J. Artigas, Public Art and Sculpture in Barcelona


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J. Artigas, Public Art and Sculpture in Barcelona

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J. Artigas, Public Art and Sculpture in Barcelona

  1. 1. Nicholas Socrates 2008Joan Gardy-Artigas’ ‘The Fang’/ ‘Earth & Fire’It’s absolutely magnificent!Strong and solid,Rooted in the ground,of its special grass plinthIts trunk is like the breast of a lion.Like a courageous dragon;so proudthe peak turning into goldextremely rich and successfulsleek and sexyvery curvaceouslike one big muscle ;a masculine sculpturereaching to the skypointing up.To a sharp Intelligent point,makes you look upexpanding the visionto the immense awarenessthis warrior in the worldgives the public strength and courage tocontinue their liveswith great dignity.A great role model,standing straight and true,Tall & Broad,with an expansive chest –and an open heart.This magnificent sculpture exists, in the area, out side the ‘Marie Christina’ Metro Station;Avinguda Diagonal 621, In the close vicinity is its cooperate owner La Caxia – SavingsBank; an awesome supermodern minimalistic building with reflective black cubic, glass. Thissculpture is a part of the banks extensive collection of contemporary art urban. The sculptureand its surrounding architecture speak to each other, (to the La Caxia building in particular) –creating an absolutely wonderful urban environment. A very unique area of Barcelona.The sculpture stands at 13.70 metres pointing up to the sky, expanding the publics awareness.This ‘Untitled’ work, made from painted, gilded concrete, in 1983 is often refered to as‘Earth and Fire’, also known as The Fang.
  2. 2. By, Joan Gardy-Artigas (Born 1938, Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France).The artistic name of Joan Llorens i Gardy, son of Josep Llorens iArtigas. Gained his experience in the circle surrounding Chagall,Braque and Giacometti in Paris. Most of his activity has takenplace in that city, where he has had a studio since 1959. Like hisfather he has collaborated with Joan Miró on numerous projects,and has not only worked in ceramics but also on monumentalsculptures in bronze and in plastic. Cuisse noire. Original color lithograph, 1966. 75 signed and numbered impressions published by Maeght Editeur in Paris. Image size: 400x365mm. Price: $500JOAN GARDY ARTIGAS (b. 1938) is a living embodiment of the modernist art movement. He isthe son of Josep Llorens Artigas, Picasso’s and Miró’s favorite ceramicist, Artigas grew upsurrounded by both the art and the artists who revolutionized twentieth-century art. At service as
  3. 3. Miró’s assistant, as a teenager, he left Spain several years later both to escape the oppressive Francoregime and to try and establish an independent artistic identity. After a period as a student at theEcole des Beaux Arts in Paris, he became friends with the sculptor Alberto Glacometti and, openinga ceramics atelier in Paris, worked with Georges Braques and Marc Chagall.When his father became too frail to work, Miró called him back to Spain and they had atwenty-year working partnership - broken only by Miró’s declining health in 1981.The fruits of this partnership can be seen in the large ceramic murals and sculptures all overthe world including ceramic murals for Harvard University, UNESCO (Paris), FondationMaeght (St. Paul), the 1970 World’s Fair in Osaka,the Barcelona airport, the Kunsthaus in Zurich, the This public sculpture GardyJoan Miró in collaboration with is by Artigas,Haack Museum (Ludwigshafen), IBM in 1982. This 22 meters high, in theHeadquarters (Barcelona), and a 60-metre ceramic Parc Joan Miró, also called Parc demural for the Palais des Expositions et des Congres lEscorxador, in Barcelona, Spain, isde Madrid, He and Miró also collaborated on a 22- made from; concrete and covered in ceramic tiles styled by Artigasmeter ceramic sculpture for a fountain inBarcelona.In addition to his work with Miró, Artigas has made a number of monumental publicsculptures including a monumental work in Zurich, a large fountain for Vitry-sur-Seine, LaPorta Blanca, an 8.5-meter cement and bronzesculpture for Chamonix, Forma de dona for Plateaud’Assy, Porta per una ciutat, an 11-meter scuptureoutside Barcelona, La porta de Franca, a 15-metersculpture on the French side of the tunnel at Mont-Blanc, Terra I foc, this 15-meter work for "la Caixa,"Barcelona, and works for Dallas, Atlanta, Miami,London, the Fonda Europa de Granollers, Barcelona,and the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró in Palma deMallorca, and sculpture gardens in London andTokyo. He also participated in several architecturalprojects with the firm of Skidmore Owings, and Merrill, making ceramic floors and fountains in Atlanta, Chicago, Cairo, Egypt.
