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Contemporany Art 

The democratisation of the political system that permitted the internal artistic development and international interrelation, and the intense commercialisation of the artistic phenomenon, brought about a stark development in the 1980s in the plastic arts. Despite this, in the last decade of the century, enthusiasm declined, but not the work or the quality of the artists.

Bruno Gallart (Tarragona, 1941)
Bruno Gallart, Tors jacent

A sculptor who began his training at the School of Arts and Trades of Tarragona. Since the 60s, he has staged individual and collective exhibitions in Tarragona and in other locations in Catalonia. He is the author of various murals and monuments. He has been awarded, among others, First Prize in Sculpture at the Provincial Awards of Tarragona (1962) and the Julio Antonio Medal of the Diputació (1981). He expresses his work through various materials and themes.

In recent years, he has worked on the sculptures of the Sagrada Família temple in Barcelona.

Daniel Argimon (Barcelona, 1929–Alcanar, 1996)
Daniel Argimon, Cruïlla

He was one of the first artists of the Catalan informalist movement that developed at the end of the 1950s. In the mid 1970s he punctuated his usual residence with increasingly frequent stays in Alcanar.

His painting, eminently material-based, also involves the use of collage with the use of paper, card, fabric and extrapictorial elements with which he achieves a great variety of visual textures. He works in colour, to achieve both delicate harmonies and strong, impacting contrasts.

Jaume Solé (Valls, 1943 - 2011)
Jaume Solé, Retaule de Sarajevo

His training began in Valls, with Josep M. Tost, and culminated with the painter Josep Soligó in Barcelona, returning later to Valls where he took up residence.

In the 1970s, he was part of the group Un Nus, working to achieve the democratisation of the institutions of the country. After the group dissipated, he continued his growing career in the field of painting, characterised by the spirit of research and renovation. The omnipresence of man is a constant theme in his art, always working on the side of man and freedom. Fires, war, violence and ecological problems have always been present in his paintings.

Enric Adserà (Cabra del Camp, 1939)
Enric Adserà, Suite Oriental

Residing in the Netherlands, his work is comprised of engravings, paintings, collages, montages, and sculptures. He uses elements that have been used before, that already have their own history, giving them a new life.

His compositions are created with drawings, newspaper clippings, paper, personal keepsakes, and so on and show great iconographic richness.

Suite Oriental (Oriental Suite) belongs to the series Les parets del meu taller (The Walls of my Workshop), which was displayed in 1992 in this Museum.



The Diputació de Tarragona Biennial Art exhibition

In 1944, with the Julio Antonio Prize for Sculpture and the Tapiró Prize for Painting, the Diputació de Tarragona introduced awards for the promotion of artistic creation. 

This award was initially an annual one, before it became the Biennial Art Exhibition we know today.

Manel Llauradó (Reus, 1959)
Manel Llauradó, Sense títol

Manel Llauradó, through his sculptural work, shows concern for questions of shape and volume; his personal language clearly reveals the suggestion of the torsion and elasticity of matter. He usually works with wood and iron. The quality of iron that interests him most is its elastic capability.

Research into his own language has led him to broad cultural activity that also includes alternative views like the SIEP - Sàpigues i Entenguis Produccions, a creative group.

24th Julio Antonio Award for Sculpture, Biennial Art Exhibition 1987.

Salvador Juanpere (Reus, 1953)
Salvador Juanpere, Teoria

On a trolley, the artist places a series of marble blocks, which contain disordered elements of an inscription: “catàstrofes” (catastrophes).

The initial work by Salvador Juanpere shows a dual synthesis between natural and urban reality through related organic and synthetic materials.

His work has gradually moved towards the use of historical materials such as stone, cast iron or wood, through which the artist asks poetic questions inspired by the thought of the latest scientific paradigms. His most recent work attempts to address an internal glance at the artistic creative process: thought, technology and art's own instruments.

31st Julio Antonio Prize for Sculpture, Biennial Art Exhibition 2002

Joaquim Chancho (Riudoms, 1943)
Manel Llauradó, Sense títol

He is admired by many artists, both as a teacher at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona and for his own honest and consistent work.

His pictorial production has been characterised as a subtle work. His larger works provide harmony and balance thanks to the precision of his compositions, which accurately ordered with a controlled stroke, but never symmetrical or mathematical. He seduces the simplicity of the work achieved by slowness, by time spent in achieving a well-made piece.

24th Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 1987.

Federico Sancho (Madrid, 1979)
Federico Sancho, Dinamo

L’artista Federico Sancho va néixer a Madrid l’any 1979, els seus anys d’experiència l’han portat a qüestionar l’art com a sistema alternatiu de coneixement, i a posicionar-se sobre la fina línia que separa ficció i de la realitat amb distància i ironia. Aquest artista madrileny ha exposat la seva obra en diversos punts de l’estat espanyol i estranger. Barcelona, Toledo o Madrid són algunes de les ciutats que han vist les seves creacions.

José Manuel Quintana Martelo (Roxos, 1946)
José Manuel Quintana, Semiòtica de la traducció

The artistic career of Quintana Martelo provides interesting and strong variants that have been forged over time. In drawing, he finds the element that allows him to express the elementary ideas that later will be strengthened in painting. Engraving allows him to come into contact with the world of books and maintain a close collaboration with literary creators. However, painting is the essence of his work, creating his own language that allows him to achieve, through reflection, a high degree of beauty in his creations. Despite this, these three disciplines are often inseparable in his work.

