Art in the City – by Carlos Lastarria


By Carlos Lastarria

Five decades in the Art

The painter Edgardo Catalán presents in the Sala Viña del Mar a show of works done during his many years of creative activity, all the way to the present. The exhibition is some kind of retrospective composed primarily of oils and watercolors. The viewing allows us to identify his motivations, which have to do with the eternal Valparaíso, with reminiscences of other places, with aspects related to music and calligraphy. A walk through Pompeii’s ruins, a “Tsunami” and other human inquiries, social, political and natural, taken to the canvas, in a mixture of different situations and events carried to a pictorial resolution.

Catalán belongs to an active group of artists that came out of a great moment for the arts in the region. Some speak of them as the “scattered generation” or the “lost generation”. I prefer other term:  that of “the Golden Age” of the School of Fine Arts of Viña del Mar (1950-1960). Edgardo’s name belongs to a perdurable legacy, and as such can be appreciated in the present show, where memory ties in with images, and imagination with reality. All documented in painting as the only visual text to read. The show, more than an essay for a retrospective seems like a definitive construction.

A revision of his work through time allows us to weight its value and permanency.

His painting is an art lesson, in technical aspects as well as in the persistence of his proposal. What we see today is a coherent show, orderly, rigorously selected where the past and the present are just a moment in the arts. It’s a journey through time where epochs and moments are brought together in a way that only a painter knows how to do.

From the daily “La Estrella” Valparaíso of October 8th 2012