Palma de Mallorca, September 8th, 2020
Martina Corbetta

And here we are, in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city of the homonymous island. After about a year and a half of trying to organize to spend a week with my friend and artist Albert Pinya… only now I managed to take the necessary time for this trip.

As soon I land, I immediately head to Albert‘s house. In Via della Spiga of Mallorca, from a balcony, Albert Pinya: Hola Martiii!!! And it is immediately a crazy joy to see after a long time – and after the absurd period of Covid – a person you love! In a few moments it is as if these months of “distance” had never existed. Then let’s go to dinner. A wonderful welcome table with friends, gallerists and collectors waiting for me. From Mercedes Estarellas, known a few years ago in Madrid, a good gallerist and a woman with a thousand resources. To Juan López-Viota, a young collector from Palma, Lucia and Andrea, Italian friends and collectors. And Juan Rafael Bonet – with his elegant wife Margarita TousAlbert‘s greatest admirer and collector. A man to learn a lot from! A man whose anecdotes become inputs to follow. So, a dinner between art and Majorcan food. It will be the after dinner to remind us the period that we are still living: at midnight the city is already completely shut down. It is very impressive to imagine Palma without nightlife, but there is no evening with Albert Pinya without a good continuum… together in Via della Spiga chatting with Braulio, yes Albert Pinya loves the Valtellinese bitter. I have the duty to provide for the Pinya’s escort. And this is the start of our tour de force.

From the day after a real march. Albert Pinya had been sending me emails for months saying that he was working on a special series, on a series that was giving him a lot of satisfaction. I sensed his enthusiasm between the words and his “you will see that you will love this research”. And it really made me impressed! Well yes. We take the train and head to a village in the heart of the island: Pòrtol. Here Joan Pere Català-Roig welcomes us with his off-road truck to take us to a timeless place. A farmhouse. In the Majorcan hinterland. A laboratory. Three ovens. Ceramic is his profession. A Master. Here, enclosed in a room, about two years of work by Pinya and Joan. Vases and plates in the most varied ceramic techniques. I am very excited at first glance! For me, manual works are examples of nobility, the study and use of materials, the expectation of the result… here for me the confirmation of how tradition and future can be so close.

It will be on the return trip, looking at the landscape passing quickly from the train window, that my memory recalls the project – curated by Rossella Farinotti – created by Albert with the chef Maria Solivellas at the Instituto Cervantes for the Milan Expo in 2015 and the mega book Agropower (Adia Edicions, 2017) and I think: what better time to go back to good traditions? Given that large events cannot be organized, what better time to imagine a very exclusive dinner among collectors and art lovers just savoring the culinary dishes of Maria Solivellas served on the precious Pinya’s ceramics? The enthusiasm in this moment is very high. We begin to fantasize. After quarantine, having a good idea to work on is priceless.

The next day we do the tourists. We visit some galleries including: Juan Antonio Horrach Moyà where we meet Girbent, a great Pinya’s friend and an artist currently on display, and Tolo Cañellas the good curator who wrote a text for the catalog of the show Wormhole in 2018 with Laurina Paperina; Fran Reus with his wonderful space in which we held a beautiful conversion based on art and more. We continue to museums: Es Baluard Museu d’Art Contemporani, the most important museum on the island. Here, we met the person in charge of the museum’s activities and program as well as the curator of Pilar Rubí, who welcomes us really with kindness… rather unusual in our country. We visit the temporary exhibitions and the permanent collection. In no time at all I feel at home! Later, Casal Solleric always looking for new exhibitions.

At this point… after having traveled far and wide, we take time to do the most important thing: visit the Albert Pinya‘s studio. The Pinya’s lab!!! The most intimate place in the artist’s life. And you are wondering “how is it”? It’s a bomb! You walk through the door and you are catapulted into his world! Order, perfection and color were the things I expected. And I partly found these things. Stuff are meticulously in its place… but the works??? Caught me off guard, I’m in front of new paintings completely in contrast with the latest ones in the Wormhole! Here, paintings with a very marked graphic sign and a less instinctive pictorial gesture. Works which come to life from Pinya‘s penultimate trip to Italy, in which, on commission, he designed and painted the Emilio Bordoli’s Panda 4×4, well known mecenate and collectors. This Panda crossed the Madrid-Marrakech way of the Panda Raid event and won as the most creative car. A return to the past, therefore, as a stimulus for new works. New sensations.

We close the week at the Mirò Foundation. Dreaming one day that our stories, our experiences, our art, our adventures… our time – and of our friends – can be browsed through the art books! Love for your own job is fuel that always leads us to look beyond. And so… for me, Palma de Mallorca is like a second home! And new people in the team you can count on! A journey that confirms friendship and professionalism.

… the story continues!

This post is also available in: Italian