The last period of Esteban Vicente’s career is not an assortment of his artistic journey, it is not even characterised by a lesser intensity, but instead it stands out as a high point in his work.
In his drawings, Esteban Vicente boasted a firm command of the different pictorial techniques. In his final decades, he cultivated the use of charcoal, gouache and pastels achieving different textures and resonances to avoid the uniformity as well as a mere exercise in composition. When drawing on paper, he demonstrates a powerful imagination and a truly amazing capacity to renew himself and, from a rather narrow formal language, confronts new challenges and propositions. His childhood visits to the Prado Museum with his father were pivotal to his work and this is the reason he resorts to the landscape as a formal expression. These suggestions of landscapes, which started to appear in his work from the 1980s respond to those memories. Although the landscape is less recognisable as such, it becomes more proficient. The colours themselves help prompt the viewer to turn to the landscape and coexist with all its possibilities, from the land and organic colours to the most chromatic of expressionisms. The colours are more intense and varied and radiate a burning light and a serene atmosphere. This piece shows a greater sensuality through a drawing that was conceived on the basis of the relationship between more or less softened forms and brushstrokes, albeit with a greater presence of curves. The painter extends, smothers and stains the surface with the pastels allowing their residues to become part of that surface, as if he were working with semi-liquid materials that create diffuse borders.
On the occasion of the opening of the Esteban Vicente Museum in 1998, the workshop of Erik Kirksaether produced one hundred prints of this piece in sixteen different colours.