The past Tuesday 3 February, at the cultural centre "Can Fabra" of Sant Andreu (Barcelona), was opened the exhibition "Frederic Viñals, painter of the essences of Sant Andreu" which gathers a showing of natural landscapes from Sant Andreu and also from other Barcelona's neighborhoods, like Horta or la Guineueta, between the thirties and the fifties.
It is surprising to contemplate the villages of the surroundings of Barcelona as they were before the policy of economic development, the economic period at the end of Franco regime, which transformed the landscape of the present metropolitan area turning it in an industrial landscape, overcrowded and chaotic.
Frederic Viñals, who defined himself as a painter who "studied from the natural", gathers a lost landscape, of field and mountain, very beautiful and surprising. An air of nostalgia of something that doesn't exist anymore, but that his painting preserves.
Yet, if we pay attention only at the documental value of his paintings, we wouldn't recognize enough the merit of Frederic Viñals. In his work -oil paintings and also watercolour paintings- the light dominates, which actually becomes the recurring theme of all the landscapes and the four seasons.
Self-taught painter, but artistically very well formed and with a sensitivity which is expressed especially in the elegance and the strenght of his watercolour paintings, he has the ability to capture the moment, the life that the landscape transmits.
Reading his biography, we have seen that he was one of the very great talents who had no choice but to earn a living at the edge of their vocation because of the Civil War and a too long post-war period. It is fair to vindicate him and them.
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