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  • Zuzana Malina Cernohousova

Catalina SUREDA | on-going INTERVIEW

Updated: 2 days ago

Catalina Sureda is the majorcan SCULPTRESS and one of the granddaughters of extraordinary woman and the painter Pilar Montaner de Sureda.

Sculpture by Catalina Sureda

For decades, the Sureda family in Valldemossa builded close relations with artists and writers from all over the world. These common guests from art circles had great conditions to discover Serra de Tramuntana environment and its charm thanks to their hospitality and artistic passion.

Valldemossa, Serra de Tramuntana scenery, by Pilar Montaner, aprox. 1905

Everything began with the marriage between Joan Sureda Bímet and Pilar Montaner Maturana. Joan Sureda, a humanist and big lover of art and literature, was born in Valldemossa, in Palacio Rey Sancho, in their family house, in 1872. He spoke French, English and German, which helped to build contacts on international level. In those times Joan Sureda was the owner of the Palace of King Sancho, where young couple settled and lived big part of their lives bringing up their children and devoting their time to art. The Sureda Montaner family, on different occasions, hosted Miguel de Unamuno, Azorín, Eugeni d’Ors, Santiago Rusiñol, Rubén Darío, Anglada Camarasa, Joaquín Sorolla and the North American painter John Singer Sargent.

Pilar Montaner de Sureda

Pilar Montaner, a daughter of the admiral Jaime Montaner, studied painting with Sorolla in Madrid, accompanied by a family friend and a painter Antoni Gelabert. Thanks to the involvement of her friend Santiago Rusiñol she held an important exhibition at the Sala Parés in Barcelona in 1917.

From the Sureda-Montaner marriage came fourteen children. Some of them had become writers and artists too: Jacobo, a poet and a painter; Pazzis, an artist and sculptor, and Pedro, a painter and a humanist.

The Sureda circle included some of the most outstanding writers and intellectuals from Mallorca during that era: Joan Alcover, Gabriel Alomar, who wrote the text of the program of Pilar Montaner’s Barcelona exhibition, Màrius Verdaguer, who in his magnificent book “La ciutat esvaïda” offered a biographical sketch of Joan Sureda Bímet, the Villalonga brothers, etc.

In an article published in 2009, the writer José Carlos Llop describes the Sureda family as a cosmopolitan circle and compares them to the Bloomsbury group, especially for their role bringing together artists and writers.

The Sureda marriage put Mallorca on the European cultural map at the beginning of the 20th century.

To get deeper into any issue and circumstances it is always essential to dive in waters. For this reason I am greatfull to be

in continuous touch with those honorable ladies of Sureda Montaner family, who are constantly coping with social, economical and political issues of contemporary majorcan society.

Precious support in work.

I have many question and personal doubts, why things are how they are nowadays, how can I be useful helping to transmit and preserve the cultural knowledge and heritage of the Sureda Montaner family. For this reason I keep staying with the topic absorbing important details and essences.

Current circumstances worries me. Precious things can be lost without a care of the society related. And thoughts like "some families don't have a future" keep appearing in my mind.

Still life at Son Mossenya

I have been talking to Catalina and Elvira since we met, slowly digesting inner and outer dialog full of emotions and question marks.

Catalina at traditional Ca’n Molinas

Interview with Catalina:

Catalina, where and when have you been born?

Naci en la Cabaneta, Mallorca, concretamente en un molino, el día 29 de Mayo de 1957.

How many children you were in your family?

Somos tres hermanas.

Three Sureda sisters

Your father was an artist too? What do you remember most about him?

Mi padre fue artista pintor. Recuerdo su gran sentido del humor, su amor por los animales, por la vida tranquila.

Pedro Sureda with his little daughter Catalina

What did you like most on your mother? How was she?

Mi madre era un ángel, guapísima, y una gran persona, con mucho amor hacia su familia, muy generosa, le gustaban mucho las flores, tenía un jardín precioso, en el molino donde vivíamos, teníamos muchos animales, perros, gatos, palomos, un burro muy travieso que se llamaba Caravaco.

Mother of Catalina Sureda

Did you always had close relationship with Elvira and other siblings?

Siempre tuve muy buena relación con mi hermana Elvira, ella era la mayor y siempre me ha protegido.

