To begin with, Juan Carlos Savater's (San Sebastián, 1953) painting progresses towards a romantic and symbolic vision. This search for the sublime and transcendence, mostly represented through landscape, endures throughout his career. In 1987 he exhibits his work in the collective exhibition Naturalezas Españolas (Spanish Nature), displayed at the time in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and he is also chosen to participate in the 19th São Paulo Biennial. His participation in the large exhibition Dinamiques et Interrogations (Arc, Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1987) means his work gains a higher national and international profile and he exhibits his paintings among the new offerings in one of the most important exhibitions in emerging art (Venice Biennial) as well as in the exhibition Los años ochenta, artista espagnoli Contemporanei (Milan, 1988), among numerous other exhibitions.
The exhibition, now presented in the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, is made up of sixteen oil paintings produced exclusively for the occasion. The highly spiritual works deal with the symbolic theme of a sunrise that lights the darkness, highly abstract landscapes where graphite, black and gold predominate. The paintings are filled with large, semi-circular forms composed of strips of colour intersected by lines of expansion, like halos irradiating from the centre, in some cases remaining hidden.
At first glance the works seem to intimate cosmic landscapes of darkened worlds, where the considerable power of light is about to break through. At times this centre can be discerned through a vague, dark silhouette, while these irradiations emerge on undulated horizontal forms that could schematically allude to the sea, the contours of a massif or the trees in a forest. These forms are also composed of line traces constructed by geometric patterns, within which a scant chromatic range of the greys and blacks of graphite, whites and earth colours can be observed in order that the view is not distracted by metaphorical associations, with the images used as a vehicle for another kind of contemplation that concentrates on the reflection of light mirroring the inside.