WORDS IN MEMORY OF PASCUAL FORT (1927-1991)
There are people whom it is impossible to talk about without feeling moved when they are no longer among us. Sometimes we think this is frequent, but it is not true. Pascual Fort was one of these persons who had qualities that made him beloved, and worthy of affection and admiration.
If we say that he was a good man it may seem a ‘cliche’, but this is neither true. There are good people indeed, maybe more than what we think when we feel pessimistic – or realistic, perhaps. But there are not many people who can make use of their potencial good heartiness and who can create a circle of harmony around them that make you feel as if being in a sort of centre of the world really visible. Pascual Fort was one of these people, in a very special way.
There is a quality required in order to talk about being human with rigour, which was stressed in him: curiosity. In his quiet way, with a pace that many of us would like to reach, he kept his sensitivity always aware, ready to notice and to make us notice what no one had paid attention to before. This was reflected in his vital attitude and in his work.
We are in a site devoted to printing arts, which are in deep debt with this artist. Firstly because of his own work, so sensitive, fruit of a constant research, and also because of its promotion, which was not born out of a material interest, I am certain, but from an impulse. He worked, engraved or organized things according to an inner strength he answered to. He just did it. And he did it in a natural and simple way, as if doing nothing. It is very easy to say, but enterprises like the Mini Print, to which he devoted so much time and effort, and the Biennial of Copy Art, make us realise that he was a man full of ideas who could find rifts and unknown points of view in this confused world that surrounds us.
The world is not finished yet. The ancient wise men and the recent scientists, with a certain delay, think that the reality is fluid and that the world is being created before our eyes. That is why it is necessary to have them wide open and at work. Because it does not take only seeing, but also knowing how to see and acting consequently to be already creating the world. When Pascual Fort made his enamelled works and his engravings, he created art and contributed to create the world. He also did it when he noticed the new possibilities of a technique that, at first, did not seem to be devoted to art and offered art a new scope. With regard to this matter I remember how excitedly he talked to me about the engravings that he made from the trap doors of the streets in Cadaqués. I also remember the great quality and beauty of his big size engravings, recently displayed in Barcelona.
Looking at him being so calm, with his distant, as if he were blasè, but also passionate mood with which he used to create and speak about his works, it was difficult to make out that his activity was so diverse and intense. He did not demand recognition for himself. When he did it, it was for activities that had a collective diffusion.
When going over his curriculum vitae one discovers some things and recalls some others which complete and enlarge his personality such as, for example, that in1965 he had presented 25 exhibitions in Spain (in the galleries Metrás, Belarte, in Barcelona and Nebli in Madrid). Thinking of him, in Barcelona or Cadaqués, as a person tightly linked to these two landscapes, one forgets that he spent two years in New York, where he was awarded by the Museum of Brooklyn and was also given a scholarship by the Institute of International Education to travel through that large country and that being tireless as he was, he even opened an art gallery in New York.
I met him in Tarragona when, after his coming back, he had opened an art gallery in this city. The engraving workshops and the galleries in Barcelona and Cadaqués came later. And then many other activities came, samples of his great capacity of work and creativity. I think it has to be underlined that more than 8.000 artists from all over the world, many of them renowned, have participated in the Mini Print.
Although his devotion to others, as the answer to his impulse, had a correspondence with friendship, we must not forget his merit as an artist. There are two streams in this sense: enamelling, that gave him the first prize in the III Biennial of Enamelling in Limoges –the most important contest in the world in this art– and engravings. He presented the fruits of these two artistic activities in several exhibitions in Spain, France and Germany mainly. In both activities he left his samples of creativity –which can not be moved away from art– and of that quality I mentioned previously, typical of the man who is really alive: curiosity. He joined the investigation on materials and techniques to the creation of shapes and a delicate sensitivity. Everything was underlined by one of the comments that Juan Eduardo Cirlot made about his work according to which there was a union –the poet or critic called it a ‘mystical matrimony’– between the possibilities of the technique and the demands of an imagination always expelled from itself, in search of the ‘unknown image’ that justifies the contemporary art.
Now that we remember him, when it seems so strange that he is not with us, we should see him as he really was, as a whole: so complex and rich in his performance, so interesting and worth to be loved as a human being, as good an artist as an irreplaceable person. So thank you, Pascual, and thanks to all of you.
“Home” (Man) 1980
Etching – Aquatint
50 x 66 cm