SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 15 Apr. (EUROPE PRESS) –
Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA), a center that depends on the Culture Area of the Cabildo, has welcomed the painting ‘El Drago de Canarias’ (1933), one of the emblematic works of Óscar Domínguez (Tenerife, 1906-Paris , 1957).
This famous painting, which is owned by the ABANCA Collection (A Coruña), arrived yesterday Friday escorted from the airport by the National Police and will be one of the key pieces of the exhibition ‘Óscar Domínguez. The conquest of the world by images’, which opens on April 28 at 7:00 p.m. This exhibition, dedicated to the surrealist from Tenerife, is curated by the curator of the TEA Collection, Isidro Hernández.
The president of the Cabildo, Pedro Martín, has highlighted that ‘El Drago de Canarias’ is a work in which Domínguez proposes his vision of the insular. Together with ‘Cueva de Guanches’ he composes the great surrealist diptych on the Canary Islands. “The arrival in Tenerife of these two paintings for the Domínguez exhibition is a great event and can be seen until October 29, thanks to the loan facilities offered by their owners,” he added.
The First Vice President and Island Councilor for Culture, Enrique Arriaga, stressed that the Cabildo is committed “to making the work of this great Tenerife artist visible” and stated that they have wanted to make it clear with the different attempts to acquire some of his most emblematic works . In this line, he assured that the arrival of ‘El Drago de Canarias’ “is the first step to launch a permanent exhibition that values the talent of the painter from Tenerife”.
The dragon tree is one of the central motifs in Óscar Domínguez’s painting from the thirties. The daily image of this tree remembered in the childhood imagination of the young painter, in whose family garden of the house of El Calvario, in Tacoronte, a large specimen grew, is intermingled with the mythical vision of the primitive tree alluded to in the descriptions and logbooks of travelers to the Islands -Louis Feuillé, Alexander Von Humboldt, Sabin Berthelot, Olivia Stone or Piazzi Smyth, among others- mostly entrepreneurs of scientific expeditions that, beyond the botanical interest, enhanced the description of the tree With idealized contributions, they embellished its bearing and meaning, and attributed medicinal virtues to it.
Perhaps due to Domínguez’s obsession with the dreamlike image of the thousand-year-old tree, the painter was given the pseudonym Dragonnier des Canaries, so that the plastic representation of the Canary Islands dragon tree in his work acquires a biographical aspect, such that a vegetal alter ego of the artist.
In ‘El Drago de Canarias’ the figure of the thousand-year-old tree imagined by Óscar Domínguez takes the center of the composition as if it were a totemic, resounding and exultant image, defying heights with its weight, mocking time with its longevity. The figure of this tree takes on a Jurassic dimension, summoned from a remote and ageless past, outside the precise time of the clocks, as if we were witnessing one of the possible, symbolic representations of origin. The dragon tree is, here, the tree of the world; the umbilical cord that unites past, present and future in the same and timeless sublime point.
In this painting you can see how the branches, like a hundred-headed dragon, branch out to form a wide crown of crystallized leaves on which a lion lurks, a figure that represents the instinctive power of the artist. At his feet, the roots are transformed into a strange can-opener opening mechanism, with undulating shapes and an open parchment body that serves as a piano score. It is an ancestral family tree that, from a single trunk, branches out into independent arms and heads, in a splendid crown that reproduces, like a family, for decades, for centuries.