This is Josep Guinovart

By Gwylym Owen

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Josep Guinovart (20 March 1927 in Barcelona – 12 December 2007 in Barcelona) was a Catalan painter most well-known for his informalist or abstract expressionist work.

In 1941, he began to play-act as a decorator. Three years later, he started his studies at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de la Llotja (Art School of La Llotja) where he stayed until 1946.

He first exhibited his accomplish in 1948 in Galerías Syla in Barcelona. In 1951, he produced his first engravings entitled ‘Homage to Federico García Lorca’. Two years later, he was awarded a succeed to from the French Institute to psychoanalysis in Paris for nine months. Here he discovered the cubist works of Matisse and Picasso and travelled to Belgium, Holland and Germany.

On his return to Barcelona and after a period operating as an illustrator and set designer, around 1957 he began touching towards abstract art. His take effect is severely unconventional and usually upon a large scale, using a broad range of materials, three-dimensional objects and organic substances such as eggshell, earth and straw.

In 1962, he illustrated a book of poetry entitled Posies by Joan Salvat-Papasseit for the Ariel Editorial. He won many accolades for his play throughout the 1970s and 80s, including Spain’s National Award for Plastic Arts in 1982.

In 1994, a museum opening dedicated to his art was inaugurated in Agramunt, his mother’s birthplace to which he always felt a special attachment.

In 2006 he meant the winery Mas Blanch i Jové in La Pobla de Cérvoles (Lleida) and created The Artists’ Vineyard, a project expected to blend sculptures and new art works from swing artists in the middle of a vineyard. The Artists’ Vineyard was inaugurated after his death in 2010 when the unveiling of his sculpture The Countryside Organ: a music instrument, 6 meters height, for the wind to sing the vines. This winery also displays the 10.5 meters work In Vino Veritas and additional artists’ works.

He died on 12 December 2007 at the age of 80, a few days after suffering a heart attack. He is buried in the Sant Gervasi Cemetery, Barcelona.

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