  4. 4. Artigas began exhibiting his own smaller ceramic and bronze sculptures in France and Spainduring the mid-1960s and began making lithographs and etchings in 1968. He has had anumber of commissions for large public sculptures (in bronze, ceramics, and concrete) inEurope, Japan, and the U.S. and has had shows in many European, Japanese, and Americangalleries and museums, including The Meadows Museum of Spanish Art at SouthernMethodist University in Dallas, the Hispanic Institute in New York, and Galerie Lelong inParis. A major retrospective of his works in all media was held at the Tecla Sala CentreCultural in Barcelona in 1996 and a large exhibition documenting Miró’s collaborations withJosep Llorens Artigas and Joan Gardy Artigas was held at the Fundació Pilar I Joan Miró inPalma de Mallorca in 1998.Spaightwood Galleries gave him hisfirst U.S. one-person show in 1982, andhas included his work in shows almostevery year since, with one-personshows usually every two to three years.He has been a visting artist at theUW—Madison, and the University ofNebraska–Lincoln. He serves on theboard of the Fondation Miro inBarcelona and is Director of theFundació Tallers Josep Llorens Artigasin Gallifa, Spain, which he created in1989 in memory of his father and toprovide a place where artists from all Objet organique. Ceramic sculpture with acrylic paint, 1983. Executed while Artigas was a visitingparts of the world come together to artist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison . Size:work for a period of up to six months. 415x620x260mm. Price: $7500. “First, I believe that a person is an artist not necessarily by the grace of God—but, well yes . . . by genetics . . . by force of character. Then . . . given that anything is possible and that everything has already been done, that we have had a total liberty to create since Dada and Duchamp (there’s nothing left to destroy), that Sensuelles scories No. 5. the academy and academics are totally Ceramic sculpture, 1981. outdated . . . Then (given all this) . . . the Size: 250x340x150mm. artist has to choose [what] (a subject) and Price: $5,500. [how] (a technique).”
  5. 5. “It is rare to find great works in the history ofart that do not have at their origin a profoundmotivation, be it religious, nationalistic, social,or even personal. In my case, the choice wasmade almost “automatically.” Not being abeliever, God could not help me. Not havingany particular political sympathies because I amtoo critical of all of them, I could not benationalistic. The creative adventure, then,became for me one of eroticizing the world: thisdesire, nonetheless, attenuated by something Ihave inherited from my father and from Miró, ataste for work and the pleasure of the rawmaterials of my work.” Objet charnel. Ceramic sculpture with acrylic“To speak or to do, the ephemeral or the paint, 1983. Executed while Artigas was aconcrete: there is not much to say but so visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin– Madison. Size: 530x540x320mmmm. $7,500.much to do. I think that every work whichhas ever been created takes much greater effort to be destroyed. That is, after creation thework has its own life which totally escapes the artist, and . . . that is good because that is whatpermits him or her to advance, to progress. Using as a base a definite knowledge, a definitemastery of the métier, every creator mustsubvert the subject. It’s a matter of breakingthe structure—but this is based on “ . . . ”When the surrealists speak aboutassassinating painting, it’s obvious that the “. . . ” is the basis or point of departure for theassassination because their means ofexpression is painting or literature.”“For me, it is evident that you cannot do thegame work, create the same piece twice withearth, stone, and bronze. Each materia,having its own characteristics, must berespected for its individuality.” Plaquette1. Ceramic sculpture with acrylic paint, 1983. Executed while Artigas was a“When the concern is creating a sculpture visiting artist at the University of Wisconsin–for a specific location, it is obvious that the Madison .first thing to do is to study the site. An urban Size: 280x400x18mm. Price: $2800landscape, the open-air environment of the
  6. 6. country, a highway, a huge space or a small one sets the conditions for the sculpture—both itsdimensions and its form, even its color. The sculpture can be implanted by opposition to theenvironment as well as throughintegration with it. In fact, thelocation, the site, dictates at least 50% of what the work will be; but it is always, in the end,based on that “ . . . ” A “ . . . ” that, little by little, bit by bit, because of the work undertaken,grows and becomes richness itself.”In fact, all design involves preconceptions about the nature of the community in a broadersense, whether they are conscious or not. Experiential richness cannot be created by accident,or without a basic understanding of the sensibilities of those who will be using the space. Thedevelopment of the aesthetic reality, which characterises contemporary architecture andindustrial design, by means of individual self-expression or one’s inner spiritual self andcreative imagination, inner resources and intuition are utilized as the base used whendesigning. This philosophy is closely linked to a number of artistic values found inmovements like Expressionism and the Avant-garde movement. This design value is closelyrelated to abstract forms and expression, personal creative liberty, elitism and being ahead ofthe rest of society.Expressionistic form, which can be found, to some extent in the “air” of a given time andeach generation, should generate an aesthetic style that expresses the uniqueness related tothat time. Every age has a certain spirit or set of shared attitudes that should be utilised whendesigning. The Spirit of the Times denotes the intellectual and cultural climate of a particularera, which can be linked to an experience of a certain worldview, sense of taste, collectiveconsciousness and other-than-conscious greater awarenesses.