Lives and works in Barcelona
Influenced by 20th-century American realism, Bea Sarrias is a daughter of Barcelona, a city in which she has found the themes and places that govern the prevailing threads of her artistic work: architecture and light. Sarrias does not paint buildings; rather she depicts spaces. This allows us to imagine or glimpse the beings that have left their mark on the scenes from the objects that make up the spaces. Her work is anthropological and it involves research, photography and even video to document the past and present lives of buildings, hinting at their inhabitants' presence-absence. Her pictorial work is realistic and is based on works by leading Spanish and international architects. She has received numerous accolades and her skilled handling of light and shadows has been highlighted.
Bea Sarrias consolidated her painting in the line of architecture with an extensive series of paintings dedicated to the interior of a house in the Eixample district of Barcelona (Rambla Catalunya 6). When, the family that had lived there for a century were packing it up, their books were scattered among all the rooms of the house, acquiring an unusual prominence. From this experience of interiors charged with emotionality and historicism, with a very restricted range of dark colours, she seems to have emerged with a desire to find light, austerity and soft chromatic distortions such as those that now occupy her. She often plays with glass, reflections or water that allow her to paint the light that comes in to tell a story. "I draw the skeleton; I paint out the flesh and I use light to furnish the soul.” A Mediterranean light that has accompanied her since childhood, and that bathes her works to guide viewers through the spaces.
Bea Sarrias has made numerous architectural paintings inspired by La Ricarda (Casa Gomis), an estate in El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona. There, among pine trees, not far from the sea, the architect Antonio Bonet Castellana designed a family residence that has remained a landmark of Spanish rationalist architecture. Inaugurated in 1963, La Ricarda presented several characteristics very typical of the time: it combined a moment of economic splendour and an eagerness to enjoy it with the austerity of forms of the modern movement. Proposing smooth transitions between internal and external spaces, so that the domestic would flow easily into the natural. The interiors were diaphanous and glazed, and the furnishings were also refined and simple: stylish fireplaces, bookcases with clean shelves, low glass tables.... A beautiful and relaxed world dedicated to the enjoyment of life. Santa & Cole edits part of the collection, including the 2017 Claroscuro Neoseries.
In addition to Bonet Castellana, Bea Sarrias has also portrayed numerous spaces designed by iconic contemporary architects such as José Antonio Coderch, Josep Lluís Sert, Sáenz de Oiza, Miguel Fisac and Richard Neutra. Another is Manuel Baldrich, whose last project, a large residence-school in Belloch, and current headquarters of Santa & Cole, she has painted on several occasions. The Santa & Cole Art Collection includes several Neoseries from the Belloch collection, such as Wuthering Belloch (2019) and Belloch Library (2020).
Her most recent painting projects include "Inside" the large-scale portrait she painted live in 2019 at NATO headquarters in Brussels. A mural with which Sarrias seeks to show the crystals, the transparency and the light that emanates from the building. Shortly afterwards she held an artistic residency at Mana Contemporary in New York, where she explored the legacy of architect Josep Lluís Sert in the city.
At present, Bea Sarrias is also working with the film-maker Morrosko Vila-San-Juan on the exhibition and audiovisual project "Miró-Sert-Gomis. La luz en el taller del artista”.
Sarrias has had exhibitions in Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, New York and Oslo.