Pau Sabaté – An unforgettable modernity

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Pau Sabaté Jaumà (Reus, Baix Camp, 1872 – Barcelona, ​​1954)

Showed an early inclination for drawing, so began his studies at the Academy of Reus Fortuny, who at that time was led by Ramon Casals i Vernis. Like any artist worth his salt at that time, he moved to Barcelona, ​​the ideal capital to study architecture, but at the same time attending the School of the Exchange, at which point he began working in the Rigalt House, directed by Antoni Rigalt. Here he held related projects for stained glass and paintings commissioned to master tasks. Still, what most drew the attention of Sabate was undoubtedly the drawing, so he decided to dedicate himself professionally to his passion.His fame would come in the first decades of the twentieth century, thanks to the many watercolors sartorial figurines, after years of dedication to the craft of draftsman. His remarkable ability resulted in soft colors elegant figures whose stylization and loose brushwork denote the level of perfection that by then the fashion world demanded.The realism of his watercolors and drawings led him to make interesting urban projects such as those reflected in Barcino; Sabate here demonstrates the ease of strokes when translating his pen drawings in the streets of the city. Other artistic disciplines enjoyed their participation and their hobby: he made models for forged irons marketed various workshops Barcelona. The catalog of these models had its publication in Artistic Irons. Notably his appointment in 1927 as president of the Agrupació d’Acuarel·listes de Catalunya, a position he held until 1936 and whose main task was to promote and relaunch of the entity. An eye condition set him apart in the 50 of his dedication to drawing; however he continued his trade tirelessly in the world of the forge.

This exhibition gives a good account of the inexhaustible Sabate work but, even more, primarily reflects an important and distinctive moment of fashion and way of life of the twentieth century: the decade of the 30. Most of the figurines we can find in the different works were produced in 1936, and published in the fashion magazine Confidence, belonging to the Professional Association of Master Tailors of Barcelona. These publications, along with commercial illustration, were the main means of diffusion of new trends whose main focus was developing in large cities. Universal participation in major national exhibitions and positioned Barcelona as one of the powerhouses of innovation and modernity, and the fashion field remain the same way.Sabate tells us of an elegant and sophisticated decade, a society that shared his time and who stars in the most varied activities, in line with technological advances and daily time. The fashion world is already suffering in the 20s an important aesthetic revolution, especially in terms of women’s fashion, as new ideals of life and leisure of the time demanded a lighter image, more modern and where comfort was a maximum fundamental. The consequences of the Depression of 1929 produced a major change, with a more conservative, sober and traditional approach. The cuts again give prominence to the female form, with parts where the curve is again present, and many other elements remain inherited from the previous decade, as headdresses and hats. This resulted in a trend of great elegance and a strong aesthetic iconic forms.The figures are grouped according to different occasions or occupations, ie, we can find everything from ball gowns or cocktail to other more sports, street; a more casual or more formal, others more practical or more elegant. By observing each garment as a whole, combined with stylization, gently but firmly stroke and the extreme perfection of the dresses, we grasp the eloquence of a modern world, the ability to approach every facet of daily life of those years, always appropriately dressed.Drawing Sabate has great influences of art of this period, and we are in the years of full development of the Art Deco movement whose aesthetic lines are strongly influenced by the world of design and decorative arts -heredadas of Modernism and the vanguards futurist but in a line. Dress is the result of the conjunction of leading design at this time, as well as the poster art and commercial art, one of the great aesthetic art icons of the century. And hand in hand poster, we travel a cinematic world in true Hollywood style. Many of these models are reminiscent of scenes of masterpieces of black cinema classic comedy and advocate aesthetics, which continues in the 40s, many other films where fashion is one of the most iconic features highlighted and care. Elegant lady gala, the dandy dress tuxedo uniforms red cross or horse racing fans, characters, dress, which immerse us effectively in the sophisticated world of the ’30s.Finally, note that many of these drawings are made a few months before the outbreak of the Civil War, when it ceases all artistic and where the fashion field is completely relegated activity. Therefore, these samples are the latest examples, the resonant echo, creativity and lifestyle of an iconic era of great innovation and an unforgettable modernity.