“Planet Earth is blue and there’s nothing I can do …”, Major Tom responds to Ground Control before he gets lost in space. Blue has been an alluring color at all times. From the blue flower of Romanticism to Blue Note Records. From Picasso’s Blue Period to the Blue Rider to Yves Klein’s Blue Monochrome. Consequently the current exhibition at the Caixa Forum in Palma is dedicated to the color Blue in Catalan Modernism.
Blau is Catalan – and German, by the way – for blue. And the location of the exhibition couldn’t be more appropriate. The former Gran Hotel was one of the first Modernism buildings on Mallorca. In the nineties, the foundation La Caixa turned it into a cultural center. Now, from the entrance hall you enter a vestibule of deep blue light that leads you into the Modernist art world.
Filled with twilight, midnight skies, mountainous landscapes, beaches and seas. But also with mundane scenes and portraits that use a great variety of blues expressing mystery or the subconscious. A couple of paintings show Mallorcan motifs: the early 20th century Torrent de Sa Riera in Palma by Santiago Rusiñol, or “Cala Encantada” by Joaquim Mir.
Most of us associate the color blue mainly with sky and sea. And indeed, the two elements play an important role in the works of Modernist artists. Both figurative and symbolic. But colors have yet another dimension.“Color, like music, is a vibration”, Paul Gaugin is quoted in the exhibition at Caixa Forum. I really like this conception. And indeed, in Mir’s impressive mural you can almost feel the waves crashing against the rocks.
The exhibition “The color of Modernism: Blau” at Caixa Forum runs through October 12, 2020.