The exhibition “Navigatio vitae”, curated by Professor António Quadros Ferreira from the University of Porto, is comprised of paintings that use both wet and dry techniques, the outcome of a six-year inquiry into water. In fact, this element was the subject of research in conjunction with Professor Antonio Quadros Ferreira in the project Àgua: Porto / Aigua: Barcelona (co-published by the University of Barcelona and i2ADS), who published the essay Meditaciones estéticas sobre el agua y la pintura (Aesthetic Meditations on Water and Paint). Domènec Corbella, a member of the Water Research Institute at the University of Barcelona, coordinated International Water Art Day (2015) and presented the study entitled El Agua y el Tao en la pintura oriental (Water and Tao in Oriental Painting). Water is the element that has been examined in recent years in both theory and in practice, especially in the exhibition “Mares” (Seas) presented at the Liangzhu Center of Arts in Hangzhou (2017).
The exhibition project is framed within an essay written by Professor António Quadros Ferreira, who, aware of Domènec Corbella’s artistic and scientific inquiries, emphasises presenting the Catalan painter’s different evolutionary stages, from Vallfogona de Riucorb to the Daoist synthesis contained in the exhibition now on display at the SNBA, which should be understood as the pictorial and spiritual outcome of an immersion in meditation on painting via the sea.
In this study, we find reminiscences of bodies of water like the Dead Sea, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Pacific, in addition to West Lake in Hangzhou; paintings of the engraved memories of the places that harbour the waves of seas; sea waves that created rhythmic cadences of calligraphy which move, dance or mix with the sand on the beaches or the rocky coast. In short, it is a navigatio vitae, where “the best music is silent, to the sound of the musical tides” as the poet Li Yousong explained in relation to the “Mares” exhibition in Hangzhou.
Domènec Corbella. Fine Art Professor at the University of Barcelona since 1975, where he has been a professor since 1988. He currently teaches in the Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and the Master’s in Artistic Creation: Realisms and Environment. He is also a member of the Taller d’Accions Creatives (TAC) research group. He has overseen teaching innovation projects, both experimental and didactic, and has published several methodological articles.
As a painter, he has held more than 50 solo exhibitions in domestic and international galleries, the first of which was held in Florence’s Palazzo Strozzi in 1970. He has also had exhibitions at the Palazzo delle Statue in Arezzo (2005), the Centre of Artistic Initiatives at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès (2007) and the Liangzhu Center of Arts in Hangzhou (2017). (SNBA press-release)