In Catalonia there's a group of artists who were active between 1925 and the end of the 20th century, who have been kept hidden away. Antoni Tàpies is the exception. But he became known under the umbrella of the group Dau al Set, along with philosopher Arnau Puig, poet and playwright Joan Brossa, and painters Joan Josep Tharrats, Joan Ponç and Modest Cuixart (who was also Tàpies's cousin).
Cuixart died in 2007 in a town on the Costa Brava, and Barcelona hasn't seen his works exhibited since. By the way, the MACBA has some 50 Cuixarts from the art archives of the Generalitat (regional government of Catalonia), acquired for a hefty sum along with the collection of gallery owner Salvador Riera, but they're never displayed. Maybe they're faded or something...
Fortunately, the Galería Mayoral is bringing Cuixart back and, with the help of the artist's foundation and curated by the only surviving member of Dau al Set, Arnau Puig, exhibiting 27 paintings, drawings and sculptures from between 1948 and 1964, the painter's most interesting period. Cuixart. Experimental geometry features museum-quality pieces that detail how a group of young artists in a cultural and spiritual state of devastation, in post-war Spain, discovered artists at the forefront such as Kandinsky, Klee, Miró and Sert. Cuixart and Tàpies managed to get to Paris, where they discovered 'art brut', a creative otherness that led them to informalism – 'matèrica' (involving the use of non artistic materials) and zen in Tàpies's case, and existential and pop for Cuixart.
At the gallery entrance you'll find an object that's fundamental for understanding Cuixart: a pianola that plays Poulenc's 'Mélancolie'. The artist was surprised how a piece of mechanical paper perforated with geometric shapes could produce something magical. And this is the starting point from where we get to know his work.