Mariano Navarro

CULTURAL. ABC de las ARTES, 10 April 1998


As I put forth on occasion of her previous exhibition in Madrid (El Caballo de Troya Art Gallery, 1995) and in the text I wrote for the catalogue, I expressed my conviction that Concha Gómez-Acebo (Málaga, 1960) summoned up in her will and at the same time, artistic patience, firmly sustained in her certainty that painting is a way of knowledge, and travelling adventure, because if there is something characteristic in her work this is the creation of her own worlds, imagined landscapes, as Ramón Mayrata describes them.

Now, this last streak has been taken to an intimate extreme, and, yet, easily recognizable. Because what is the most outstanding feature in a character as Tintin, if it isn’t a longing for travelling? And, what do we, his readers, remember but the possibility of leaning out above exotic and unknown worlds? Far away worlds, but full of human feelings that we acknowledge as the best we are able to experience. Persons that inhabit the places connected to the books they hold in their hands, which tell us about mysteries and sensations capable of excite and dazzle us.

It also happens, that Concha Gómez-Acebo is ultimately a painter, so then, Herge’s universe, so near to her, has not taken her to a simple replica, or a determined way of making –the “clear line”– absolutely away from her perception of painting; but it has been a spur to get into the three genres that traditionally have been the essence of painting: landscape, still-life and human figure. She has made use of the evocations aroused in her by the Belgian creator’s comics.

The landscapes are, apparently secondary themes regarding to the figures, and also the most varied she has painted until now, that I think are the best. Not only because of the various geographic sites, the different atmospheres, the rare moments, but mostly because she makes special emphasis on the connection between these and those who inhabit them. Landscapes seen from the fact of painting, beyond the simple reproduction of the visible.

Characters and figures yes, but with a living presence, from which I would highlight those that have been arranged in interiors made of pure light and brushstroke. It surprises me an unexpected ambiguity, people awaiting a disturbing but nevertheless expected encounter –as in “The journey” by the menacing storm seen through the window; or as in “The Blue Loto”, because of the poignant nakedness and the uncertain gesture. Just as those which she has taken to the most remote corners of the world, in which flesh and clothes, everything touches us with intensity.

Finally, still-lifes made with books, in which I presume she registers her literary preferences as well as her own path in life; and where the comic’s front covers sign out ironically that which links them to literature and her own life.