As the child of a prominent cabinetmaker, Luis Montull cut his teeth using wood shop tools. As a mature sculptor Montull assembles a masterful body of expressive stonework. His sculpture is a marvelous blend of wide ranging styles: Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mexican, and African forms are found in Montull´s inspired forms deal fearlessly with all aspect of life. His works are found in showrooms, village squares, and churches among other place. The sheer breadth of Montull´s creativity is straggering. Equally as diverse are his materials: Italian marble, ebony and mahogany is a short list.
Montull´s own personality illuminates his forms. He is a tireless creator whose great energy is as evident as the significant amount of labor that fills each piece. Homenaje a Isadora Duncan 2, a piece from his Isadora Duncan collection begun in 1990, exhibits Montull´s great talent for creating a highly detailed, skilfully poised, motion-filled figure from wood, an incredibly unforgiving medium; he defies the associated rigidity by making it look as if the figure was born of the material.
Reflexion is a more interpretive take on figuration. The long slender female is seated in a more staid position than his Homenaje a Isadora Duncan 2. With an open book over her chest the figure gazes upward. Quiet and wistful, the woman looks beyond herself in a moment of ponderous reflection. There is a high degree of finish on the surface. Montull varies the textures to describe the differences in his figure´s body and clothing. He works hand in hand with the stone´s original shape. What is left is a bodily incarnation of the original block or stone, yet transformed to be a light and airy female.
The sculptures are elegant, exotic and consistently attractive. Dedication and passion have made that combination of qualities into a winning career for Montull, who lives in the Canary Islands where he makes sculpture full time.New York. ArtisSpectrum 12/2004,
HUMANISM AND FORMAL PROWESS IN THE SCULPTURES OF LUIS MONTULL
“My mother tongue is the human body or the milieu, the object, through or in which man lives, suffers, enjoys himself, feels, thinks, “said the German Expressionist sculptor Ernst Barlach,” and the same might be said of the contemporary Spanish sculptor Luis Montull.
Known throughout Spain, where his monumental figures are in numerous public collections, Luis Montull lives and works in a studio in the Canary Islands. His pieces have a presence and a power that comes across as monumental, even on a relatively modest scale, as seen in Montull´s recent exhibition at Agora Gallery, 415 West Broadway, in Soho.
What immediately strikes one about Montull`s pieces in both stone and wood is wisely he has chosen his art historical influences and fashioned them into a personal style. The elemental from and raw primitivism of a piece such as his stone figure “Golpe de Viento” appears to draw some of its power from Pre-Columbian sources, yet the extreme posture and expressiveness in his simplified figure of an earthy woman in an extreme posture also recalls the prehistoric carvings of certain North American Indian tribes. At the same time, Luis Montull`s work bears favorable comparison to the aforementioned Ernst Barlach, who also drew liberally from folkloric sources.
Like Barlach, Montull is above all a humanist and he appears to have an even broader range than his famous predecessor, in term of his ability to move easily between degrees of realism and abstraction in order to accommodate the emotional temper of his individual subjects in a piece called “Provocation” for example. He works in white stone and adopts an elongated manner to covey the pathos of a slender young woman lifting the hem of her dress in an all too blatant attempt at seduction. Even as she bares her thighs she turns her face away, suggesting shame that something-perhaps unrequited love or desperate financial need-has driven her to such desperate exhibitionism.
By contrast, the figure in Luis Montull`s carved wood sculpture “Homage Isidora Duncan” takes hedonistic pride in her physicality as she dance with abandon, her hair flowing forward, her arms thrown back, in a dance of joyous abandon. Here, too, Montull displays his skill at working in a more realistic mode. The figure is perfectly proportioned and smoothly nude, but for a flowing scarf wound about her body-possibly a symbolic reminder of the long scarf that got tangled in the wheels of an open automobile that the famous dancer was riding in, strangling her and causing her untimely death.
"Homage Isadora Duncan" is minutely detailed, right down to the separate strands in the figure´s long, lank hair and the graceful articulation of each individual finger and toe. Totally opposite the blunt power and formal simplification in some of his other, more neo-primitivistic figures, the sculpture demonstrates the remarkable versatility that makes Luis Montull an extraordinary, impressive talent.Wilson Wong. 10/2006,
“En la obra de Luis Montull vemos la forma humana llena de un hábito dramático, con temores de luchas y agonías en que laten ecos de aliento goticista o romántico, pero que se insertan en las tensiones y distorsiones del expresionismo contemporáneo.”Domingo González,
“Montull: un escultor que llena a plenitud todo el tremendo significado que esta palabra encierra.”La Provincia,