Claramunt is one of the main values of Catalan painting of the last decades of the twentieth century and we have not always been able to do it justice. Many people, despite the exhibitions dedicated to him by the MACBA in 2012 and the Marc Domènech Gallery in 2016, still do not know his artistic legacy.
Claramunt had an intense life, apart from conventionalisms and fashions. The son of a wealthy family, he decided to leave home to discover new ways of life. Since then, he has frequented the Chinatown and Barceloneta, where he came into contact with Roma life and culture, for which he was deeply fascinated. Thus began his artistic journey, often overshadowed by anecdotes and his biography. This exhibition, curated by Sílvia Martínez Palou and Àlex Susanna, offers us a broad and complete view of her pictorial career and does so in a sober, rigorous and direct way.
Through seven areas - Treasure Island , Cities and Landscapes , Marrakech , Winter Bull , The Golden Tooth, Shadow Line and Shipwrecks and Storms - the exhibition covers the main scenes of the life of the artist, the cities where he lived and which directly influenced his work: Barcelona (1970-1985), Seville (1985-1990) and Madrid (1990-2000), not to mention the occasional stays in Horta de Sant Joan and the Bilbao and the seven trips he made to Marrakech. Each of these stages is accompanied by a plastic evolution, the result of aesthetic and emotional experiences. Claramunt understood each of these stages as an inseparable whole that weaved a concrete story. Thus, we can clearly see the passage of the dramatic expressionism of the Barcelona years, of dense and dark painting, towards the luminosity and warmth of the fabrics of Marrakech, which will end up leading to the most abstract work during the years of Madrid. It is a dense painting, influenced by dirty art, worked with an expressionist brushstroke that harshly reflects the experiences lived during those years.
However, his works range from the rawness of the early nights to the essentiality and expressiveness of the bullfighting series, to the structured delicacy of his latest works. The works of the series Ice Storms , sadly premonitory, are the condensation of decades of painting, the culmination of a short but intense trajectory that must be vindicated. Thirty years of painting that are fully occupied by the Volart space of the Vila Casas Foundation, in an exhibition that can be seen until May 1 this year.
Photo: Luis Claramunt. Carro de banderillas , 1988. Oil on canvas, 100x81 cm © Pedro Martínez de Albornoz.