Joaquim Vicens Gironella

Spain, 1911 - 1997

Joaquim Vicens Gironella was born in Catalonia, near the French border. Because most of his family worked as cork makers, he was initiated into the same craft and wrote articles and poems celebrating the qualities of cork oak for the local press. In 1936 he joined the Spanish army. In 1939 he escaped to France, where he was interned in a camp in Aude. After his liberation, Gironella moved to Toulouse, where he worked in a factory. Around 1941 he began sculpting cork. The factory director, René Lajus, asked to borrow several sculptures for his office in Paris. In 1948, Jean Dubuffet, who at the time was still working as a wine merchant, visited Lajus for an order of corks and fell in love with Gironella’s work. He decided to organize an exhibition of his carvings at the Foyer de l’Art Brut. Gironella progressively transformed his technique, creating mural panels inspired by themes linked to his native Catalonia, Muslim art and medieval representations.

Fonte: Centro de Arte Oliva


© Courtesy christian berst art brut