Hallucinated Realities

Sepp Hiekisch-Picard (Vicedirector Bochum Museum, Germany)

Everything makes us believe that there is a definite spiritual position from which life and death, the real and the imaginary, past and future, the mediate and inmediate, above and below are no longer felt to be contradictory.

Andre Breton, Second Surrealist Manifesto, 1930.


Visible reality, to be measured with the eyes, is but a minimal part of the reality of the universe and human existence. Man is also a chemical, mineral being: he is becoming and dying, birth, death and disintegration at the same time, past, present and future. His reason resembles an outpost in the immeasurable kingdom of dreams, wishes and instinctive impulses, which only in wakefulness manage to maintain an illusion of order and willed dominion over inner and outer worlds. One of the etching from Goya´s Los Caprichos, in the transition from the Eighteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries, is called The Dream of Reason Breeds Monsters. With great power of conviction Catalina Chervin´s drawings give shape to the harassing power of dreams and the dangerous inspiration from the unconscious, making evident the cast of Goya´s capricho. Her portraits of men and women literally penetrate the outer cortex of human beings, exposing an organic corporeity drawn with the pen´s subtlest tracings.
Everything dissolves into cellular proliferations, into interwoven forms, which penetrate one another; the drawn organisms throb and vibrate as if impelled by a formidable force. An impressive corporeal universe, which appears to be dominated by a powerful vital impulse, an almost erotic fecundity, opens before the viewer: an imaginary, hallucinating universe upon which the sensitive pen of the artist bestows a colossal presence. Catalina Chervin takes us into a world of dissolving limits an certainties, were dream and reality threateningly seem to lose outline. In view of the increasing virtualization of experience in our hipertechnological and decorporealized world, Catalina Chervin creates sensible models of contemplation for an authentic and fundamental vision of man´s being.

My first encounter with her work took place in the exhibition “Latin America and Surrealism” of the Bochum Museum in 1993. In this great panoramic show decumenting the influence of Surrealism in Latin America and the mutual inspiration of Latin American and European artists, Catalina Chervin was an outstanding exponent of the new generation. Taking root in the tradition of Surrealism, the artist has found her way to a personal, convincing language which gives expression to her haunting inner world.


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Edward J. Sullivan. Dean for the Humanities
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Sepp Hiekisch-Picard
(Vicedirector Bochum Museum, Germany)

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Catalina Chervin, a road to freedom

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