Influential Catalan artist Ramiro Fernandez Saus captures the imaginative thrill of discovering unexplored lands. Even within his interiors, patterned wallpapers become jungles.“My characters are poetic figures: they don’t have a logical explanation. They arrive to me in an intuitive way and most of the time I don’t know why. But I can always tell for sure if they are going to enlighten the mystery in the painting.” - Ramiro Fernandez Saus
Tigers, monkeys, parrots and sailors remain among Ramiro’s cast of characters, and also travel further afield on sea voyages to exotic lands, riding blue whales and writing love letters in ship cabins. Ramiro captures the imaginative thrill of discovering unexplored lands and encountering the mysterious and outlandish. Even within his interiors, patterned wallpapers become jungles. It is this subject matter that the distinguished painter Craigie Aitchison loved. The two artists were great friends until Craigie’s death in 2009. Just two weeks before he died Craigie visited Ramiro’ exhibition at Long and Ryle.
The period that Ramiro evokes is hard to pin down. His world is not constrained by a chronological time-line, but is rather a fusion of historical events and cultural customs intermingled with personal and collective memories. The anxieties of the present vanish and everything seems bathed in the spirit of romance. Poets and writers continue to influence and inspire Ramiro’s work. Scenes depicted have a heightened sense of reality and as we enter this playful dream world we have the sense of the house lights of the theatre being dimmed, as if we are watching a magical drama played out on the canvas before us.
In the last two decades Ramiro Fernandez Saus has become one of the most well known Spanish artists of his generation. In 2005 he was given a retrospective at the Museum of Sabadell and his works are in the collections of the Reine Sofia in Madrid, and the Albertina Museum in Vienna. In 2007 he had a solo exhibition at the Naughton Gallery, Queen’s University, Belfast. In 2009 a series of works based on the Opera House were exhibited at Glynedbourne.
“The substance of Ramiro Fernandez Saus’s paintings lies in their literally trembling surfaces, which are the evidence of a febrile conflict between painterly composition and what I think of as a kind of roman a clef smelling of canvas and linseed oil” - Jay Merrick.