Josep Grau-Garriga, Spanish (1929 - 2011)

Josep Grau-Garriga

Josep Grau-Garriga, born in Sant Cugat del Vallès, February 18, 1929, and died August 29, 2011, in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire (Maine-et-Loire) is a painter and artist licier Angevin, of Catalan origin.

Josep Grau- Garriga spent his childhood in the rural environment . Teenager is civil war and Franco . Studied painting and etching at the School of Fine Arts of San Jordi (AC) in Barcelona between 1946 and 1952.

Attracted by the mural, he began frescoes Hermitage of Sant Crist Llaceres in 1953. His style is a mixture of Romanesque art , influences Rouault and large Mexican frescoes of the interwar Siqueiros and Ribera.

In 1955, Samaranch Miquel , Director of tapestry manufacture of Sant Cugat , a movement that will engage the Catalan School of tapestry. It appeals to young Grau- Garriga to direct experimental workshop . He goes to Paris to meet Jean Lurçat . In Paris he discovered the movement of abstract painters Fautrier , Dubuffet, Soulages and the early works of Antoni Tàpies or Antonio Saura . He met Denise Majorel , Gallery La Demeure , Place Saint- Sulpice in Paris , and will be one of the main centers of New Wall Fashion2 .

Returning to Saint Cugat, he brought from Madrid weavers, painters and sculptors . These artists will project , Grau- Garriga and weavers make tapestries. He quickly abandons the traditional Aubusson technique, to work directly on its core high -lice without carton. It transforms the tapestry with his disciples, adding new materials, inventing new ways to assemble. It mixes textures , innovates with contrasting colors, its style was born. It will be one of the leaders of this school of tapestry Catalan .

He said at the time : " The tapestry is the logical complement of the architecture. [...] I 'm not satisfied with the only language of forms and colors. I wish suggestive sensuality reliefs woven into irregular frame or otherwise exalted by the rigorous rhythms of son chains " 3 .

In 1965, the second biennial tapestry Lausanne receives 85 works by New Tapestry . Grau- Garriga with his Catalan friends prominently . New forms appear , the tapestry is made in three dimensions , is freed from its wall mount, new materials as metal , plastic and others. It is now Textile Art . This movement is slowing fast. In 1995 , the last biennial Lausanne mark the end of this mode of expression.

In 1970 , the Conservative future Museum of Fine Arts, Houston , Texas, comes to Barcelona , he met Grau- Garriga , projects with an exhibition to be inaugurated in 1971 in Houston. He leaves Sant Cugat and moved to the United States , Canada, South America . He lectures and workshops or seminars with students at several universities , France , USA , Canada, Mexico, Uruguay. Interventions often result in "installations" in these places, conducted with students.

Grau-Garriga wants to give a historical political dimension to his work. It includes some of his clothes in tapestries as self - portraits, It causes interventions , events , environmental projects , during political events ( in 1968 ) and historical ( in 1989). In 1987, he made ​​an environment for the common project of Encamp in Andorra on the occasion of an exhibition of his work . Its proposals are to occupy open spaces, facades, gables , treat soil with materials he knows, fibers, paints. The drawings are on display, and make the cover of a catalogue4 .

In 1989, the city of Angers asked proposals to celebrate the bi- centenary of the French Revolution . All proposals are accepted: an environment for staging the defensive role of Angers castle with an exhibition in the chapel, a creation Abbey Ronceray Angers on the theme of the Declaration of Human Rights , an exhibition of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, and tapestries and sculptures in the museum of contemporary tapestry. All these creations involve the Angevin culture, following the French revolution and the Vendée wars.

Angers , near Aubusson workshops , has a School of Fine Arts with training in textile arts, and Jean Lurçat Museum of Contemporary tapestry. This museum houses the Apocalypse Tapestry Lurçat and when discovered it in 1937, he decided to give a modern replica to this work : Song of the world panels 4.40 m high woven between 1957 and 1965 .

He met Anne in Angers in 1989, who would become his wife and settled permanently in Anjou, Saint -Mathurin -sur- Loire in a former school . He set a great paint shop and another in a barn, for tapestries. The theme of human rights will be included in Perugia in 1992 around the tree of liberty . Inks and watercolors appear in his work, self-portraits. 1999: exhibition of prints in Trélazé . In 2002, the Angers Museum , and Abbey Ronceray make an exhibition of his works . The museum Beaufort -en-Vallée commissioned an in-situ creation. A 300 page monograph will be published by Editions Cercle d'Art.

Grau- Garriga will , after these exposures , a significant donation to Jean Lurçat Museum of Contemporary tapestry , Angers, an entire room is dedicated to him .

2009 : Jean Lurçat museum in Angers: Exposure: From darkness to light, Catalan Tapestries Picasso Grau- Garriga . This exhibition brings together several Catalan artists , and traces the history of the Catalan school of tapestry from the Manufacture of San Cugat . Abbey of Saint Florent le Vieil : exhibition of recent and new works . It gives rise to the publication of a catalog. 2010: an exhibition of drawings at the graphic arts firm of the Museum of Fine Arts .

Josep Grau-Garriga died August 29, 2011 in Angers. He was working at the "Portal of Peace" monumental work for the church of St Mathurin sur Loire, his adopted village. This unfinished work was mounted in 2012.

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