Cardona i Lladós, Joan
1877, Barcelona - 1957, Barcelona
Young Parisians, n/d
Signed lower right: "Cardona"
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection
Oil on canvas
49 x 40 cm
Barcli’s Barcelona, Barcelona, March 5, 2010.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.
La tradición moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Miró, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, p. 88, lám. p. 89.
Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen, p. 100, lám. p. 101 & cover.
2017 - 2018
Escenarios. De Monet a Estes. De Trouville a Nueva York. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra. p. 42-43.
-La tradición moderna en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Miró. [Exhib. Cat. Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga]. Málaga, Fundación Palacio de Villalón, 2011, p. 88, lám. p. 89 [Sheet by Josep Casamartina i Parassols].
–Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen, 2012, p. 100, lám. p. 101 & cover. [Exhib. Cat.]
-Escenarios. De Monet a Estes. De Trouville a Nueva York. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, 2017, p. 42-43. [Sheet by Josep Casamartina i Parassols].[Exhib. Cat.]
Young Parisians is a very emblematic work of the great moment of grace of Joan Cardona. When he was newly installed in Paris, he triumphed internationally in the field of illustration. He integrated well into the French capital, there he married Clemence Parade, and thanks to the fame and dissemination that his Parisian illustrations and paintings then obtained, the French government distinguished him with the title of Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur. His images of the cheerful life of the Bois de Boulogne, the terraces, cafes and cabarets of the city of light, became very popular and were reproduced in famous magazines such as the French Le Rire and the German Simplicissimus and, above all, Junged.Precisely Young Parisians has much to do with the works of the Catalan artist who published this latest magazine.
Cardona in his first stage 1899 to 1910 was an excellent draftsman, illustrator, poster artist and knew how to transfer the graphic and synthetic impact to painting. In fact in his work of then no division was created if not that, drawing, illustration and painting form a single corpus, compact and unitary and without too many pretensions. The artist focuses on capturing the joie de vivre purely and simply, without emphasizing it or even moralizing it and that lack of content is precisely his grace, naturally linked to his excellent skills as an illustrator and graphic designer. In the background the concept of lighting gives you the necessary ease and freedom to enter modernity.
Cardona was Ricardo Opisso’s brother-in-law, and therefore he knew Pablo Picasso well and had to be aware of his evolution. In fact, Cardona had coincided with the Malaga at l’Escola de Llotja and on the other hand he would hold his first solo exhibition in Barcelona, in 1901 in the Sala Parés, shortly after Picasso did it as well. But if the latter, just at the time of the turn of the century, entered the bohemian life and captured its most existential side, in taverns and brothels, Cardona always stayed in the most sunny and superficial, in the good sense of the word.
The Barcelona artist was also very close to his colleague Hermen Anglada Camarasa, with whom he shared similar themes and iconography but without the hallucinated spiritualism of this, although he received technical influences, such as the way to apply the shades in green or the whitish treatment of the skin and the way of applying the paint in some details, all very visible in young Parisians. The powerful chromatism of this work, with greens, reds, oranges and yellows, also denotes the stele of the contemporary fauvism of Matisse, Vlaminck, Derain or Van Dongen but without its radicality of conception and composition. Cardona was at a crucial moment in Paris, when painting made the somersault towards modernity, but he, even being as he was very close to some of the main protagonists of the feat, did not launch himself if he did not turn in the opposite direction and , like other artists who were his colleagues, he turned to the academic and immersed himself in regionalist painting, reaping successes but also unconsciously carving his later oblivion.
Josep Cassamartina i Parassols