Four words

Antonio López. Painter. Tomelloso, 1936


Finding one word to define Oscar Tusquets is an impossible task! Given his complex and even contradictory personality, I need at least four. Four words, four virtues: intelligence, valour, independence, humour. / Two memories come to mind when thinking of Oscar Tusquets. / First: I first met Oscar around 1975. He came to my studio with Francisco López and Rafael Moneo. He struck me as self-assured and the kind of person who would say what he felt. I had just begun a painting of my daughter Carmen - who was still a child - and Mari, having supper. In the studio I had set up the round table covered with a white oilcloth, and the plates, glasses and food. Oscar was filled with curiosity by that rather haphazard reconstruction, the glasses, several days’ food on the plates and the stained oilcloth. He remarked that it could correspond to my present life, that it had an aesthetic quality and modesty that he admired. I explained why it was laid out the way it was, but Oscar’s comment must really have hit the mark, for I remember the conversation perfectly to this day and have often thought of it. / The years have passed. I got to know Oscar and now understand how to his generation - the generation that were renewing Catalonia - building a bright, shiny new world, free of all sentimentalism, our Spanish language must have sounded, indeed must have been on occasions, rather gruesome. / Second: “Dios lo ve ” (“God will see it”). This is the title of one of Oscar’s books. Once while working on a clay model for a sculpture of the King, Francisco López and myself were going through Oscar’s book and were struck by the phrase “God will see it”, indeed it became a phrase that would often come to mind while we were modelling. Sometimes we joked about it, but essentially we identified with it and saw that it reflected our way of working and all our aspirations. “Dios lo ve”, “God will see it”. I first came across that sentence as a quote from a medieval sculptor, but that had been a long time before and nobody had reminded me of it, until Oscar Tusquets came and wisely shone a light on it. / Oscar, I know that you are a talented architect, a sensitive painter, that you write very well and create objects full of ingenuity and style, but today I remember and thank you for these two lessons, one which I see in connection with my work and the other as being bound up with all of us and all our lives.

With Antonio López in front of his "hombre y mujer". Madrid, 1998