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Rafael Bartolozzi

Bartolozzi 1943-2009

20 November 2015 to 21 February 2016


Bartolozzi 1943-2009

20 November 2015 to 21 February 2016

To mark the 5th anniversary of the death of the artist, at the age of 66, the Museum of Navarra and the Modern Art Museum of Tarragona (MAMT) have decided to dedicate an exhibition to Rafael Bartolozzi, in order to revisit and showcase his artistic career and contribution. This exhibition aims to highlight the key aspects of the development of his concept of art throughout its chrono-stylistic evolution, which is why it adopts an approach similar to an anthology, the works he produced being selected on the basis of their intrinsic interest and representativeness to these significant and characteristic aspects.

Bartolozzi belonged to the generation of Zush, Llimós, Gerard Sala and Arranz Bravo, with whom he shared artistic adventures for twelve years, at the height of hippie rebellion, overcoming individuality (as the Crónica team), and sharing youthful ideals during a era in which, with the transition towards democracy and new freedoms, anything seemed possible. However, each one maintained their own individuality and they hardly ever worked on the same piece, with the exception of the 2,000 square metre macro-project for the Tippel factory building, in Parets del Vallès, and the library at Cela's home in Mallorca. Outside the Catalan environment, his work maintained close ties with artists such as Gordillo and Arroyo. It was a generation that wanted to produce art without ever losing sight of everyday reality, and was therefore not addressed at intellectualism, but for the enjoyment of ordinary people, like pop music.

The painting of Bartolozzi is intuitive, festive, emotional and produces a type of fabulation of reality in which imagination and poetry are merged with the real point of reference in curious metaphors. He observed things and expressed them through a total, absolute and immediate creative energy, without mystification or dogma. Over time, his work was constantly enriched, producing a multiplication of resources and intricacies to serve his unstoppable expressive drive.  He combines and mixes abstract, concrete, imaginary and surreal environments. He creates the painting from "rediscovered" images from the unconscious which establish the argument, the starting point; later, he adds geometry, lattices, trails, fabrics, circuits, structures, muddles, signs, organic forms and graphic symbols, zigzags, etc. All of this emerges from a capricious, fluctuating and grotesque iconic imagination which transforms and deforms the real reference and gives it a dreamlike quality which at times is rather sophisticated, yet at other times clearly primitive.

Raquel Medina de Vargas
Exhibition curator