Working within a personal visual lexicon composed of typography and architectural forms, the Catalan artist Ramón Enrich has developed his own imaginary artistic realm in which ideas of real and perceived space, abstraction and composition can be continually explored. Lonely landscapes, colorful, tightly organized, and uncluttered, are noticeably devoid of human figuration, yet their empty windows and doors suggest that a human might be present somewhere out of sight. The resulting eerie effect is reminiscent of elements of minimalism and surrealism, and his images almost resemble theater sets.
Although Enrich studied both fine arts and art history at the University of Barcelona, it was his post-graduate travel and work with artists and architects that really influenced and shaped his development as an artist. This included a stay at the Judd and Chinati Foundations in Marfa, Texas, where he later showed his work. Together, these experiences guided Enrich’s career as a practicing artist and the development of his artistic practice.
In recent decades, Enrich has continued to exhibit his work worldwide, including through the online gallery Artistics. We recently got in touch with Enrich to find out more about his unique journey as an artist, what has influenced him the most and what he hopes to tackle next.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you became an artist?
I remember going to Padua with my grandmother Julia and visiting the Scrovegni Chapel. I was nine years old and I was overwhelmed by Giotto’s frescoes. It was like witnessing a new mystery; it had a visceral, searing effect. The experience really moved me.
This is what happens when you look at Rothko: something very pleasant and unsettling.
I began to appreciate music and drawing when I was very young and discovered that rhythm, proportion and harmony all have the same origin.
I took an art course and studied art history for a few years, but architecture really got my heart pumping.
After my studies I decided to visit some artists that interested me: Donald Judd in Marfa, David Hockney in Los Angeles and Ed Ruscha and Julian Schnabel in New York.
I was up close and personal with design projects and also got in touch with Massimo Vignelli, Paula Scher and David Carson, who taught me a lot more than I ever did at university. The best thing is that we’re still friends now. I WhatsApp with David Hockney and Richard Long and admire how they can simplify the problems of creation after so many years in this field.
Architecture plays a central role in your work. Can you tell us what sparked your interest in architecture? Are there certain architects or building styles that particularly attract you?
Architecture gives me great pleasure. Composition, landscape and spatial perception are sources of inspiration for me. It’s form and function, poetry and mathematics rolled into one. Architecture and architectural painting allow me to play with fiction and the mystery required to show the symbolic power of the elements.
Likewise, typography is an area that you deal with often. What fascinates you about typography? How does it work in your images?
Typography is a classic discipline that is very similar to architecture. It provides context, narrative and emotion. I associate my use of typography with sculpture. Alphabets and letters interact on the surface to create tension that brings the space to life.
Are there any historical or contemporary artists who have most influenced your work?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Of course I prefer physical art, but even more I appreciate the conceptual factor and the ritual that transforms the everyday of things into something almost religious. I find Richard Long and Cy Twombly fascinating for their natural elegance and great simplicity, but sometimes I feel close to the portraits of Raphael or the mental spaces of Giotto.
What would you like to convey to viewers of your work? What experience would you like to have when looking at your work?
Art is fiction, a story of invented memory that creates something from nothing to influence it with psychological information from a different angle. In my paintings I want to travel to these common emotional states that we all sometimes experience.
Her work conveys a deep understanding of the formal qualities of painting and art history. Do you consider your work and style to be more intuitive or academic? Are similarities to historical movements and styles planned or organic?
I don’t think my work is academic. Actually, I think academic art is emotionless and doesn’t interest me. I prefer adventures where you don’t know what’s going to happen. This is the creative path that generates unexpected and surprising ideas. And here is the stimulus for evolution. My intention is to create scenes to think about. I try to create a timeless moment in this busy modern world.
Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on right now? What sources of inspiration have you been working with lately?
I am currently working on a series of abstract paintings. I’m looking for simplicity using blocks of color that I construct architecturally. My narrative is always looking for its own voice and my conceptual field is always focused on architecture, color and landscape. I piece together memories of the world through hints and my personal, subjective story.
Learn more about Ramón Enrich here.
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