On January 18, the program for the Year of Ràfols Casamada – Maria Girona was presented at Nau Gaudí in Mataró. The event was in charge of Bernat Puigdollers, curator of the annual program, Lluís Bassat, president of the Carmen & Lluís Bassat Private Foundation and collector, Núria Poch, director of the Consortium Museu d'Art Contemporani de Mataró and curator of the exhibition and Xesco Gomar, Councilor for Culture of Mataró City Council. This exhibition was formally opened on January 18 at 7:00 pm by the Mayor of Mataró, David Bote, and is considered the most extensive exhibition of this year on the artist, with works from the Collection Basset
The exhibition consisting of 44 works, and the one recently inaugurated at the Museu del Cântir in Argentona, with 13 more works from the Bassat Collection, mark the start of the Ràfols Casamada - Maria Girona Year, since this marriage of artists had celebrated the 100th anniversary of his birth in Barcelona this year.
Both anthological exhibitions have been curated by Núria Poch, Director of the Mataró Museum of Contemporary Art Consortium - formed by Mataró City Council and the Carmen & Lluís Bassat Private Foundation - who has curated three other exhibitions by the artist since 2008.
The exhibition, which will remain open until September 24 this year, allows you to learn about all the artistic stages of the painter, spread over six decades of work: from the last years of the 1940s, to the last works of the first years of the new millennium
It must be said that Ràfols Casamada is the best represented artist in the Bassat Collection, with more than a hundred works. The Collection also includes 90 works by Maria Girona, forty of which will be loaned for the monographic exhibition that will open in September at the Vila Casas Foundation's Espai Volart.
The key stage that marks the painter's artistic maturity occurs at the beginning of the seventies, which according to Bernat Puigdollers, "is a moment of collective and individual euphoria, in which the artist is like a fish in the water and claim their freedoms, personal and artistic." This is a period very well represented in the Bassat Collection. It also coincides with the moment when the Bassat couple and the Ràfols Casamada couple became friends, to the point that the collector and the artist painted together, many years later, a solidarity work that is now part of the Collection . As Núria Poch says, in fact, "curating from a particular collection allows us to read a double trajectory, that of the artist and that of the collector".
In general terms, according to Bernat Puigdollers, the painter's work is "a constant deepening around the same concepts, the same concerns and formal and conceptual concerns. Ràfols is always the same, but it always emerges new from itself", and over time, "its relationship with the landscape and objects gradually moves away from representation, to become a symbol."
Puigdollers also pointed out that "it is not possible to understand Ràfols' painting without considering its multiple facets - painting, poetry, pedagogy - and its civic character. Ràfols is not an island, it is part of a society and one feels part of it."
"Ràfols Casamada" exhibition. Works from the Bassat Collection"
The exhibition Ràfols Casamada.Obres de Collección Bassat is opened by the work entitled Still life of the lemon, which is a still life from 1947 with an obvious Cubist influence. The piece Ratlla blava i fruitera (1975), Nocturne (1989), Nit Transparent (1991) or Al Taller (1995) should also be highlighted. Other important paintings in this exhibition are Concert (2022) or Vestiges (2022).
On the other hand, for the celebration of the Ràfols Casamada – Maria Girona Year, a good number of activities have been organized with the aim of disseminating and claiming the work of both painters. Next year, important initiatives will also be hosted, some outside Catalonia, such as that of the Juan March Foundation in Palma de Mallorca, which will later travel to the Museo de Arte Abstracto in Cuenca. As other collaborations are also being developed in the form of conferences, readings, podcasts, etc...
It is also worth highlighting the initiative of the Fuchs-Girona family, nephews of the artists, which has promoted the first web page dedicated to the work of Ràfols Casamada and Maria Girona - which will be operational at the end of January -, a first stone to gather and disseminate the artistic career of painters.
Entry to the exhibition will be free and it will be possible to take self-guided tours for families in the Nau, which will have a "backpack" with objects and a drop-down with a series of tests to boost knowledge about the building
At the end of the visit, the backpack is returned and the families receive a souvenir of the Ship. In addition, as usual, guided tours will be scheduled for individuals, for groups and for schools, and
workshops aimed at each of the training cycles.
On the other hand, every first Sunday of the month there is a free guided tour and every third Sunday there is a free family activity for children over five years old.
Visiting hours for the exhibition are from Tuesday to Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The Center will be closed on Mondays.