Last November 12, Ignasi de Lassaletta, one of the most unique gallerists Barcelona has given, died at the age of 93. His family wanted this transfer to be discreet, but the human value of this man of art cannot go unnoticed. He closed his gallery a few years ago and it can be said that he was the dean of his sector for a long time. He created the gallery that bears his name in 1977 with the help of his wife Liu, an extraordinary person, and was later joined by his son Rod.
Ignasi de Lassaletta brought a series of artists to Barcelona, especially in the 1990s, that we would otherwise not have been able to enjoy. I would especially like to highlight Benjamín Palencia, the great surrealist painter who participated in the avant-garde of the thirties and whom he represented. He opened the gallery precisely with an exhibition of his own. Other outstanding artists were Oswaldo Guayasamín, politically engaged painter; Ortega Muñoz, representative of Castilian landscaping and also Miguel Condé, a painter of great elegance in the representation of his figures. He also had a special contact with Víctor Mira with whom he worked, united by a good friendship.
Ignatius of Lassaletta was very proud to have launched young artists who later shone with their own light. Jaume Plensa is well known nowadays, being considered one of the Catalan artists with the most international exposure. Lassaletta supported him in his early days and gave him his first exhibition in a gallery in 1983. From there Plensa grew to become the artist we all know. He also boosted the career of other artists such as Jordi Pallarès. After the death of his wife, Ignasi organized a series of memorable exhibitions in the nineties. You could really cite even more artists that he supported with almost more than forty years at the foot of the canyon.
Ignasi de Lassaletta was a charming person, with something of a gentleman, very well connected socially, with very loyal friends and a clientele that allowed themselves to be advised by his good taste. With great convening capacity, its inaugurations were truly multitudinous, attended by the best of Barcelona. One of his great friends was the art collector and patron Lluís Coromina, who has somewhat followed suit in relating contemporary art and ancestral cultures, especially the love for the African continent. Another person who supported Lassaletta intensely in the last stages was the collector and CEO of DKV Josep Santacreu
He also stood out as an art collector - he also loved ancient pre-Columbian and African art - and the historian Maria Lluïsa Borràs included him in a pioneering study on art collectors in Catalonia that she did for The Vanguard in 1987.
I met him in the mid-nineties and had the pleasure of working with him for twenty-four years learning things you don't get taught in college through dealing with artists and collectors. With his death, one of the last witnesses of a golden era of Barcelona art galleries disappears.