Francisco Calvo Serraller
Concha Gómez-Acebo, a glimpse of a pictorial sensibility.
Columela Art Gallery, Madrid, 1991.
El País, ARTS, Lost Steps, June, 1991.
Although this is formally not the first individual exhibition held by Concha Gómez-Acebo (Málaga, 1960) in Madrid, as she presented one at the exhibition hall in the Club Financiero, I think that it is now that she really faces those circles fond of following the artistic current affairs that take place in our city, even though we are entering in that terminal time of the season, something like lost steps.
Every good lover of art knows that, in art, it is not a bad idea from time to time to get lost in order to find something, even though that something may not necessarily be any genial discovery. Concha Gómez-Acebo, has not the sufficient age to reveal herself as genius in the field of painting, which needs maturing and distilling very slowly.
Concha Gómez-Acebo provides, all the same, that which a good lover of art enjoys finding: a glimpse. With that I’m referring to the glimmering of pictorial sensibility seen trough her work and to what one perceives through her painting. Concha Gómez-Acebo’s painting reveals classic details of certain delicacy and eagerness in doing things well done, combining, as it should, wisdom and mistakes. However, her alternation is, mostly a cause of her high aspirations, which I don’t doubt, with admiration, in describing as impertinent.
They, of course, are impertinent, because they are bold and untimely, her sources –her models–, among those we find all sorts of prototypes from romanticism and late-romanticism, like Goya or even Moreau, mostly the atmosphere but not so much in relation with any formal resemblance, although in the case of Goya there could be certain parallelism between the Goyesque painting titled Aquelarre (El macho cabrío – The billy goat, 1797-1798) and the one signed by Concha Gómez-Acebo with the more Shakespearean of A Midsummer night’s dream, through here there is a remarkable, opposite point of view, it is the billy goat the one who is asleep, inert creature, as if rocked by a very powerful nymph crowned with vine shoots.
This reversal of roles seems to me an interesting detail in order to get into Concha Gómez-Acebo’s universe, who in fact latter bestows a very eloquent themed series with Salome carrying male heads on silver trays, the midnight romantic dream of any romantic woman. Romantic women now in recession may erroneously seem feminists eager to cut off men’s heads, but the moral pattern in this women is closer to Judith than to Salome, that orders to cut the head of the Baptist in order to kiss his dry ardent lips.
If there is still any Baptists in the desert I’m afraid they may resemble that personage of Sadam Husseim, but, in any case, this or any other resemblance by no means arouses nocturnal desire in any romantic woman. Romantic women –and I don’t doubt that Concha Gómez-Acebo is one– are all unearthly and if they do not find a real unyielding Baptist to embrace, they look for him in the inscrutable, dramatic repertoire of eternal dreams. With these, necessarily old stories, whispered during light sleep by legendary romantic women, they look at themselves wistfully, the loved head in a silver tray in the mirror of passion, that has the depths of a well. That is why romantic women are, an remain, lost in thought: they portray there pain bearing the body of theirs son in there lap, as the Earth, the Pietá creator and destroyer of life, that kisses passionately the inert body conceived by her.
Unearthly or not, it requires a woman boldly romantic as Concha Gómez-Acebo so that some of these things, upon painted landscape backgrounds, and which in the absence of those life, sometimes, would be hard conceive. So then, you will understand, a part from pictorial strengths and weaknesses that Concha Gómez-Acebo made have, that I don’t mind to suggest to head these lost steps at the end of season towards her exhibition.