Gargallo at Fundació Caixa Catalunya

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Gargallo at Fundació Caixa Catalunya
Pablo Gargallo, "Small Ballerina II" (1924 - 1925).

BARCELONA, SPAIN.- Fundació Caixa Catalunya has organized Gargallo, an exhibition that opens to the public at the Pedrera from 31 October 2006 to 28 January 2007. The Gargallo exhibition presents more than one hundred pieces by the artist Pablo Gargallo (Maella, 1881 - Reus, 1934), with the aim of acquainting the public with the work of one of the foremost sculptors of the last century. The works have been drawn from more than twenty museums and collections, not only from Saragossa and Barcelona but also from France (Paris, Rivesaltes, Ceret, Grenoble, Dijon, Marseilles), Switzerland, Belgium, Madrid and New York, among others.

The exhibition, curated by Rafael Ordoñez Fernández, chief curator of the Museo Pablo Gargallo, Saragossa, spotlights Gargallo's contribution to the process of physical liberation and conceptual reformulation of sculpture, decisive in the evolution of 20th century art. The core of the exhibition's discourse is the avant-garde works executed in the Twenties and Thirties, without leaving aside those of his creations that are linked to the classicist sensitivity* of the Catalan noucentisme movement, with the aim of highlighting the enduring and fruitful coexistence of the two tendencies.

A key figure in the development of modern sculpture, Pablo Gargallo trained in the creative hubbub of modernist Barcelona, and learnt how to combine artisan experience with academic instruction. At the dawn of the last century, his work in jewellery and wrought iron allowed Gargallo to appreciate the proximity of these crafts with sculpture, and to consider the possibilities of a variety of materials that until then were undervalued, such as iron, copper or lead, and which paved the way for the renovation of the 20th century language of sculpture.

Although a pioneer of modernity, throughout his career Gargallo maintained a duality of approaches that he alternated simultaneously. He pursued a classicist line, refined and sober, of noucentista origins, and at the same time, another of an innovative, experimental and synthetic nature, an avant-garde line, where he displayed a great freedom in adopting materials, techniques and forms. But, as the artist himself states: "My pieces of iron say the same as my more traditional works, they merely express themselves in another way..."

In addition to the exhibition curator's contribution, this exhibition has been put together with the support of Pierrette Gargallo, the artist's daughter, and the catalogue includes contributions from the writers, historians and art critics Edward Lucie-Smith and J. F. Yvars.

After its run in Barcelona, the exhibition moves on to La Lonja, in Saragossa, from 22 February to 22 of April.

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