The Olot artist Anna Manel·la Llinàs, born in 1950, died in Olot on December 11, 2019; almost three years later, the Museu de la Garrotxa is dedicating a temporary exhibition to him in its open rooms (which can be visited from September 3 to January 15, 2023) which reviews his work as a whole and which at the same time time wants to be a tribute and a vindication of the importance of his work in the context of Catalan art of the last decades. Anna Manel·la (1950-2019). If I Could takes the title from one of her most emblematic paintings, but it also refers to her work as an artist, understood as an endless search to achieve some kind of essentially unattainable perfection but which she never stopped search.
Manelà was a multidisciplinary artist; his practice focused on painting until approximately 1993, and on sculpture from that time, never leaving aside drawing or work on paper, and making inroads into other media such as engraving , the artist's book and the installation. From the beginning of his career (he had his first solo exhibition in 1981), his work was developed maintaining a great internal thematic and aesthetic coherence. His artistic personality was valued for his individuality, even more so in an artistic context strongly marked by the weight of what is known as the School of Olot, and he enjoyed wide critical and public recognition; but his work is too little known outside the Girona regions. Her work arises from personal experiences and the fact of being a woman born in a very specific historical moment and geographical context, but she is able to transcend the terrain of the private to connect with common and identifiable experiences for all of us.
In this exhibition, his work is not presented from a historical and chronological discourse, but highlighting this inner unity and his perseverance in the repeated treatment of a series of elements and forms. We wanted to show the artistic personality of Anna Manel·la as a whole because we value her ability to establish and maintain a center around which her poetics unfolds. Therefore, works that were never exhibited folded and that even belong to distant temporal moments are presented together, and this makes possible a dialogue that until now had not taken place but which we hope will offer us the opportunity to hear and understand different things. In parallel with the exhibition, a catalog of his work has also been drawn up, which will soon be published in digital format, and Olot City Council will publish the book La dona i el mur , coordinated by Xavier Ruscalleda , which collects texts by various authors who reflect on their work and their career.