Catalog Cover Detail
I my last post I wrote about some of the work I did as a graduate student and presented an image of a weaving from my student days. While a student I found a catalog of the Spanish artist, Josep Grau-Garriga and was enthralled by the power of his work. I have held on to that catalog all these years and continue to enjoy reading it and studying the work.
Evocacio Oriental, 1967
The work is heavy with yarn, texture and color. You can both see and feel the artists' hands in the work. Despite the low-relief nature of the work, there are layers of interesting crevices and shadows which invite you to come closer to see what you might be missing.
The work is of a period and can easily be dated as being made in 1960's or 1970's but it was ground breaking in it's time. Like many artists whose work is copied and whose work becomes the starting point for other artists, people may not understand how new and fresh this work was when it was made. He, along with Magdalene Abakanowicz and Jagoda Buic (unable to find a suitable link) are credited with bringing tapestry weaving from the renaissance to a revolution and the 20th Century.
This deatil shows the use of the slit which is a natural
part of the tapesty weaving technique.
Philippe de Montebello wrote the introduction for this catalog. He was the director of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston Texas at the time. He says: "Tapestry is not merely craft. "Craft" is involved only sofar as it is the vehicle for the expression of his (Grau-Garriga) creative genius, his boldest ideas, and vision. It is drama, color, the heroic and mystical voice of Catalonia, which triumph in these substantial weighty, hangings of wool and hemp and metal."
Love Stories, 1971
The catalog I have was produced in 1971 by the Arras Gallery in New York City and presents not only the tapestries of this productive artist, but his paintings and collages. I love to see how an artists' vision translates from one medium to another. Here you can see that there is a tight relationship between the images and compositions through all of Grau-Garrigas work.
Who has influenced you? Whose work has held your interest? How has it impacted you and your work? Some work grabs you and just won't let go. Other work is a passing fancy. Can you identify work that falls into these two groups?
You can see more of Grau-Garriga's work at RoGallery. Born in 1929, he is now in his early 80's. I believe he lives in France but I do not know if he is still working.
**October 29, 2012 - Esther Garu (Grau-Garriga's daughter) just notified me that her father passed away August 29, 2011 while residing in France. He was a true talent and will continue to be an inspiration to artists all around the world.
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