Àngel Ros, Mayor of Lleida

I have the pleasure to present you a new exhibition of the Museu d’ Art Jaume Morera, the fruit of the narrow collaboration and the good understanding which were established, for the last year, between our museum and the art collector  Antoni Gelonch Viladegut, one of these leading personalities of the world of enterprise which for years Catalonia has been exporting in the world. Citizen of Lleida, by birth and by heart, Antoni Gelonch lives for now in Paris, where he heads Public affairs for Europe at the sanofi-aventis group.

The exhibition, entitled The permanence of engraving. Works of the Gelonch Viladegut Collection, proposes us an attentive selection among the works of this vast mosaic of graphic art which constitutes the collection Gelonch Viladegut, a choice which the museum and Antoni Gelonch made representative of the variety of the techniques of printing and of the importance of some artists of the universal art. So, this artistic collection extends from the XVIth century to our days: from Dürer to Antoni Tàpies, through Rembrandt, Goya, Picasso, Pointer, Miró, Dalí and Chillida, to quote only a few from this big collection.

We often consider, wrongly, engraving as a minor art or a second class art”. This situation is due to the hierarchy we establish traditionally between painting and the graphic works, forgetting the specific aspects of each of these two arts. The graphic work must be considered on no account as a simple by-product of the painting, because it possesses intrinsic qualities and enough characteristic elements which we do not find in the other arts. An original graphic work is not a reproduction, it is a work which the artist thinks and realizes according to chosen techniques, like etching,  aquatinte,  point-sandbank, screenprinting, lithography, etc. Its realization depends on a series of factors which put particularly in contribution the care and the meticulousness of the artist. So, a good graphic work is also representative of the work of an artist, whatever  techniques he may use for its creations.

To finish, I would like to express again my personal gratitude to Antoni Gelonch Viladegut for the trust and the spirit of collaboration which he showed to the city of Lleida. Without his commitment and its dedication we would not have been able to enjoy such an exceptional set of works. We thus hope that this link is going to strengthen and fruitfully benefit to the inhabitants of our city, in due time in the new premises of the Museu d’ Art de Lleida.

Àngel Ros

Mayor of Lleida