Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Heinz Vontin’s Ibiza and more

What happens in Ibiza stays in Ibiza – according to the T-shirt slogan – but I’m making an exception to write up a visit to the  Museu Puget, and more briefly the Museu d’Art Contemporanie D’Eivissa.

The Museu Puget was hosting a display of 1950’s monochrome  photos of life in Ibiza by a German photographer Heinz Vontin. Taken in a style reminiscent of Cartier-Bresson, and at their best certainly catching the decisive moment, they provide a small insight into what Ibiza was like prior to the package holiday explosion. A particular favourite was the picture top right on this page with the five young women walking away down the street line abreast. Sadly there did not appear to be a catalog available.

The museum is named for two local oil painters who also tried to capture local life in all its variety. It struck me as I wandered around that their work was also documentary in a very real sense – this image of two women/girls in festival dress is a good example, although there were plenty more utilitarian scenes on view as well.

Earlier in the day we also paid a short visit to the Museu d’Art Contemporanie D’Eivissa as prior experience suggested they would have something worth seeing. As it turned out they had some new acquisitions on display – by Christina de Middel, perhaps best known for her series “The Afronauts”. The work on display here consisted of four images produced for a 2009 exhibition which all featured large images with a blurred or sharp foreground partially obscuring a correspondingly sharp/blurred background. Most contained some religious iconography – pendants, churches etc - and I could see how the juxtaposition of the items affected the reading of the images. Whether they formed a “…reredos on the temporary condensation of semantic content…” expounded by the International Art English of the labelling is something I’ll have to decide when I work out what it means. Another recent acquisition on display was a series by Felix Waske of presumably well known artists – which struck me as rather unremarkable, although potentially of some historic value.

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