TO mark the occasion of the first anniversary of the death of Majorcan-born novelist Baltasar Porcel, painter Nils Burwitz is paying tribute to him in an exhibition of portraits, drawings and glass sculpture which opens tomorrow at 7pm at the Carthusian monastery in Valldemossa.

It was in Valldemossa where Burwitz and his wife Marina set up home 35 years ago. “My friendship with Porcel began many years ago,” said the artist. During the time he knew Porcel who originally hailed from Andratx, Burwitz followed and painted him against a number of different backdrops. “He used to say to me come to Sant Elm and paint a portrait of me,” remembers Burwitz, “but because of the way life turned out, it was never to be.” One of the portraits of Porcel that can be seen at the exhibition in Valldemossa was painted at the Book Fair in Frankfurt, said Burwitz, “when he was giving an introductory speech and I was presenting a book entitled Miró invisible about the Catalan artist with historic links with Majorca, Joan Miró.” Burwitz recalls that the Fair was being held in 2007 and that the culture of Catalonia - its artists and writers - were the guest of honour that year. The portrait that Burwitz made of Porcel on that occasion used the names of the Catalan authors whose works appeared on the Balearic-Catalan stand at the Book Fair as a background.

The exhibition at Valldemossa, to be presented by Gabriel Janer Manila, will include paintings which belonged to Porcel himself - “watercolours of his favourite island, sa Dragonera, huge canvases depicting underwater scenes and some pieces of blown glass,” said Burwitz.

The painter said that after several years without exhibiting any of his works on Majorca, preferring to experiment in sculpture and glasswork, that he has once again turned his hand to the easel. Like Porcel himself, “a traveller open to the word,” Burwitz has thus lived since coming to Valldemossa from Africa. And like Porcel, Burwitz has an interest “in all forms of art.”


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