Autor:    Enrique Arroyo Villegas

Enrique Arroyo Villegas



Elisabeth improvised her art workshop on a floor near the Cathedral, and she was ahead of her time deconstructing papers, cutting out profiles that, placed in different positions before the light, cast abstract shadows. And she called it Shadows and Lights, as she could have called them War and Peace.


Manolo Momo, her friend, encouraged her to mount an exhibition at the gallery Cuatro Gas (Four Cats) —the old name of the popular gallery in Barcelona.


Miguel Sagrera had her build the spotless chrome frames, preserving everything with methacrylate; it was a mockery of Elisabeth´s art, conceptual and poor, of her love of improvised and ephemeral displays on the streets of California.


The program was written by Trino Través with some beautiful words, comparing it to lizards basking in the sun.


The criticism destroyed her, calling her an amateur housewife.


At that time the heartbreaking art of Miralles or Tàpies was impressive; it would not have occurred to anyone to draw geometric silhouettes with the blow of cutes on sheets of white paper and then slowly fold them like the artist´s mind, closer to Nietzsche than to Schopenhauer.


Shadows to observe, to stop and think.


Later, 30 years after, at Pelaires, the most prestigious gallery in the city, I have seen Elisabeth´s idea reproduced by the hand of a prestigious foreign artist. I have seen with my eyes how people stopped to observe each painting and how they felt.


Once speaking with her about the crude art of the Aymara peoples in Tiahuanaco, she told me that, in a thousand years, if someone could have access to Picassian work, they would think that we were decadent, that we did not know how to paint or sculpt, and that gods were represented, schematically, by advanced peoples who knew more about engineering than ours.


“Look at the raft that represents the Cacique who is going to bathe covered in gold in the lake, the one in the Gold Museum of Bogotá, how much similarity exists between that and modern 21st century art”.


Elisabeth saw the Tiahuanaco stelae for the last time in an almost prayerful silence. And it is that Shadows and rays or lights, I do not remember the title, it meant something more than the visual beauty of art, it meant the spirit hidden from others of their own thoughts.


It´s been a long time ... and I remember her.

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