Joaquim Vincens Gironella
The spirit of cork
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 was born in Catalonia, near the French border. As most of his family worked as cork makers, he was initiated to the same craft and wrote articles and poems celebrating the qualities of cork oak for local press. In 1936 he became involved in the Spanish army. On 1939 he escaped to France where he was interned in a camp in Aude. After his liberation Gironella moved to Toulouse where he worked in a factory. Around 1941 he began sculpting cork. The director of the factory, René Lajus, asked him to lend him several sculptures for his office in Paris. In 1948, Jean Dubuffet, who was at the time still a wine merchant, visited him for a command of corks and fell in love[…]