Virgilio. Virgili Batlle Vallmajó: la radicailtat estètica d'un pintor català anarcosindicalista exiliat a Tolosa
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2011, 152 pp.
Catalogue of the exhibition, curated by art historian Narcís Selles at the Memorial Museum of Exile that recovers the figure of the painter from Olot, Virgili Batlle Vallmajó (1915-1947). He was linked to the libertarian movement, which produced all his well-known work in territories of France. Virgili Batlle suffered the hardships of exile, but the experience of the exodus gave him the opportunity to discover new aesthetic trends that were present in the receiving land. He probably would have never heard about them if he had not left his native country. These trends inspired his work -which never meant to give a direct testimony of the dramatic experiences that he suffered as an expatriate- as a painter. However, while he was facing misery and daily penalties, he chose to create a plastic world made of order, purity and ideality. Of all the refugee authors who ended up in Toulouse -even those who had been living there for a long time or native artists- Virgili was the one who succeeded in the field of plastic research. He was also one of the most discreets when he had to show his work publicly. Virgili Batlle became one of the first artists -born in Spain- to bring geometric abstraction to an extreme essentiality thanks to the inspiration of concrete art and the constructivist and neoplastic avant-gardes. His most interesting paintings aspire to build a primordial universe of shapes and colors, which oppress the heavy accidents of a daily life full of constraints, desires and sufferings. These are works in which the construction of a new aesthetic reality could be interpreted as the symbolic expression of a utopian will, an aspiration to an alternative society.
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