"SOMNIAR DEUS" BY TONI CATANY (1988)
Selenium-toned calotype on paper, printed in 2001.
Numbered 6/15, signed and dated by artist in pencil
Paper size 38,5 x 25,2 cm (15 x 9 7/8 in)
Image size 29,5 x 20,9 cm (11 3/8 x 7 7/8 in)
Provenance: private collector
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The photographer Toni Catany was born in Llucmajor (Spain), in 1942. He lived and worked in Barcelona from 1960 to his death in October 2013. Following his first exhibition, held in 1965, he had over hundred solo shows around the world. Often labelled “classical”, “traditional”, “neopictorialist” and even “nostalgic”, Catany’s work is full of surprises, stretching from landscape to nude and using various photographic techniques. From his first calotypes to his latest Polaroids, Toni Catany created images that seemed to be suspended in time, floating between the past and the present. Depicting an atmosphere of melancholy with an acute control of the light, he demonstrated his passion for the visual expression. His work ranges from still life to masculine nudes, as well as landscapes especially the Mediterranean coast with its archeological ruins. In addition, Toni Catany always had a particular interest in seeing his work compiled in various books, for which he received several awards. A foundation bearing his name was established in Spain in 2010.
The first nudes of the series Somniar Déus were realized with two dancers of the MozartNu ballet. Most of the models chosen by Catany to develop this timeless corpus, between reality and utopia, were dancers. Nevertheless, the photographer sometimes worked with close friends who allowed him the realization of more intimate works. This photograph is precious for many reasons. First, even if the print is numbered 6/15 it is to our knowledge the very last one he has made of this sublime photograph. Secondly, it is probably one of the most representative of Catany's work and interest. And finally, it belonged, up until now, to one of his closest and dearest friend, a important private collector and fine connoisseur of (his) photography.
For that print, Toni Catany used a traditional process, a selenium-toned calotype on paper. On top of his signature, the print bears two dry stamps. This print is reproduced in the books : Somniar Deus Sonar en Dioses, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1993 (p. 50) and Toni Catany, L’artista en el seu paradís, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and Lunwerg Editores, 2000 (p. 198).