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The collections : Musée Jean-Lurçat / contemporary tapestry

Josep Grau-Garriga

Grau-Garriga in his workshop
Grau-Garriga in his workshop

(Sant Cugat del Vallès, 1929 – Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire, 2011)

A little after 1989, the date of his exhibitions in Angers (as part of the commemoration of the Bicentenary of the French Revolution), Catalan artist Grau-Garriga, moved to Saint Mathurin, along the banks of the Loire River.
In such a favourable environment: a large studio for painting, a barn-workshop for tapestry, close to the Loire with its magnificent quality of light, and surrounded by his family, this period was an especially fertile and creative one for the artist.
From 1999, Grau-Garriga began a cycle of tapestry works on the lives of country folk: their labour as well as his own childhood memories, odours and landscapes (Gent del Camp, "Amb o sense fruit", Aspre-tendre, etc).
The quality of the oeuvre, as well as the geographic proximity to Angers and the artist’s ties with the city resulted in a project for an exhibition that would synthesize his last ten years of creative work (1990-2000).

Therefore in 2002, the Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine exhibited his latest woven works, the Ronceray Abbey his religious paintings and the Chemellier Hall, his paintings. At the same time, the Musée de Beaufort-en-Vallée invited him to create an ‘in-situ’ artwork.
A catalogue was published by ‘Cercle d’art’, with texts by Gilbert Lascault for the occasion.

Following these exhibitions, Grau-Garriga offered the entirety of the oeuvres on display in the Salle ‘Paquebot’ to the city of Angers: four monumental tapestries and two drawings belonging to his cycle of works on his childhood in Catalonia, rural life (‘Aspre-dolc’, ‘Amb o sense fruit’), a tribute to his parents (‘Al padre’ and ‘Al madre’) and to coupledom (‘Home’ and ‘Dona’).  The roughness and softness of the works are tangible upon entering the room.

In 2010, an exhibition of his drawings was held in the Graphic Arts department of the Musée des Beaux-Arts and in 2011, soon before his death, his historic influence and role was highlighted in an exhibition on Catalan tapestry at the Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine.
The same year, the artist accepted to create a stained glass window surmounting painted panels and textiles for the second inner door of the Église de Saint Mathurin sur Loire. He chose as his theme peace and openness to the world. Since February 2012, the public can visit and admire La Porte de la paix [The Doorway to Peace].

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