7 DEADLY SINS

with Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari

12th April, 2018 - 25th May, 2018

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Alas! Ah, wretched me! Ah, wretched me!

Heaven, here lying all forlorn,
I desire from thee to know,
Since thou thus dost treat me so,
Why have I provoked thy scorn
By the crime of being born?—
Though for being born I feel
Heaven with me must harshly deal,
Since man’s greatest crime on earth
Is the fatal fact of birth —
Sin supreme without appeal.

Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Life Is a Dream (1635). Translation by Denis Florence MacCarthy in Calderon’s Dramas, London 1873.

 

The dramatist and baroque poet of the Spanish Golden Age shows the philosophical drama of human existence as “life is a dream, / and dreams themselves are dreams”. The approach of Calderón de la Barca revolves around the fact that human existence is nothing more than a deception, just an illusion. Under these conditions, human beings often have no freedom to choose their destiny, so they must fight until they get it… That is the uncertainty of human life.

Calderón presumes that “man’s greatest crime is being born”, since historically the fact of birth has been considered a crime: we come into the world carrying original sin, because we inherit the disobedience to God from our first parents in Paradise. However, the current needs of the system have rendered the biblical mandate obsolete, and “complete” human beings participate fully in society and express everything that concerns their nature. Some impulses have to be repressed in the interest of society and others for the sake of individual development; however, natural growth and self-realization of the individual are the factors that make life good and turn society into a harmonious coexistence.

The German philosopher Martin Heidegger affirmed that there is no God; nowadays the belief is that human beings are alone in the Universe and have to adopt and assume their ethical decisions in the permanent awareness of death and the fleeting nature of life.

This contemporary awareness is reflected in the seven vanitas by Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari. The concept of vanitas as pride or emptiness, terms very related to each other, expresses the memento mori (“remember that you will die”). Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari understand pride as an absolute lack of respect for the other. Is not that a “sin”?

The Spanish word for sin: “pecado”, is associated with the Indo-European root ped-, meaning foot, and the Latin pecco (stumble, commit a fault), from which the word peccatum (crime, fault or guilty action) derives. Sin is a fault, an offense; a conscious transgression of what is considered good.

The seven deadly sins originate in the early teachings of Christianity to educate their followers about Christian morality. As Thomas Aquinas said in the 13th century, deadly sins or capital vices are “those to which human nature is chiefly inclined”. In our most modern times, influenced by the advances of psychoanalysis and psychiatry, these sins are considered defense mechanisms that to a certain point can be a sign of emotional health, although on the other hand they can contribute to the appearance of serious emotional problems.

In that sense, we must highlight the validity of the movie Seven (1995), directed by David Fincher and written by Andrew Kevin Walker: an outstanding treatise on our current decadent society and the frantic loss of values in which we are immersed, unstoppable and almost without noticing it. Veteran lieutenant Somerset (Morgan Freeman), from the homicide department, is about to retire and be replaced by the ambitious and impulsive detective David Mills (Brad Pitt). Both will have to work together to solve a series of murders committed by a psychopath that takes as a base the connection between the seven deadly sins: gluttony, sloth, pride, greed, envy, lust, and wrath.

In summary, the seven deadly sins remain an ethical and moral reference for Western society, despite the passage of time and the radical changes of life and customs. As long as there is an imperfect human being, there will always be the possibility that he will fall into those sins, repudiated by the Church and society.

Throughout the history of humanity, allegory has always been an excellent visual learning resource for the teaching of moral and ethical principles related to the seven deadly sins. Allegories aim to provide an image to something that does not have it, as shown by the many allegories present in the Bible and in works that constitute an allegory in themselves, like the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, in the 14th century, and Animal Farm, by George Orwell, in the 20th century.

This eagerness to give an image to what does not have it is still present in the works of Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari. Their rhetorical proposal presents contemporary allegories of the seven deadly sins by means of skulls as tropes (symbolic instants): emblems of the expiration of existence and a metaphorical symbol that eliminates gender, because for the artists sin has no gender. A new reality frozen in time, painted with precision, with meticulous and precise details; without marks of brushstrokes on the canvas, creating a painting that translates the rhetoric into visible reality, applying the colour by means of glazes and fillings. The ability to catch the light allows us to appreciate a poetic image to finally create its own pictorial reality, which the sensitivity of the artists turns into works of art.

The works of Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari dialogue with the historical look of a selection of allegorical pieces from the gallery of Artur Ramon Art; based on human figures, animals or everyday objects, they represent an abstract idea or rhetorical procedure as an allegory of one of the seven deadly sins. Its complexity gives rise to multiple interpretations, but all revolve around the problem of destiny, the struggle for freedom, appearance and reality, free will. In conclusion, the inconsistency of human life and symbolic transcendence.

 

 

Born in Badalona in 1959 and trained at the Barcelona University Fine Arts Faculty. Josep Santilari and Pere Santilari are some of the leading exponents of new Catalan realism. His works reveals great technical precision and a realism linked to the contemporary scene, but his roots and paradigms lie in such classical art-history subjects as townscapes, still-life and vanitas.

