Joan Castejón

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Joan Castejón
Born
Joan Ramón García Castejón

(1945-12-17)December 17, 1945
NationalitySpanish
EducationReal Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos, Valencia, Spain
Known forPainting, Drawing, Sculpture, Engraving
MovementSocial realism, Expressionism, Surrealism
Spouse(s)Paca Galván

Joan Ramón García Castejón, Elche, (December 17, 1945), known as Joan Castejón is a Spanish draftsman, painter and sculptor, considered one of the leading representatives of social realism in the Spanish postwar plastic renewal of the 70s and 80s. Member of the Grup d'Elx.[1]

His work has been exhibited in some of the most important museums in Spain, among others, the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (IVAM), the Museum of the University of Alicante,[2] Guerricabeitia Martinez Collection at the University of Valencia,[3] Miguel Hernández University of Elche,[4] the Bancaja Foundation Center,[5] Centre of the Carmen Valencia,[6] and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Elche.[7]

Biography[change | change source]

'Mutant eagle', wax on paper, by Joan Castejon.

Early life[change | change source]

At sixteen he moved to Valencia, where he received training in the fine arts at the Academy of San Carlos. His first solo exhibition is held in the Valencian art gallery Mateu in 1966. This first moment of his career (1964-1967) can be described as neofigurative. The human figure (sometimes grouped) appears in the middle of undefined spaces. Works from this stage, including anthropomorphic themed drawings, announce the peculiar features that characterize his later works.[8]

Political imprisonment[change | change source]

That momentum of his career was cut short, however, by the traumatic time in prison tafter taking part in the demonstrations of May 1967 in Valencia against Francoist regimen. After standing up for a friend who was being brutally beat, a plainclothes agent arrested Castejón. He received several beatings that night and short after that was sentenced to six years in prison. Until mid 1969 remains in prisons of Valencia and Teruel. That year became part of the Grup d'Elx in its second stage, participating in their exhibitions until 1971. On these facts, re-enters the prison in the Canary Islands during seven months of 1971. While in prison he draw around two thousand drawings with wax or pencil, and define another specific stage of production.[9]

Dénia[change | change source]

Sculptures by Joan Castejon in Elche, his birthplace.

Castejón marries Paca Galván and in 1973 returned to Valencia where he briefly rejoins the local art scene, but a year later he settled permanently in Dénia. Takes up painting. Explicit and shocking expressionism during this decade of the seventies. Later in the 80s explores a brighter abstraction inspired by the landscape. Theatrical virtuoso drawing dominates the 90s. Human being has become the central poetics reference of his work.

In 1999 he was appointed Adopted Son of Dénia, the city where he lives since 1974.[10]

Works[change | change source]

'El Salt', wax on paper, 2002, by Joan Castejon.

If there is one aspect that stands out in the work of Joan Castejón is his exceptional drawing skills, a palpable mastery also in his painting and leading to write to José Manuel Caballero Bonald "the artist draws a classic and meditate as a prophet".[11] The author and official historian of Alicante Enrique Cerdan Tato wrote in El Pais on the work of Castejón: " ... he wanted to express the universe of man revealed by violence".[9]

On leaving prison he painted a series of one hundred works inspired by the work of Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude, which exposes in Valencia and Barcelona. Mario Vargas Llosa wrote on this occasion about Castejón's art: "So one of the most interesting aspects of this collection of pictures of Castejón show that even today the art of painting can, without abandon modernity, have the literature as a starting point. Like a woman, a dream, or a crime, a novel can be for an artist a creative ferment... " [12]

Artur Balder writes, in relation to the work of Castejón, that "an indispensable condition of the Gesamtkunstwerk, with a base of either visual, literary, or musical representation, is its timeless condition, its ability to withstand the test of time itself by rising instead of sinking into the spasm of momentary fashion, and perish with it a few years, and only to be seen in that context, as in a narrow place of history. However, Castejón, next to the absolute hero in its representation of humanism, can be attributed, as an artist, as Juan Gil-Albert described, "in whose light the depths of so looming giant men, that I was forced to retain breath and meditate." [13]


Martí Dominguez published in the pages of El País around drawing skills in the art of Castejón: "Any exaggeration is objectionable, and to say that Joan Castejón is possibly the best Spanish artist who by now dominates human anatomy may seem a excess, but it is not." [14]

His exhibition "Per a Paca" visited many cities in Alicante between 2009 and 2010 as a tribute to his wife. According to the newspaper La Verdad it was "a retrospective of historical memories of the couple." [15][16]

'Golden landscape', oil on canvas, 1993, by Joan Castejon.

