“When will doubts about the contribution of the ceramics to the story of humanity end? When will our long history and the enormous importance of our hallmarks be recognized? But it turns out that apart from history we also have a prodigious present full of creativity which guarantees a promising future”
Antonio Vivas; art critic. Director of the magazine “Cerámica”.
The progressive evolution of the artistic language of Rosa Cortiella places us in the fleeting flight from the traditional process of ceramic creation, in other words, of work with the potter’s wheel. During her beginnings studying ceramics in the morning and sculpture in the afternoon and, having finished school, ceramics in the morning and sculpture, she set up her own workshop and found herself before an acquired technique that allowed her to enter the labour market making and selling her own produce but without really knowing in which direction to go. Trying out different strategies that would help her survive, she held her first exhibition in the Lola Anglada gallery in 1992. Some time passed when she decided to acquire more knowledge but, above all, to get a university degree that would allow her, in the future, have the resources to open her way in the labour market, and she enrolled at the Faculty of Fine Arts. This stage let her distance herself from ceramics and see it from afar, but not in order to forget about it but to move away from a historical tradition linked to the world of the useful object and approach the universe of concepts, coming to the conclusion that ceramics is one of the richest and most complex disciplines. Ceramics is sculpture, painting, etching, drawing… it is everything. Learning to lose technical prejudices and gaining content that supports the piece. Texts or graphics in the air, ethereal pieces, empty pieces, always thinking about emptiness.
In the exhibition that she presents to us at the Argentona Water Jug Museum she proposes a series of ideas in this line of work. In the work “Reversibles” using acrylic colours that reinforce the idea she wants to show us of the inside reaching the outside; in the installation “Camouflage” it is the background or it is the decoration of the same piece; in the work “Metamorphosis” it is the emptiness or the fullness; in the work “The holes in water” she evokes different sensations that the elemental liquid produces in her. All the pieces are contaminated, meaning to say, they provoke equivocations, they disconcert us. But as M. Antónia Casanovas says, they do not mislead; all her works are the product of the ideas of freedom that characterises all works of art.
Many ceramic artists, particularly young ones, ask us how one can subsist with this work. Rosa explains, with all the humbleness that is typical of her, how she gives classes in her own workshop, how she produces a commercial product line and how her workshop is full of ideas that are very difficult to sell, but which help to put ceramics in its corresponding place.