Sister of Catalina, Elvira Sureda

Where did you study? The basic school, the secondary school, the university ...

De muy pequeña fui a una escuela de monjas, después fuimos las tres hermanas a un colegio público, en Palma, después fuimos de nuevo a vivir a la Cabaneta y fui al colegio de allí. Estudie el bachillerato en el colegio Cide, en Palma, fue el primer colegio mixto. Terminado el bachillerato fui a una escuela de arte en Palma, y luego empecé a ir clases particulares con el escultor Mario Vives, más tarde con la escultora Remigia Caubet.

From on-going project "The tribute to Pilar Montaner"

What were your favorite teachers, professors or inspirations?

Mi inspiración me viene de la vida misma, de las emociones, mías o de los demás.

What did you want to become when you were a child? Did you want always to be an artist?

Desde pequeña supe que tenía que ser pintora, más tarde vi que prefería la escultura. De jovencita también quería ser actriz.

Sculpture by Catalina Sureda

Did your parents support you in being an artist?

Mi padre siempre dijo que yo era una artista, y siempre me apoyo.

Mi madre hubiera preferido que tuviera un trabajo que me diese más dinero.

What was your most important exhibition? And please give a list of your exhibitions ... it is important to put on your profile ..which I am missing to find anywhere ...

Lista de exposiciones

2004_Galeria Mediterránea. Palma. Mallorca

2005_Es Cavellets. Sa Pobla. Mallorca

2006 _Raco 98. Soller. Mallorca

2007 _Galería Mar . Palma. Mallorca

2008_Museu de Lluch. Santuario de Lluch. Mallorca Hotel la Residencia. Galería sa Tafona. Deia. Mallorca

2009 _Galería Vidrart. Ciudadela. Menorca

2009_Sala Multifuncional, Es Mercadal. Menorca. Exposición colectiva de ayuda al pueblo saharaui

2011_Galeria Misió 21. Palma

2012 _Galería Misió 21

2014 _Fundación Coll Bardolet. Valldemossa. Mallorca

2015 _Galería Just Art. Valldemossa

2016 _Busto de Catalina Homar. Espacio público jardines de la Cartuja. Valldemossa. Encargo del Consell de Mallorca

2017 _ Placa conmemorativa, primera manifestación feminista. Espacio público. Plza de España.Palma

Encargo del Consell de Mallorca

2019 _Escenificacion del cuadro de la Pintora Pilar Montaner "Esperant els nuvis" en el portal de Santa Maria, del Palacio del Rei Sancho. Valldemossa.

Would you like to exhibit more your work and where?

Claro, me gustaría que mis esculturas se pudieran ver en otras ciudades de Europa.

What would be your biggest honor? Which gallery or museum you would like to see your work being exhibited or purchased?

Sería un honor para mí, que alguna escultura mía ocupase un lugar en alguno de los mejores museos de España o de Europa. Pero lo que me gustaría mucho también es que en Mallorca se hiciera un Museo con toda la obra de la saga de artistas Sureda Montaner..

Son Mossenya in the better times

For how much did you sell your most expensive artwork and was it satisfying value? La escultura que vendí más cara fue 4.800€. Realmente ahora me parece muy poco dinero por esa escultura, que es. Claro, cada obra es diferente en material, forma, tiempo de trabajo y depende como lo valorará el publico (or the collector).

Do you think the work of local artists in Mallorca is valued enough?

En Mallorca cuesta mucho que a un artista le valoren, no lo hacen hasta que otro país lo haga.

Do you think it would be helpful if artist over 35 years old get more support? More possibilities for residencies for example?

Claro que estaría bien, que hubiese ayudas para artistas mayores de 35 años. Siempre se piensa que sólo necesitan ayuda los jóvenes.

Where is your studio? How often you spend your time there?

Mi taller está en Valldemossa. Paso much tiempo allá, porque amo este sitio mucho.

Does the balearic institutions support your artwork somehow?

Las instituciones no me dan ningún soporte.

You are a granddaughter of Pilar Montaner. What is your strongest memory of her?

Pilar Montaner, mi abuela, murió cuando yo tenía sólo cuatro años, así que no tengo ningún recuerdo, lo que sé, es lo que siempre he escuchado sobre ella.