Catherine Parra is a French artist, residing and working in Barcelona.
One day she stumbled with amazement upon a monumental work featuring a page from a notebook, its lines filled with calligraphic characters, some of them crossed out. The sheer enormity of the piece,
the words and their corrections, visible but openly accepted errors, inspired her first paintings.
Her style, at the crossroads between lyrical abstraction, expressionism and art brut, is inspired by Miro, Le Corbusier, 60´s and 70´s designs and colours, Africa, cheerful batik prints, textile fashions, and that vintage Hermès red…
The artist gives special emphasis to the narration of her intimacy and to the exploration of the strangeness of everyday life. By taking mundane objects and placing them onto her monumental formats, she removes their intended significance from their original form. Lines are flexible, ethnic and primitive, devoid of any objectual representative association. Purified shapes stand out from the background and simply exist without spatial reference or perspective. The geometry of volumes finds its balance in spatial construction, with a subtle toing and froing between colours and shapes. The chromatic scale vibrates with the supremacy of intrinsically potent colours. They are raw, vintage, explosive and complementary, burning like Africa, contrasting with the brute force of the omnipresent black. The whole composition conveys harmony, coherence and rhythm, pulsed by an instinctive and primal movement that projects us into a joyous and generous universe that is both organic and full of life.
Catherine’s ribbon tracing technique is specific to all her work, often with surprising results and imperfections, one-time errors that are expected and cherished by the artist. The painting surface is a thick washed linen, a lively, used material that brings out the shine of colours and reconnects the artist with her former experiences in the textile industry and with her passion for fabrics.
Catherine is interested in exploring the inner mechanisms of the human psyche and the intellectual workings of the unconscious mind. The outcome is a transcription of her emotional state at a given moment, an altered state during which her unconscious mind can materialise on canvas. While painting, the artist feels the total spontaneity of creation through the outpouring of the unconscious. In her paintings, she gives free rein to a poetical language expressing joy, freedom, softness, humour and generosity… A language that speaks to our doubts, certainties and frustrations, but which also addresses more universal themes such as resilience, legacy and immortality.