JOSEP SANTILARI

INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS
1984
Palau Meca, Barcelona.
1987
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1990
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1993
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1994
Palau dels Comtes, Centelles.
1995
Galería Biosca, Madrid.
Sadurní Galeria d’Art, Vic.
1997
El cel de Barcelona, Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
2000
De prop i de lluny. Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
2003
Pere Santilari i Josep Santilari. De la grisalla al color. Artur Ramon Art Contemporani, Barcelona.
2006
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. La llum de las hores. Artur Ramon Art Contemporani, Barcelona.
2007
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. Bodegones contemporáneos. Galeria Caylus, Madrid.
2008
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. Realisme contemporáni. Fundació Vila Casas, Barcelona
2010
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. Recent works. Albemarle Gallery. Londres.
2011
Josep i Pere Santilari: Retrospectiva. Museu de Badalona. Badalona
Josep i Pere Santilari. Jill New House Gallery, Nova York.
2013
Eric Coatalem Gallery. Paris
2014
Josep i Pere Santilari 12+1 Vanitas. Eric Coatalem Gallery. Paris
Die Stillleben. Der Brüder Santilari. Art Cuéllar Nathsn. Zurich.
Josep i Pere Santilari. Bodegones. Caylus. Madrid.
2015
L’altra llum. Josep i Pere Santilari. Artur Ramon Art. Barcelona

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (Since 2001)
2001
El Agua. Galería de Arte Ansorena. Madrid.
La parella contemporània. Artur Ramon Contemporani. Barcelona.
Las claves de la España del siglo XX.Museo de las Ciencias y de las Artes Principe Felipe.València.
The New European Artists. Sotheby’s. Amsterdam.
Figurazione. Studio Forni. Milán.
2002
Pequeños formatos, grandes artistas, nuevos valores. Galeria Ignacio de Lassaletta. Barcelona.
2003
Un siglo de cambios: ABC. Biblioteca Nacional. Madrid.
2006
Arte Santander 2006. XV Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Santander.
2007
Im licht der wirklichkeit. Zeitgenössischer realismus in Spanien, Panorama Museum Bad Frankenhausen, Alemania.
El desnudo, Galeria Juan Amiano, Pamplona.
2008
Petit format Artur Ramon Art Col·leccionisme, Barcelona.
Blanco y negro, Galeria lgnacio de Lassaleta, Barcelona.
BP Portrait Award 2008, National Portrait Gallery, Londres. Exposició itinerant a Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Aberdeen Art Gallery.
Figuració i abstracció: Diàlegs. Artur Ramon Art Contemporani, Barcelona.
Cinquantè Aniversari Premi Pintura Jove, Sala Parés, Barcelona
2010
TEFAF. Works on paper 2010. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin 2010. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França.
Contemporary Realism. Albemarle Gallery. Londres.
Cinquantè Aniversari Premi Pintura Jove, Sala Parés, Barcelona
2011
TEFAF. Works on paper 2011. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin 2011. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França.
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show at the Park Avenue Armory. Jill Newhouse
Gallery. Nova York
2012
Master Drawings Week. Jill Newhouse Gallery.Nova York.
TEFAF. Works on paper 2012. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin 2012. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França
Capricis pintats. Artur Ramon Art. Barcelona
2013
Master Drawings Week. Marianne Elrick-Manley Fine Art and Artur Ramon Art. Nova York.
Salon du Dessin 2013. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França
TEFAF. Works on paper 2013. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Master Drawings Week. Galeria Coll y Cortés. Londres.
2014
Salon du Dessin 2014. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França
TEFAF. Works on paper 2014. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
2015
Art Madrid. Stand Artur Ramon Art.
Salon du Dessin 2015. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França
TEFAF. Works on paper 2015. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda

AWARDS AND OTHERS
1978
Premi Raimon Maragall i Noble, Sala Parés, Barcelona.
1980
Beca de Paisatge a Segòvia, atorgada pel Ministeri de Cultura.
1981
Premi Raimon Maragall i Noble (ex aequo), Sala Parés, Barcelona.
1982
Beca Ajut per a Artistes Joves, atorgada per la Generalitat de Catalunya.
1983
Medalla d’or del XXIII Premi Pollença, Certamen Internacional de Pintura, Pollença.
Premi Extraordinari, XV Aniversari Pintura Jove, Sala Parés, Barcelona.
Premi Internacional de Dibuix Ynglada-Guillot.
1997
Els dos germans realitzen conjuntament el cartell oficial per a les Festes de la Mercè, Barcelona.
1998
Els dos germans realitzen conjuntament el cartell oficial per a la 47a Fira del llibre d’ocasió antic i modern, Barcelona.

