Ibiza History Culture

Established 1982
Ibiza Artists Anthropology Bibliomania Ecology History Features

Artists of Ibiza

Artists on Ibiza

Carles Guasch

by José P Ribas



Carles Guasch, born in Eivissa to an Ibicenco family about four decades ago, is a real, authentic talent, a product of the people, the society, the culture of the Island. He has won his own place under the sun with a very personal style, an enormous amount of artistic sensitiveness and plenty of fluid work.

One could think that his works are painted with tears from his infinite blue eyes.

Since very young he was called by the art; he remembers from his early years feeling a big curiosity and being attracted by the paintings, by the colours and the expression of the drawings, much before the notion or even the word "art" came into his mind.

It was because of this curiosity, this attraction and will, a real hunger for painting, that Carles matriculated in "Artes y Oficios" of Eivissa (the local Arts School) when he was still studying his first year of "bachillerato" in Santa Maria Institute.

Carles was going to his art classes by night, because of his other studies. They were special hours for the ones who had not any other time available, open classes to any age. He has good memories of those days and speaks about them with tenderness: "In these night classes, we were people of different ages, with a pleasant harmony in the group; some were just drawing, some painting, some moulding.... Everybody had a certain amount of autonomy, but good professors guided us. It was a really good atmosphere, the ideal environment for artistic expression.

"I remember the background classical music, the smell of the oil-paintings, inks and other pigments...

"All those drawings, copies of the figure of the classic "Discobolo" and the "David" of Michelangelo, or the drawings and paintings of natural landscapes, helped me later on as a synthesis, keeping just with what it is: the comparison of colours, the chromatic unity that Nature offers us, to express it all in abstract forms.

"All these factors were - slowly, but constantly - introducing me into what is my world today and I live it like an inseparable part of my life, the artistic expression through the Plastic Arts."

As soon as Carles finished his studies of "bachillerato" in the Institute, by the end of the 1970s, he moved to Barcelona for his university studies, Architecture and Spanish Philology ("It must be because I felt attracted by the contrasts", he says). He also matriculated into the "Escuela de Arte Masana," an advanced art school, open to advanced and recommended pupils. In this school the art was more vanguard, it was a good push for his style and technique to become more personal. Carles started to write the word "Art" with capital letters.

It was in Barcelona, during his university years, that Carles had his first exhibitions, the very first one in the "Ateneo Barcelones," where he obtained a special award - "Premio de Dibujo Sant Jordi" - then a collective one in the "Palacio de la Virreina." Afterwards came the private galleries, such as "Galería Matisse" and "Galería Roc Guinart".

When he finished his studies, Carles returned to Eivissa, where very soon he rented an old house, transformed the inside of it, and opened his own art gallery - "Skyros" - in the old part of Eivissa, not far from the harbour.

Initially, the art gallery was just a temporary project, a way to jump into the art circle of the Island. But also Carles had always wanted to collaborate in creating a centre for the local artist to exhibit and to give a space to new talent from any part of the world.

"Skyros" remained open for more than eleven years and there were about a hundred exhibitions in the gallery, some by young, still-unknown painters, sculptors or ceramists, but most done by well-known international artists, who attracted a good amount of sales. At the time it was the most active gallery on the Island.

Meanwhile, during these eleven years, Carles - along with his work in the gallery - was producing his own paintings. His work was once exhibited in an individual exhibition in his gallery, but also in other galleries of Eivissa, including "La Caixa," "Sa Nostra" and "Galería Eivissa," as well as In several Spanish cities, such as "Galería Latina" and "Galería Biblos" in Mallorca, "Galería Leonardo" in Zaragoza, "Casa Lis" in Salamanca, "Galería Albatros" in Madrid, "Galería la Cúpula" in Valencia and "Feria Universal de Sevilla- Pabellón Balear."

He also exhibited across Europe, "Van Remen Gallery" in Solingen, Germany, "Plech Gallery" in Graven, Austria, "Wichy Wood Gallery" in London, UK, among others.

Carles considers those years as a very interesting experience, a very important way of getting to know deeply the problems, the hard side of the art, the commerce of it and all the difficulties involved in it. He says now: "To survive as a business and maintain an art gallery, in a small town like Eivissa, just with the commissions on the sales, can only be done with a lot of enthusiasm and altruism."

But those years were also very important for the number of great artists that Carles met and the amount of Art that he could observe and study; the day he decides to publish his own biography, there is enough material in these years for a very good book.

The "Skyros Gallery" was closed in 1993, not because he wanted it to, but because the rent became too expensive and instead they opened another shop for the tourists.

Very soon the next move was to open another art centre -"Centro Cultural Alhadros" in the Aragón street of Eivissa - with Rosa Hispan, the manager of the gallery, in which Carles keeps working as an artistic director.

Since then, Carles has organised, with his partner, in his new gallery, very successful events, such as new exhibitions with the best artists of the Island and especially the "Supermercado del Arte," a macro-collective exhibition done close to Christmas time. The paintings, normally smaller works, are sold without the frame or glass, therefore cheaper, ideal for a Christmas present and a good help for the artist because they don't have to invest anything in the presentation of their works.

Carles continues with his exhibitions in Eivissa and different parts of the world, such as "Feria Internacional de Barcelona," "Artistas abstractos de Baleares" in Madrid's Town Hall, "Feria Internacional-Riparte" in Rome, "J & C Art Gallery" in New York, "Art Gallery Husstonn" in Los Angeles and - in San Francisco, USA - "Feria Internacional de Salamanca," where they bought one of his paintings for the new Modern Art Museum, to be inaugurated this year.

His paintings are always abstract, a little bit like his own personality, but that makes me think somehow of Ibiza, of the cubic blocks of the "casa payesa," of geometrical landscapes, of its skies, with very light and ethereal blues, just fractions, sensitive transparencies on the paintings. Here's what the expert art critics say:

"Carles Guasch professes the experimental architecture of the colour. His way of composing in ideal areas, in estimated planes, with previous and precise projects, giving to all his art work security and technique quality." - Carlos de la Viña.

"The art work of Carles Guasch is full of poetical sensations and suggesting plastic qualities, as much for the delicacy and transparency of the colour, as for the pulchritude and purity of the forms, which insinuate harmonic stratification" - Rafael Perlló-Paradelo.

"Carles Guasch is the prodigious animator of a procession of relapse blues, a painstaking discoverer of a mystery of forms and planes, a constant seeker of lyric order, without automatic processes, but with an intellectual sensibility in perfect harmony with the chromatic factors" - Raúl Chavarri.

In my opinion, Carles Guasch is a young man full of art and talent, and even though he has already done a very big amount of artistic work, because of his age and his capabilities, the best is yet to come.

Carles Guasch
(Picture © Gary Hardy January 2002)

All Pictures of Paintings Courtesy of Carles Guasch

Details: If you should require information on purchasing the work of Carles Guasch then please don't hesitate to contact this office at your own convenience.