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Ten years after his retrospective at the Collection d’Art Brut de Lausanne, sixty years after his first exhibition organized by Dubuffet, we are proud to present the very rare cork sculptures by Catalan artist Joaquim Vicens Gironella (1911-1997).

In the exhibition catalogue of 1948, a subjugated Dubuffet wrote: “This organic flesh in which he carries his hand - it is the tree and the forest that speak in these corks - apparently excites the artist to associations of ideas on a poetic fi l or even throws him into a kind of feverish delirium.

The movement of his creations is signed from Spain: tempestuous dance, brutal truthfulness, tragic grotesque, respect for ugliness, philosophical and grave eroticism, blood and death. »

The set that we present covers the half-century of creation of this genius cork worker who wrote to his discoverer: “I refused any lesson.”

Joaquim Vicens Gironella
Joaquim Vicens Gironella during the shooting of the movie *Le Liège et la Mémoire* 1992-1993 - © christian berst — art brut

Born in Catalonia, Gironella (1911-1997) followed at an early age in his father’s footsteps in cork craftsmanship. Engendering a lifelong history with cork, unbothered by the exile to France forced by Franco. Thus, in 1948, Jean Dubuffet and André Breton dedicated an exhibition to him. Then, in 1967, Gironella is included in the exhibition L’art brut at the Musée des Arts Décoratif (Paris), hosted by François Mathey, then chief curator. Since 2021, he has been part of the traveling exhibition Francesc Tosquelles. Comme une machine à coudre dans un champ de blé, which will end its road at the New York American Folk Art Museum (after Les Abattoirs, Toulouse ; The Reina Sofía Museum , Madrid ; Contemporary cultural center Barcelone).

Press review
Joaquim Vincens Gironella : l'esprit du liège
Bénédicte Philippe, Télérama Sortir. May 23, 2007.
Gironella pousse le bouchon
Animula Vagula. April 22, 2007.
Joaquim Vincens Gironella

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