Rita Martorell is a young Catalan
artist whose name has historic resonance in the history of art.
We do not know if in fact she is a descendent of the great Hispano-Flemish
painter Bernardo Martorell whose religious altarpieces are one of
the glories of Catalan painting. What we know, however, is that
she has a great gift for figure drawing, and that she faces challenges
that could not be more different than those of the sixteenth century.
In that period, talent was valued as it is know, but originality
was not. The artist was told if not how to paint than what to paint.
As a child of the twenty first century, Rita Martorell is not shackled
by the conventions that characterize the religious art of the past.
But this freedom to represent nude models--out of the question in
puritinical Spain except for a few important exceptions until modern
times--as well as the interest in figures in motion as opposed to
the frozen poses of the past brings with it other challenges.These
brush drawings are expressive summaries of bodies in motion that
remind us of Ruidin's watercolors and Georgia O'Keeffe's early nude
Today an artist may chose any subject, any medium, any type of expression.
Yet it is precisely this limitless freedom that becomes problematic.
As Rita Martorell searches, as every artist must, for a personal
style and an individual vision, she has the advantage of a special
gift for creating convincing contours and capturing life. She handles
gouache and watercolor with assurance. The energy of her strokes
and lines communicates a lively kinetic response to the active human
form in space. The freshess of her quick sketches of landscape and
the ability to capture likeness in a few deft strokes in her portraits
is impressive. Hers is a natural talent for both painting and sculpture.
What she does with it and how she uses her gifts depends on the
choices she makes at a moment when there are no rules to guide the
artist in pursuit of meaningful contemporary content.