List of selected works[change | change source]

  • Maternidad gris (1969)
  • The’y were more than three thousand (1973)
  • Characters reduced by their own deeds (1974)
  • La digestió (1978)
  • Mutant d'águila irreal (1980)
  • The day (1984)
  • A Salvador Espriu (1989)
  • Paisatge daurat 1993 (1993)
  • El Salt (2002)
  • Cavall nocturn (2004)
  • The War (2009)

Museology[change | change source]

The largest public collection of works by Castejón is gathered at the Museum of Contemporary Art in his hometown Elche. The largest private collection was the collection Lecasse Foundation in Alcoy, containing about two hundred works acquired by businessman Lionel Grau Mullor during the eighties and nineties. Currently this collection was divided among his heirs. The collection of drawings dedicated to Don Quixote belong to the IVAM. Another good part of Parts is in the collection of Foundation Bancaja, Valencia.

List of awards[change | change source]

  • Premio Ocell, by the Mancomunitat de la Marina Alta. 2005.
  • Honour member of the Institut d'Estudis Comarcals del Baix Vinalopó. 2001.
  • Honour member of the Institut d'Estudis Comarcals de la Marina Alta. 1999.
  • Adoptive Son of the city of Dénia. Ajuntament de Dénia. 1999.
  • Premi la Tardor, by the Universitat Politècnica de València. 1994.
  • Homage to Joan Castejón. Key of the City of Mont De Marsan. France. 1993.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Cerdán, David (December 26, 2002). "El Grup d'Elx regresa tras 27 años". El País. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  2. "Diversidad Contemporánea. Colección del MUA". MUA.UA.es. November 31, 2006. Retrieved 2014-01-26. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. "Exposició "El cos maltractat". Patronat Martínez Guerricabeitia de la Universitat Politécnica de València". Universidad de Valencia, Patronanto Martínez-Guerricabeitia. March 30, 2004. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  4. ""Cercant la Llum", Universitat Miguel Hernández". Universidad Miguel Hernández. October 30, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  5. "Bancaixa expone la pasión de Castejón por el dibujo". El País. May 25, 1999. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  6. "Lo bello y lo siniestro se funden en una exposición en El Carmen". El País. May 14, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  7. "El Grup d'Elx y la fundació del MACE". Ajuntamiento de Elche. May 14, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  8. A. Máñez, Julio (May 30, 1999). "Así era entonces". El País. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Cerdán Tato, Enrique (May 30, 1999). "Condenado a tres años de dibujos forzados". El País. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  10. "Biografía de Joan Castejón". El País. May 30, 2013. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  11. Caballero Bonald, José Manuel (October 1992). "Del Catálogo Castejón-Macondo". Fundación Lecasse, Alcoy. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  12. Vargas Llosa, Mario (October 1973). "Del Catálogo Castejón-Macondo". Galeria Mateu. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  13. Balder, Artur (October 2013). "Joan Castejón, el pintor presocrático" (PDF). Ajuntamiento de La Nucía. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  14. Domínguez, Martí (January 27, 2012). "En la falda del Montgó". El País. Retrieved January 26, 2014.
  15. Castejon, Joan Ramon (2009). Joan Castejon per a Paca. Ajuntament.
  16. Redacción, Elche (July 31, 2009). "Joan Castejón presenta 'Per a Paca' una muestra retrospectiva de recuerdos históricos". La Verdad. Retrieved January 26, 2014.

Bibliography[change | change source]

  • DE LA CALLE, Román. Castejón: La realidad de lo imaginario, València: CIMAL, 1981–82, p. 16
  • SEBASTIÁ, Jordi. La meua vocació de pintar es absoluta, entrevista an El Temps 899, 4-10 Septembre, 2001, pp. 35–37.

Other websites[change | change source]

Other links[change | change source]

Reports[change | change source]

Interviews[change | change source]