MUSEUMS AND FOUNDATIONS
MNAC. Barcelona.
Museu Municipal d’Art de Pollença.
Fundació Vila Casas. Can Framis. Barcelona.
Col.lecció Banc de Sabadell.
Ajuntament de Barcelona
Fundació Sorigué de Lleida.
Ministerio de Indústria. Madrid.
Col.lecció ENAGAS. Madrid
National Gallery of Art. Washington

BOOKS
Realisme a Catalunya. Lunwerg Editores. Barcelona 1999.
The New European Artists. Volum 1. Gilissen Bankiers. Amsterdam 2001
Las claves de la España del siglo XX. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Madrid 2001
El artista y la ciudad. Profepro. Madrid 2002.
Art tomorrow. Edward Lucie-Smith. Terrail. Paris 2002.
Un siglo de cambios: ABC. Biblioteca Nacional. Madrid. 2003
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. Artur Ramon Art. Barcelona. 2012


PERE SANTILARI

INDIVIDUAL EXHIBITIONS
1987
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1990
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1993
Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
1994
Palau dels Comtes, Centelles.
1995
Galería Biosca, Madrid.
Sadurní Galeria d’Art, Vic.
1997
El cel de Barcelona, Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
2000
De prop i de lluny. Sala d’Art Artur Ramon, Barcelona.
2003
Pere Santilari i Josep Santilari. De la grisalla al color. Artur Ramon Art Contemporani, Barcelona.
2006
Josep Santilari i Pere Santilari. La llum de les hores. Artur Ramon Art Contemporani, Barcelona.
2008
Josep Santilari y Pere Santilari. Bodegones Contemporáneos. Caylus. Madrid
2010
Josep Santilari & Pere Santilari. Recent works. Albemarle Gallery. Londres
2011
Josep i Pere Santilari: Retrospectiva. Museu de Badalona. Badalona
Josep i Pere Santilari. Jill New House Gallery, Nova York

COLLECTIVE EXHIBITIONS (Since 2001)
2001
El Agua. Galería de Arte Ansorena. Madrid.
La parella contemporània. Artur Ramon Contemporani. Barcelona.
Las claves de la España del siglo XX.Museo de las Ciencias y de las Artes Principe Felipe.València.
The New European Artists. Sotheby’s. Amsterdam.
2002
Pequeños formatos, grandes artistas, nuevos valores. Galeria Ignacio de Lassaletta. Barcelona.
2003
Un siglo de cambios: ABC. Biblioteca Nacional. Madrid.
2005
Torres i temps. Tres històries de Barcelona. 1905, 2005, 2105. Museu Agbar. Barcelona.
2006
Arte Santander 2006. XV Feria Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo. Santander.
2007
Im licht der wirklichkeit. Zeitgenössischer realismus in Spanien. Panorama Museum. Bad Frankenhausen (Alemanya)
2008
Pintures en petit format.Segles XIX-XX-XXI .Artur Ramon Coleccionisme. Barcelona.
2010
TEFAF. Works on paper. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França.
Contemporary Realism. Albemarle Gallery. Londres.
2011
TEFAF. Works on paper 2011. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin 2011. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França.
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show at the Park Avenue Armory. Jill Newhouse
Gallery. Nova York
2012
Master Drawings Week. Jill Newhouse Gallery.Nova York.
TEFAF. Works on paper 2012. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Maastricht. Holanda.
Salon du Dessin 2012. Stand Artur Ramon Art. Paris. França.

AWARDS AND OTHERS
1978
Premi Epígrafe 35, Ajuntament de Barcelona.
1979
Premi Eugeni d’Ors, Sala Parés, Barcelona.
1980
Beca de Paisatge a Segòvia, atorgada pel Ministeri de Cultura.
1981
Premi Raimon Maragall i Noble (ex aequo), Sala Parés, Barcelona.
1982
Beca Ajut per a Artistes Joves, atorgada per la Generalitat de Catalunya.
1984
Premi Raimon Maragall i Noble, Sala Parés, Barcelona.
1997
Els dos germans realitzen conjuntament el cartell oficial per a les Festes de la Mercè, Barcelona.
1998
Els dos germans realitzen conjuntament el cartell oficial per a la 47a Fira del llibre d’ocasió antic i modern, Barcelona.

MUSEUMS AND FOUNDATIONS
Fundació Vila Casas. Can Framis. Barcelona.
Col.leció Banc Sabadell.
Ajuntament de Barcelona
Fundació Sorigué
Ministerio de Indústria. Madrid
Col.lecció ENAGAS. Madrid
National Gallery of Art. Washington.

BOOKS
Realisme a Catalunya. Lunwerg Editores. Barcelona 1999.
The New European Artists. Volum 1. Gilissen Bankiers. Amsterdam 2001
Las claves de la España del siglo XX. Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte. Madrid 2001
El artista y la ciudad. Profepro. Madrid 2002.
Art tomorrow. Edward Lucie-Smith. Terrail. Paris 2002.
Torres i temps. Fundació Agbar. 2006