Retratista que mira
Juan Eduardo Gehring, Berlín 2006.
There are portrait artists who don't see. Portrait artists who see and don't perceive. Portrait artists who see and perceive but don't rummage. Portrait artists who see, perceive, rummage but they fear.
Portrait artists who don't paint friends. Portrait artists who paint adversaries for money and honors, but they don't perceive them and they don't rummage about them because they're afraid of them.
Rosa Rovira looks and sees, perceives and rummages, rummages and doesn't fear. She's not afraid and she uncovers for all of us to see.
Rosa also paints friends, straight and without concealing because that's what friends are for: to see straight the critic as well as the discreet and revealing praise.
As mother creator, Rosa goes across life giving away children and turning her creatures into offsprings and witnesses of what they perhaps would be. With patience: look after look, draw after draw, she's mounted on her charcoal chariots and on her watercolours sailboats. Sometimes she takes away a big weight from her spectators' shoulders to put it over a very worthy detail which will eventually be understood. Life is there and Rosa unmasks it.
Magdalena Baxeras Gallery
Barcelona, January 17th, 2001. By Aldo Galli.
I met Rosa Rovira in Madrid last year. I knew then that she was a Philosophy Professor. The fact got my attention since I was preparing an exhibition she presented in that city few days back and she was about to show another one in Barcelona. There's no contradiction, philosophy links thought but also visual arts, because certain artists think in images.
Now she's back and shows me approximately two groups of works which she'll be exhibiting at Magdalena Baxeras gallery. They're, in part, water-works that align in the figuration; in part, drawings in which the grey scale is achieved by an intricate overlapping and juxtaposition of lines.
In the watercolours prevail imaginary atmospheres created by a lyric intention that gives a way out to feelings more than direct references to mostly weird animals that they incarnate. Nevertheless, we recognize some of the acquatic beings that she capture with soft colours. There's from a big shark whose interior we can see and in which there is a man, like inside Jonás whale, until fishes, a saurian that leans out surreptitiously and a basilisk, which is usually placed among legendary figures able to kill with their only lookings. Later we know that it's also an Ecuadorian green reptile the size of an iguana. The one she paints walks erect. In short, although there is a part of reality in what Rovira does, fantasy abunds and is drawned to stiffen everything. Why not. Her work is not documentary. Images have something weird that wraps them in an intimate atmosphere. There's no way of settle them into any 'ism', because they come from an independent spirit. This can be assured also regarding the ink drawings, in which the only sources of the pen and of black and white are able to put in exercise the imagination and nostalgia of other times. Both are beyond the predictable, like kid games that sometimes adults play. Something gets them near the illustration world, conceived to warm visually the facts or circumstances performed, transcribed and narrated like dreams whose main character is also the stage where everything happens simultaneously.
El País from Madrid
January 26th, 2000. By Juan Antonio Tinte.
...Rosa Rovira's ink works on paper wander perfectly in a particular world where silence makes itself deafenful. They're works that seem to move forward to the thought of who watches them with serpentine urgency and the joy of the awareness of being trapped by a pictorial rigor that is organized between something organic and something surreal...