Eduard Arranz-Bravo (Barcelona, 1941) is one of those great local artists who, despite having an atomic career - starting with the Tipel de Parets del Vallès factory and even the cruise he painted in 2019 - we can rarely see ' n recent work exhibited in our country outside its foundation in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. The last time was the summer of three years ago, at the Espai Cendrós in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, and this year we will see it again in an individual exhibition from April 29 to June 10 in La Sant Cugat Gallery, where he has not exhibited solo for ten years.
The Barcelona artist's relationship with the Sant Cugat gallery comes from afar, it is one of the last gallery bastions of Arranz-Bravo in Catalonia; works mainly with the US and China. It must be said that, despite being over eighty years old, Eduard Arranz-Bravo continues to produce, and a lot. In the exhibition proposed by La Galeria, we can see pictorial and sculptural work from 2017 to the present, which allows us to take the pulse of one of the last great Catalan painters after the emergence of informalism.
Arranz-Bravo belongs to a group of artists - that of the sixties, with Artigau, Bartolozzi, Llimós, Sala, Serra de Rivera - who opted for a radical vindication of the present; an extreme defense of contemporaneity that Agamben describes as "writing soaking the pen in the darkness of the present." Although this has tragic reminiscences a priori, nothing could be further from the truth: this generation, led by Arranz-Bravo, used art as a tool to transmit life: tragic, yes, but also with beauty, fun and gaudi.
Albert Mercadé, curator of the artist's latest solo exhibition at the Arranz-Bravo Foundation, aptly titled Present Continuous , tells us that “Arranz-Bravo is well aware of its tragic nature, but does not decay into nihilism. Positive the decrepit energy towards the experience of the reality that, lived with intensity in the present continuum, can be pleasant and even joyful. ”
This is exactly what we can find in the pieces on display at La Galeria until June. Pieces such as Mani-Mani-Mani (2021) or Dear Paradise (2018) denote this intensity of the rhythmic, quasi-ritual and corporeal present, which dominates much of the pictorial production of the Barcelona artist of recent years, all without forgetting the sculpture, where this vivid mood is also strongly present, as in Europe, my baby (2014). On the other hand, Arranz-Bravo also experiences pictorial moments of restraint and introspection, which he usually reserves for the papers, some of which we can see in the exhibition in question, such as Pintura aixecada 5 .
Image: Arranz-Bravo . Bird I , 2021. Oil on canvas. 100x100 cm.