Albert Ràfols Casamada

Artists / Albert Ràfols Casamada

Albert Ràfols Casamada

Albert Ràfols Married. Barcelona, February 2, 1923. Painter, poet.

Espai Cavallers Gallery


He learned the technique of drawing with his father, the painter Albert Ràfols Cullarés. Being still very young, he knows the work of Picasso, Braque and Miró through publications of the time such as Gaceta de las Artes or De Aquí y de Allí.

During these years he made cubist and futuristic drawings and began to take an interest in the work of Torres-García, also dating from that moment his literary vocation. He began studying architecture at the University of Barcelona (1942), at a time of intense dedication to poetic creation and the reading of authors and texts that would leave a deep mark on him, such as Proust, Joyce, the generation of 27, Catalan poetry contemporary and several theoretical essays on avant-garde movements. He enrolled in the Tàrrega drawing academy (1945), where he met the woman who was to become his wife, the painter Maria Girona, with whom he founded the short-lived Els Vuit group together with other artists.

He also became part of the Círculo Maillol, created in 1946 by Charles Collet and Xavier Valls, a platform from which the recovery of the avant-garde before the Civil War was sought. In these years, the works of Rafols-Casamada, themes of figures and interiors, show the influence of Cézanne and Fauvism. In 1948 he abandoned his architecture studies to devote himself entirely to painting.

Thanks to a grant from the French Government, he travels to Paris (1950), a city where he will remain until 1954, except for a brief stay in Spain. Despite accusing the architectonic sense of cubism, his works of that time are still not entirely abstract, presenting a certain influence of the realist current prevailing in the Paris of the 1950s.

He returned to Barcelona in 1955. From 1958, his style experienced a significant turn, facilitated in part by the discovery of the work of painters such as Rothko, Motherwell or Philip Guston. Consequently, his creations from 1959 to 1963 are abstract compositions, inscribed in a personal invoice framed in the Spanish informalism of the time.

In this same period (1962) he begins his teaching activity, giving classes at the Elisava School of Art and Design, of which he will be named director the following year.

He is also co-founder of Escola Eina (1967), an institution that carried out a process of modernizing artistic pedagogy in the context of the Barcelona cultural environment, and in which Ràfols served as director for seventeen years.

In the mid-sixties he participated in the Catalan version of Estampa Popular. After incorporating collage into his work (1963), from the seventies his works juxtapose areas of color and light strokes, in a synthesis of architectural structure and poetic sense. In 1980 he became part of the Board of Trustees of the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona, also receiving the National Plastic Arts Award. The Government of Catalonia awarded him the Cross of Saint George (1983), being distinguished by the French Government with the decoration of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1985). Likewise, in the 1980s he began to work in larger formats, while expanding his chromatic range with darker tones. His artistic production also includes the creation of stained glass windows, theater sets and publishing of graphic works, to which we must add his literary work.



Works by: Writings: Como una caja, 1972; Signo de aire (Poetic work 1968-1976), Barcelona, Curial, 1976; Notas nocturnos, Barcelona, Ediciones 62, 1976; Territory of time, Barcelona, Antoni Bosch, 1979; Ángulo de luz, Barcelona, Ediciones 62, 1984; The colors of the stones, Barcelona, Columna, 1989; About painting, 1985.

Paintings: The Straw Hat, 1947; Quarries, 1958; Emotion and reason, 1965; Series Alicia II, 1972; Greenhouse, 1982; Vaso Azul, 1987; Dutch diptych, 1989; Civitas Aurea, 1990; The Secret, 1991; Parsley, 1992; The passage of the signs, 2000; White line, 2000.

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