‘Contextura’ by Josep Grau-Garriga at Sabrina Amrani Gallery

Josep Grau-GarrigaAbandó d’un passat, 1979 Acrylic, synthetic fiber, wood, silk and Jacquard fabric , 155 x 205 x 10 cm Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani
Josep Grau-Garriga, Abandó d’un passat, 1979, Acrylic, synthetic fiber, wood, silk and Jacquard fabric , 155 x 205 x 10 cm, Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani.

Josep Grau-Garriga represents an art practice often marginalised by institutions and recent art history. His innovative textile work, now being rediscovered, reflects a career marked by periods of both recognition and neglect. Grau-Garriga’s artistry, which defies traditional categorisations, challenges the art system’s values, as noted by British art historian Griselda Pollock, who critiqued the devaluation of cultural practices associated with the domestic and feminine. Sabrina Amrani Gallery presents ‘Contextura’ a solo exhibition by Grau-Garriga set to take place from 18 May – 13 July 2024.

Beginning in 1957, Grau-Garriga revolutionised textile techniques, liberating tapestry from its traditional, decorative roles. Influenced by Jean Lurçat and his role as artistic director of the Casa Aymat Tapestry Factory, Grau-Garriga led radical transformations in the field, integrating new materials and achieving a status akin to postminimal sculpture, emphasising materiality and viewer experience.

Josep Grau-Garriga Del temps passat, 1994 Mixed media, 200 x 200 x 8 cm Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani
Josep Grau-Garriga, Del temps passat, 1994, Mixed media, 200 x 200 x 8 cm, Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani.

Grau-Garriga’s works, such as ‘Cofí’ (1972), ‘Textures fan mar’ (1974), and ‘Pell del poble’ (1976), illustrate his innovative approach. These pieces, though still tapestries feature exposed warp and unconventional materials like jute, rope, and hemp, expanding the medium’s possibilities and bridging it with painting and sculpture. During the 1970s, his textile practices moved beyond gallery walls, encompassing public spaces and community-oriented installations in the U.S., France, and Spain.

In his career, Grau-Garriga’s work often incorporated personal and domestic textiles, linking his art to collective and bodily experiences. For instance, ‘La lum i el temps’ (1987) and ‘De l’àvia Rosa II’ (1978) blend used garments and household fabrics, subverting traditional tapestry and painting categories. His approach aligns with Anni Albers’ ideas in ‘On Weaving’ (1965), emphasising the bodily and communal aspects of textile arts.

Grau-Garriga’s work challenges established art history narratives, offering a fresh perspective on the evolution of contemporary art. His legacy encourages a reevaluation of art practices once considered peripheral, highlighting their profound impact and relevance.

Josep Grau-GarrigaCofí, 1972 Yute, hemp and wool, 250 × 200 cm Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani
Josep Grau-Garriga, Cofí, 1972, Yute, hemp and wool, 250 × 200 cm, Courtesy of The Estate of Josep Grau-Garriga and Sabrina Amrani.

About Josep Grau-Garriga

Josep Grau-Garriga (1929-2011) was a renowned textile artist from Sant Cugat del Vallès, Catalonia. After 1992, he lived in Angers, France. In the 1970s and 1980s, his textile sculptures gained international attention, leading to a major retrospective at the Houston Fine Arts Museum in 1970. This marked the start of numerous projects in the U.S., Canada, and South America, including solo exhibitions at LACMA (1974) and Museo Rufino Tamayo (1987). His work featured in notable group exhibitions worldwide and significant collections like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris, and Museo Tamayo. In 2019, the Centre of Textile Art opened in Sant-Cugat del Vallès, honoring his legacy.

Location: Sabrina Amrani, Madrid

Dates: 18 May – 13 July 2024

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

 

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.