectural heritage of the Noucentista is also present in historic farmhouses and a castle. Since 2016, with I Biennale, its sculptural heritage has also become worthy of mention.
The organization of the initial Biennale in 2016, in collaboration with the EMD, was a major effort on the part of all involved. It demonstrated how generous people can be with respect to art. The Biennale II, convened in 2018, expanded the exhibition spaces in order to accommodate the thirty selected works chosen from among the thirty-four presented by Catalans, national and international artists.
Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the organizers had to wait four years before they could initiate the call for the III Biennale, planned to take place during October and December in 2022. The jury of the III Biennale, brought together prestigious professionals in the fields of art in general and sculpture in particular. The jury is composed of the following members:
- Natalia Chocarro. Art history. Vila Casas Foundation.
- Tom Carr. Sculptor and teacher. Massana School.
- Rufino Mesa. Sculptor, teacher, drawer and writer. Creator of La Comella (space of art in nature)
- Ventura Valcarce. Architect, Professor of Drawing of UB, Barcelona City Award of Architecture.
- Josep Roy. Honorary sculptor and teacher. Faculty of Fine Arts UB
- Imma Pueyo. Art teacher, historian, art critic, painter, Acting President of the jury.
The jury chose fifteen works from a total of thirty-five submitted. The selection process is based on a predefined criteria listed in the call for submissions. The criteria basically emphasize the relationship of art to nature, sustainability and the environment. All chosen works have been installed in the Park of Sant Cebrià, a lush green treed space located in the centre of the village. The participants are informed in advance of where the works will be installed. The architect of Amicart, Joan Barba, plans the presentation of the pieces in order to avoid them clashing with each other.
The III Biennale has been organized jointly by the Amicart Association and the Valldoreix EMD. Three major prizes are awarded as well as three honorable mentions.
The first prize for originality with respect to both materials and its realization was awarded to Miquel Andrino for his work Dynamism in Space. It is a sculptured set that integrates three metal circular elements: a round plate and two tubular rings of stainless steel. The resistant material combined with the formal sobriety of circular, elementary, primary geometry, forms a very interesting minimalist expansive piece with communication capacity. Where does its appeal lie? The composition of the three elements suggests motion; the dynamic character of the structure activates three-dimensionality and interacts with the planes. Its attractiveness lies in the change in visual perception that is manifested as the viewer moves around its immediate environment, particularly the reflections of it generated in a small pond. The work is installed over water/mirror that causes more visual effects: the splitting of the piece, the multiplication of circular rhythms, the contrast of lights and the feeling of being full as well as empty. The work has affinities with kinetic art, an aesthetic movement based on abstraction that was facilitated in the first third of the 20th century. Miquel Andrino has a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and works in artistic teaching.
The second prize of the III Biennale was awarded to Ernest Altés for his message as well as the technical and constructive execution shown in his work ADNVOLCÀNIC. Altés is one of the most popular Catalan sculptors for works exhibited in public spaces. For example one can find his works in the central squares of many towns from one end of Cerdanya to the other, in All, his studio and place of work.
Iron, stone and later glass, are materials almost always present in his compositions. ADNVOLCÀNIC is a sculpture, very typical of Altés’ artistic language, composed of three rectangular prismatic columns of basalt in its natural state. This is intended to represent how lava crystallizes once it has left the volcano and cools. The columns are fitted into two plates of angled vertical steel and form the base. If you walk around the sculpture you obtain different perspectives and can then see how its volumetric appearance varies as well as how it fits the site precisely. The driving theme of Ernest Altés’ work is nature and energy. In this work he essentially thinks of the geology of the material produced; the forging of these stones over time in the depths of volcanoes, which have generated life and formed the earth throughout history.
The caring for and maintenance of this small open-air exhibition, make it possible for us to visit it still in December. The exhibition seeks to match the interrelation of sculpture with urbanism, architecture and the surrounding landscape in such a way as to temporarily transform a public space into an attractive place for people and at the same time to improve the local area’s own cultural heritage.
Author: Imma Pueyo Masi, Art historian and critic
Published: December 2022