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 trying to organize a week with my friend and artist Albert Pinya… I’ve managed to take the necessary time off for this trip only now.

As soon as I land, I immediately head to Albert‘s house. In the Via della Spiga of Mallorca, from a balcony, Albert PinyaHola Martiii!!! And it is immediately a crazy joy to see someone you love after a long time – and after the absurd period of Covid – In a few moments it’s as if these months of “distance” never existed. Then we go to dinner. A wonderful welcome table with friends, gallerists and collectors is waiting for me. From Mercedes Estarellas, met a few years ago in Madrid, a good gallery owner 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 Tous – Albert‘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. After dinner we’re reminded of the period that we’re still in: at midnight the city is already completely shut down. It’s very impressive to imagine Palma without nightlife, but there is no evening with Albert Pinya without a good continuum… together we chat the night away in his Via della Spiga flat drinking Braulio, Albert Pinya loves the Valtellinese bitter indeed. I am in charge of his supply! And this is just the start of our tour de force.

From the day after it’s 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 love this research, boss”. And it really impressed me! Indeed! 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, about two years of work by Pinya and Joan are enclosed in a room. Vases and plates in the most varied ceramic techniques. I get very excited at first glance! For me, manual works are examples of nobility, the study and use of materials, the expectation of the result… for me this confirms 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 old traditions? Given that large events cannot be organized, what better time to imagine a very exclusive dinner among collectors and art lovers just savouring the culinary dishes of Maria Solivellas served on the precious Pinya’s ceramics? In this moment the enthusiasm is very high. We begin to fantasize. After the quarantine, having a good idea to work on is priceless.

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

At this point… after having traveled far and wide, we take time to do the most important thing: visit 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 colour were the things I expected. And I partly found these things. Stuff has been meticulously put away… but the works??? Caught me off guard, I’m in front of new paintings completely in contrast with the latest ones from 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 (he is a well known patron of the arts and collector). This Panda traveled the Madrid-Marrakech route 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 end the week at the Mirò Foundation. Dreaming one day that our stories, our experiences, our art, our adventures… our time – and our friends’ one – can be browsed through the art books! The love for our own job is the fuel that always leads us to look beyond. And so… for me, Palma de Mallorca is like a second home! And new people you can count on in the team! A journey that confirms friendship and professionalism.

… the story continues!

This post is also available in: Italian