Text published in the catalog "Tribute to Ferran Ventura" for the posthumous exhibition in Gallery Trece (Ventalló-Girona Spain) in 1999.
Sculpture has for a longtime a great difficulty to be accepted even recognised for itself. For centuries it was only known through allegories, war commemorative monuments, eventually portraits, decoration frontages of rich buildings. That was, at least, the point of view of the architects. We notice a great changement only as from the late decades, so we can say that sculpture was considered as the “parent pauvre des arts” compared to the painting. All of a sudden, sculpture reached a great success, an apogee. The beneficiaire specially the sculptors of new tendances on one hand, and also the utilization of new materials by the artists, leaving away the traditional materials such as marble, stone, etc. Though difficulties go on for sculpters, figuratives or not, even for those still working marbles and stones. A great lot of them did not arrive to be known, though in many cases they deserved it.
This particular exhibition is of special interest consacrated to the works of an excellent artist of a long trajectory already. He centered his production in pieces of monumental character, though however he also realised small pieces of medium measurements which also pay all of our attention In 1951, in the IV SALON D’AUTOMNE, one of his works untitled “Cap” (Head), produced a very great impression. Its strength, the feeling of its powerful and of his expressive power which caracterise the strength of his works and where it maintains his initial intention. He developed in the classic line. We can say that his first period it inspired by the “Noucentisme”. I do remember of our friendly chats – sometimes passionate and even ardent – in which he demostrate his passion for direct carving in stone and marble for which he shows to be a great expert and, even, though, perhaps the last expert in these materials. As a matter of fact, about theses technics he liked to remember the definition of ARISTIDES MAILLOL: “Il se produit une joie profonde d’affronter la matière, d’extraire, peu à peu, la forme, de tirer partie de ses dispositions et, parfois meme, de se laisser guider par elles. Dans la taille directe, la matière est en contact avec la pensée, avec la main comme unique intermédiaire”." (There is a profound joy to face the material, to extract, little by little, the shape, to take advantage of the capacities and, sometimes even, to be guided by them. In the direct carving, the material is in touch with the thought, with the hand as the unique intermediary ".)
His relation with the “Noucentisme” is clear. However we have to nuance as this relation even though is more with the derivations of that art around 1917 when he fights against the mouvement shaped by EUGENI D’ORS. Perhaps something is left of this admiration for JOAN REBULL, with whom he was the assistant for a certain while. The sculpture of FERRAN VENTURA has, perhaps, a relation more direct with de greek classic culture, even though his entousiasm for FIDIAS and POLICLETE his preferred createur was always MICHEL ANGEL for which he had an authentic obsession.
Referring to a theater we talk about “scenic presence”, when that actor appears on the stage, which produce an emotion, really something occurs as the same manner we can say that something similar occurs with a plastic author. The FERRAN VENTURA’s sculptures present like a powerful presence with his realizations he has obtained with a truly love for Art and also a love for the trade; he is a professional expert. He loves also the materials with the same passion. We shall be able to talk later on of the strength of this compositions and the solidity which find “a point d’equilibre” between solidity and carnality of his figures, also of the finesse of his bas-reliefs as, for instance, in his nudes on horses and in the same manner he combines power and static character of his classic vocation with the dynamism of the scenography of “Bull figthing figures”.
The corpse who emerged halfly from the stone as something not achieved, with a similar manner of the well known slaves of his master which he admired, his pieces are also admirable. The heads are perfectly achieved, but the “sea of stone” from who they appear is in a movement, work to do is only insinuated, but the frontal piece is always lisse and nue. It does not matter if it is an unachieved piece or pieces which he leaves that way, in a sort of conjugaison between classic and modern.
All together, his beauty is enough for us!