This exhibition will propose a review of the principal lines of experimentation of Catalan Avant-garde sculpture in the post-war years in Catalonia.
In a hostile climate dominated by official academic sculpture, artists such as Joan Brossa, Àngel Ferrant and Joan Miró set out to recover the initiatives of the new Avant-garde sculpture, experimented with by the group ADLAN during the Republic (1931-1936): objet trouvé, primitive sculpture and abstract sculpture. These were the three main avenues of experimentation that were to guide a new generation of Avant-garde sculptors during the post-war years who, like Josep Maria Subirachs, Moisés Villèlia, Marcel Martí and Francesc Torres Monsó, began to make a name for themselves in the context of the ebullient art scene in Barcelona in the late 1940s.
Objet trouvé, originating in Surrealism, was to be a point of reference for proposing a new subversive, counter-cultural sculpture, opposed to technology, noble materials and dogmatic sculpture. This experimental sculpture was made with ordinary objects, natural, humble, everyday materials and garbage, and it was very popular in small circles of the emerging Avant-garde, like Dau al Set or Club49. Object sculpture overlapped naturally with primitive sculpture, which spread far and wide in Catalonia after the creation of the group Altamira. The formal expressiveness, the search for totemic forms and symbols and the use of materials, inspired by African sculpture, but also by Romanesque or Prehistoric art, was hugely popular in a period in need of new historical, transcendent and cross-border points of reference.
The exhibition, lastly, also reviews one of the great specialities of post-war sculpture: abstraction. During the 1940s and 1950s, many emerging artists worked hard to refine their respective figurative works, which, coinciding with the influence of Informalism, resulted in a rich and diversified Avant-garde abstract sculpture scene. Apart from the pioneering work of Josep Maria Subirachs, many artists, still little known today (Marcel Martí, Francesc Torres Monsó) threw themselves into abstraction, with its different sides – expressive, geometric and organic.