Jordi Bonet, c. 1974
Born in Barcelona in 1932, Jordi Bonet lost one arm at the age of seven, and this made his education all the more difficult. Since he was not really used to going to school, he was unable to adapt himself as a youth to the discipline of the beaux-arts. But the master draughtsman Antoni Prats exclaimed over his sketches : “This is raw gold!” and admitted him to his studio. With his father, he visited the art galleries, beginning naturally with the Museum of Romanesque Catalan Art in Barcelona, then with the Spanish museums.
Then he began to work; he painted, drew, opened a studio, undertook exhibitions.
Soon he left for Paris then for Quebec. As soon as he arrived, he made ink paintings, may of which have been lost, but some were shown at Trois-Rivières at his first one-man exhibition. He worked and studied in Montreal what had always attracted him: clay. Riopelle held an exhibition in Montreal. Beside his canvases, the pottery thrown by Jean Cartier, with “decorations” by Jordi Bonet, held its own. This was one of his first public appearances in Montreal.
Even in spite of himself, his approach to great murals is the most difficult approach: he arrives via sacred art. The Jonquière Church (an architectural prize in Canada), with its ceramic walls – upon which drawing almost relentlessly exhausts itself in its research for expression – stops at the essentials, without overloading itself, while the glazed tones overlap slowly and lovingly. The bas-reliefs of the New Academy of Quebec have very strongly marked fissures. The attitudes, most decisively distorted, allow only the essentials, without overloading itself, while the glazed tones overlap slowly and lovingly. Finally there are the panels of the Seminary of Metabetchouan, where violence has merged and melted everything together – the cement of walls and faces, space and line, shadow and light, absolute and accident, the word and the formless.
Artists who work in clay in this fashion are rare, again taking up the sign set by fire, where the middle ages left it, drawing from it, within a few years, all the lessons of realism, expressionism and even those of the non-formal.
Source : Jacques Folch-Ribas, Jordi Bonet, Ottawa, 1964