Permanent Collection

Frederic Amat

Barcelona, 1952

Amat mixes various media and objects in his works. On most occasions, he makes these materials himself and later uses them to construct threedimensional collages that have a convincing symbolic meaning that is emphasized by the use of natural elements, such as cochineal dyed reed, handmade paper, goat's hair, cotton fabric, resin, wax, dyes or natural pigments. This material, hand-made quality of Amat's creative process is present throughout his oeuvre. His pieces do not fit into the category of painting, owing to the incorporation of real objects that extend beyond the limits of the frame. This use of objects —along with other particularities of his work—make them more akin to pieces that could be exhibited in an imaginary museum of anthropology, where fragments of animals, branches, objects, ropes and signs are sacralized by color, which seems to be used here to exorcise evil spirits. The shamanic rituals of which Amat's artwork could hypothetically form part require a primary geometrical structure that can conceal or reveal the arcane meaning hidden within them.

"P'isaq", 1978
P'isaq, 1978

Amat's works can be understood as sensual and extremely corporeal inventions that combine the Mediterranean inheritance of his homeland with the exotic experiences acquired during his journeys. The result is a mythological hybrid, of which P'isaq is a clear example. The vaporous and ductile quality of cotton paper—used here as a support— creates an effect similar to that of the transparencies and glazes seen in the art of refined oriental cultures. The surface is scored with a series of reeds that, cutting through it, emphasize its horizontality and create a sequence of parallel patterns, bringing the work closer to a primitive ritual than to a precise geometrical composition.

Javier Maderuelo

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Catálogo del Museu Fundación Juan March, Palma de Mallorca.