From May 7 to 21, 2019.
Opening, May 7 at 8 pm --------------------------
Juan Llop Sellarés
Lawer and writter
Isern is an old school painter, artist of the truth; he knows that painting is the combination of knowledge and sensibility, that painting is really painting avoiding the easy way. He has this lesson well learnt. Although then comes the added value of the minimum, of the sum of minimums which gain strength, consistency and establish the distances. It is the conjugation of the pertinent lights, existing on only a few occasions although certain and real that Isern knows how to capture; it is the shade of the colour, it is the touch of the atmosphere, is the vision of the distant mountains.… they are creator elements that he handles very well and that when united confer his work a special stamp. Almost anything and at the same time almost everything. The rest is knowing how to paint, the added value of the minimum is a level to which not many reach. Landscapes of different geographies, from the Canary Islands to the Picos de Europa, from the Pyrenees to the Montseny, from the countryside of Tarragona to the valleys of Andorra; which entail atmospheres and lights with a special tone that Isern knows how to express with perfection. It is certain that he dominates the technique. And it not less certain that each one of his works is a challenge, a step forward, a demonstration of knowledge and possibilities.
Jordi Agràs Estalella
Regional Director of Culture for the Government of Catalonia in Tarragona

The ancient chronicles say that, one day, the water that covered everything retreated, leaving behind rich, fertile land and a trail of fossilized reminders. That land, a crossroads of hopes and determined wills, was altered and moulded according to human desire to carve out a new landscape. Man tamed the stones and fields, built towns and villages and planted cereal crops and vineyards. And all so many years ago ...! Years and years; at least a good handful of centuries. And we would run the risk of losing sight of the trail that led us here were it not for artists like Jordi Isern, who is able to transpose onto his canvases everything that makes up and represents the collective memory that defines us as a people and as a civilized nation.

When we look at the Conca de Barbera landscapes painted by Jordi Isern, not only do we see a masterfully captured image of the present, closer study reveals the interwoven connections and memories that connect us with our origins and the early settlers. We are thus presented with an opportunity to glimpse the way the rivers that reflect the grey of the clouds and varnish ancient paths also carry the traces of water that never completely disappeared and is always striving to return; and the way the trees, inheritors of all that is green in the world, hold snippets of conversations and legends which, with the help of the wind, curious and playful by nature, they whisper to keep them from being swallowed by the black oblivion; and the way the snow that covers the sleeping ground with a frozen silence, councils it to rest a while, sleep little baby sleep, so that the flowers and fruits come only when the time is right to once again bloom, resplendent with colour and silken textures; or how the sun that toasts the forest litter and bakes the stones of castles and ancient walls, before it dips away asks the moon to shine bright because the brave and faithful people of Conca deserve crisp, clear nights, reminiscent of the lines sketched by Jordi Isern, honest and free, on a blank canvas. Honesty and freedom that are - and have been - rewarded by the select revelations the Conca de Barbera countryside has made, opening its soul, generous and grateful, so that Jordi may capture it with his skilful brush strokes, to bring them to us, pure and complete. We should not be surprised, therefore, when we contemplate the vines he paints - green in spring, tinged with red in autumn –, by our ability to taste the aromas, experiencing the fresh and mischievous sensations, with a hint of black pepper, of a Trepat grape harvest; or when one of his paintings enables us to immerse ourselves in the paths that meander between creeks and streams, to smell the sweet scent of the dew that forms dazzling, diamond droplets on the leaves and stems; or when we pause to look more closely at a town or city, it is not only houses we see, brimming with life, but we sense the smoke rising to envelop us with the aroma of a tale told around the fire, while the logs turn to hot ashes, mottled with orange reflections.

Jordi Isern's work is a living thing, it pulsates, breathes and evolves with the changing light and creates emotional bonds that are impossible to describe, like the Conca de Barbera landscape, which captivates you and holds you, making you feel part of it, a phenomenon that can only be explained by the spirit, open and splendid, of its people, worthy successors of all that has come before. It is, in turn, also impossible to define or adequately describe the impossible creative talent that Jordi Isern possesses, which allows him to produce such delicious, tasty fruits, that, generous and magnanimous - like the people of the Conca -, he shares with us all. Allow me, if you will, to make one last wish: that our friend, Jordi Isern, continues, for many more years to come, to act as an ambassador for Conca de Barbera, its landscape, its history and the past and present of who all love it and fill it with life.