The artist

There were many pretexts put forward by Conde Corbal to build his work, all extracted from fragments of life that could go unnoticed by anyone, but not by him, not for the artist’s gaze that seeks the essence of the little things in those warm domestic moments, in conversations among friends, in work by the seaside, in a religious festivity , and in the gifts of nature that he so appreciated: trees, flowers, animals, even in a corner of a stone or in the leisure of a sunset.

Cézanne confessed that paying attention to small things denotes wisdom and also great sensitivity. “Painting reality,” he said, “is not about copying the object, but representing sensations.” Each drawing, engraving, or painting by Conde Corbal is a collection of gathered impressions, which he assembled as if compiling the poetry of ancient songs, in the same ritual that passes from parents to children the knowledge of identity, the value of heritage, or the wounds and pain caused by war. The painter, custodian of his own, of ours, always resorted to his creations from that fragile memory that needs foundations to rehabilitate it, illuminating it with light, colors, and the strokes of the drawing.

The trajectory of an artist is measured by the footprints he leaves behind, and those of this painter are many because all motives and genres, whether portraits, landscapes, everyday scenes… could serve as an excuse to capture those very Cézanne-like sensations, extolling on paper or canvas the love he professed for Galicia.

But Xosé Conde Corbal also leaves behind the generous affections of friendship, both from him and from that great woman who stood by his side, Margarita. Beautiful memories reflected in a folder with illustrations of the quintessential Galician flower, the camellia, praised by him together with Álvaro Cunqueiro in a beautiful laudatio.


Mercedes Rozas
Art historian critic and exhibition curator.

At the Otero Pedrayo Pazo-Museum, 1986
Photo: Anna Turbau