“It is a beauteous morning, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility”
(from Lines Written at Sunrise by William Wordsworth)
A mirror to a journey of reflection and renewal, this collection of paper works by Spanish-born Juvenal Sansó captures the world as it seems to hold its breath, amidst the silence and symphony of daybreak. From his archive of works completed between 1960 and 1980, a period of frequent sojourns in Brittany, Movements in Blue traces the artist’s progression as a landscape artist increasingly in tune with his environment. Each composition is a movement, an ode to the sublimity of dawn, the hush of the world before it awakens.
Known for his vibrant palette of fiery oranges and electric blues, Sansó here favors gentler tones in more controlled arrangements. The artist opts for watered-down skies and lighter waters, imbuing each stroke with a languid musicality. In his striated portraits of Brittany’s coasts, the sky and sea are indecipherable, delicately blending into one another and softened by mist. What is not seen is felt: the breathlessness of the morning, without so much as a whisper of wind nor a stir in the water.
Sansó sketches similarly evoke the calmness and respite that comes with isolation. The scenes are quieter, offering glimpses into Brittany’s interior, away from the shores that so define the
artist’s most sought-aer collection of works. They intimate a view of his own interiorities and the sense of homeliness the town had represented for the artist over the years.
But in the midst of stillness, there are moments of rhapsodic vitality. Movements crescendo into blustery compositions: waves crash along craggy shallows and the flourish of a budding plant hints at an overgrowth. The deluges and the thickets stretch across the landscapes and fill Sansó’s pages with a release of energy that leaves behind a sense of anticipation for what is yet to come.
Culled from memories of Brittany where he spent many summers since the 1950s, a melancholic mood filters through the quietude and courses through the noise. The coasts of the historic French peninsula had become a refuge for the artist, a place he retreated to oen as he healed from the trauma inflicted by war. Brittany had become a lifelong concerto and its movements pass through shades of blue, building up to moments of triumph and falling into interludes of quiet introspection.
Text by Gabrielle Gonzales