Turner. La luz es color

Turner. La luz es color is on show at Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, between May 20 and September 11. Curated by David Blayney, the paintings on show represent sublime landscapes and natural motifs by the best landscape designer of the Romantic period.

If there were still any doubt, this show reveals Turner’s extraordinary talent, his ability to absorb movement and display it through paint. In his creations, this dynamic materialises through natural elements such as storms. But the representation of these phenomena is no less obvious or impactful than the events that inspire the works. Turner transforms the phenomena of nature into visually fascinating displays, adding an intense and unusual magnetism to his creations.

The journey through this exhibition begins with natural atmospheres, eschewing any definition and garish colours, favouring the whole and the environment over detail. It almost looks like the first rehearsals of Turner’s future creations. The first steps in his incredible points of light, his work on contrast and the light-shadow binomial.

His natural, hazy environments give way to minutia and more visible contrast. As if his stroke travels from the uncertain to the certain, from the fearful to the consistent, from the intuitive to the conscious mastery of virtuosity.

The forces of nature are at the centre of his artistic creation and of David Blayney’s curation, between the first and the last exhibition venue. Painted in a context where conservation was threatened by the industrial revolution, Turner immortalises nature’s spontaneity and beauty on canvas through gouaches, watercolours, oils… Singular mediums, small and large.

To single out one point in the exhibition is difficult, given the variables. But I shall highlight the power of nature in Turner’s art. Almost always relegating the human figure to the background, the ethereal atmospheres and unique landscapes capture the attention of visitors from the beginning to the end of the exhibition. This gradation ends with four paintings featuring the apotheotic figure of the sun.

On display until September 11, Turner’s work is at MNAC, Barcelona, waiting for everyone to visit.

Diogo Graça (1997) lives and works between Lisbon and Barcelona. He studied Communication Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa and studies Cinema at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. With a route that passes through places as diverse as Umbigo Magazine, Galeria Madragoa, SportTV and TVI, he finds his fifth floor in writing and audiovisuals, whether in the form of television scripts, articles on art or short stories.

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