"A Window to the sensations" 

La Nueva España
, 12/6/2005 

Langreo, Luisma Diaz 

Over thirty artists from around the country hang their works at the House of Culture "Schools Dorado" in Sama de Langreo, in the XIII Biennial Painting contest "La Carbonera". 

The definition of art is perhaps one of the most inaccurate of the Spanish Language Dictionary: "The act or faculty by which, using material, image or sound, one imitates or expresses the materialistic or inmaterial, creating by copying or imagining. The creation of sensations is what every artist seeks, and the Thirteenth National Painting Biennial "La Carbonera", which opened last Sunday at the Casa de Cultura de Sama, is a good opportunity to test this, a window to sensations  . 

In the 37 paintings at the exhibition we find a relevant variety of styles and techniques , although, as the jury president noted, Damaso Santos Amestoy, the day of the selection of the works "there may be some shortfall in what refers to figurative painting", that is, looking squarely at the reality. In fact, none of the 13 paintings acquired by Cajastur, the company "La Carbonera" and the Asturian Government belong to this style. 

However, there are some figurative works that manage to catch those who contemplate them."Somers Town" of Mary Quintas, recalls the New York street corner, photographed every morning by the tobacconist in the movie "Smoke", played by Harvey Keitel, the film scripted by Paul Auster directed by Wayne Wang 

"Negron", By Monica Dixon, represents those type of Asturian roads in which it seems you always have to carry the lights on because of the mist and wet ground. "I like this picture ea lot," said Enrique del Monte, one of the visitors of the show, looking at Dixon's painting. 

The Biennial "La Carbonera" brings together renowned authors such as Antonio Gil Moran, Lisardo Menéndez or Rodolfo Pico, with new values, as the very young Enrique Alvarez de Celis, who has not yet finished high school. Jose Vega, director of the Welfare and Cultural Cajastur explained at the opening that one of the objectives of the selection of artists was to "give young people the opportunity to show their work. 


The show hosts a steady stream of visitors, many of them lay in everything related to art. Jose Luis Garcia admits that "I like visiting exhibitions such as this one, although I understand little about art. I guide myself by the first glance, either I like what I'm seeing or not". He sais that at the Biennial he has found some canvases that have impacted him. For example, the "Animal house" Maria Vallina, " greets you with an explosion of color, which makes it inevitable to look at." 

Rosa Maria Campos comes from Oviedo to contemplate the show. "There is a high quality", she sais. Her opinion coincides largely with the juror: "I would stand out Rodolfo Pico's and Natalia Pastor's", two of which have been purchased for collections of Cajastur and the Fine Arts Museum of Asturias. The first one, "Fruit Tree of the Muses" , received in fact more votes from the juror than anyone, which selected the paintings for this show among the 134 that were presented.  

This will be the last edition of the Biennial to be held in the House of Culture of Sama. The director of the event, Julio Jose Rodriguez, announced at the opening that the next show in 2007, "will be held at the new Municipal Art Gallery", a space full of windows to look out to the sensations of art.