At the moment, the artist is investigating new modes of expression such as installations, sculpture and video.

23rd Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 1980.

Joan Casals (Tarragona, 1945 - 2011)
Joan Casals, Memòria del temps

He studied at the Art School of Tarragona and works in different media such as card or stone. His work blends signs and symbols with graphics, achieving suggestive pieces reminiscent of oriental cultures and the Greco-Roman world. He sometimes uses figurative elements in indefinite spaces, in which the moment of the memory and personal experience take on great significance.

His works, very detailed with superimposed layers of paint, play with transparency and texture.

27th Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 1989.

Jep Cerdà (Tarragona, 1954)
Jep Cerdà, Eina de Txelarevo

He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona, where he is the chair of sculpture and was also the dean. He has been interested in architecture and the symbolic richness of the Arab and Pre-Columbus cultures throughout his career. His works are structured in a series based on themes such as the Alhambra, the literary work of Jorge Luís Borges or shapes derived from plant morphology.

His work is characterised by the originality of the shapes, the purity of the volumes, the richness of the textures and the harmonious game of fullness and emptiness within the best tradition of sculpture.

Barbara Stammel (Starnberg, Alemanya, 1960)
Barbara Stammel, Hermana I

The paintings of Barbara Stammel express feelings, experiences, struggles, pain, pleasure and tensions. She uses disproportion in the dimensions of the faces to intensify their expressive identity. Hermana I, contains strength in the brushwork and centres all the attention on the gaze, which provides a large dose of psychological reflection.

We can speak of her artistic work as a return to painting and, specifically, to the representation of conceptual postulates. The human form, especially the face, acquires the singularity of being conceived as an object. The pictorial treatment is traditional of oil techniques and the plastic resources are orientated towards shaping maximum expressivity, all respecting the spontaneity of the brushwork.

31st Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 1998.

Kribi Heral (Biar, 1967)
Kribi Heral Reaccion-situacion (Kribi)

The painting of Kribi Heral strikes a difficult balance between chaos and order, freedom and control and, at the same time, allows us a glimpse of a tragic-comic line that does not diminish the degree of spontaneity of his work. Despite the distance that the media, methacrylate, can impose on the painter, we feel a warmth emanating from the tenderness with which he manages his materials.

He denounces the relationship between man and his environment and the use of mass media as a means of manipulation. This explains why the human figure continues to be the main element in his stories, despite the fact that this is often shown with a certain degree of abstraction.

In the work of this artist we find a bond between the different languages, pop and the subtle references to theatrical gesturalism of previous decades and more recent graphics. All of this, resting on a narrative base infused with surrealism.

35th Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 2006.

Ana Sánchez (Salamanca, 1964)
Ana Sánchez, Sense títol

This work is made up of a collage of photographic images of her own hand, scanned and reproduced as a composite series. The whole surface becomes a great sea of coloured hands that draw dynamic rhythms in a circular pattern.

Ana Sánchez has created a broad artistic collection of compositions that are abstract and, at times, a touch Baroque, based on the accumulation of elements. The language she offers does not speak, but emits a silent visual cry. She seeks the synthesis between what is banal and what is profound and so tries to construct and deconstruct how to express emotion and rationality through new spaces and new fissures.

33rd Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 2002.

Javier Muro (Pamplona, 1968)
Javier Muro, Summer

Summer 2005 is a hammock that disconcerts the person who tries to rest in it. The seat, a symbol of summer, contains photographs with a dead rabbit in the background. The whole thing is a lifeless sculpture.

It uses kitsch aesthetics and vivid colours, specifically the green of an operating theatre as, he explains, in the piece there is also a bit of illness. He tries to hide the cruelty that exists in the reality of the work by giving it a poetic air, approaching what he calls, “the elegant aesthetic of the morbid”. The sculpture of Javier Muro is like a bridge that the artist extends to the individual and the world around him; his work is based on realistically based photographs later retouched by computer.

33rd Julio Antonio Prize for Sculpture, Biennial Art Exhibition 2006.

Antonio Alcàsser (Tirig, 1963)
Antonio Alcasser, Projecte Arbres IV

The career of Antonio Alcàsser began in the world of engraving and has evolved to the world of painting, applying new techniques through which he creates his own language to communicate with his audience. This artist offers us a visualisation in black and white in practically all of his work.

In his latest works, he considers the mystery of old age and the relationship between older people and children. He senses a curious feeling between men and trees: a relationship between humans and nature, in which the trees become people and the people, trees. Grandparents and grandchildren create a relationship of love and solidarity. The grandparents are our roots, the grandchildren, the small tree protected so that it can grow. Thus Alcàsser goes deeper into these human relationships that have their own projection in nature.

34th Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 2004.

Josep Salmerón (Tortosa, 1964)
Josep Salmeron, Sense títol

Josep Salmerón combines creation with the teaching of art. Josep Salmerón's perseverance and attitude in his work is a condition of searching for what he cannot say with words, the facts of action, the act of creating. It is not so much about manipulating the subject as how it is shown. Thus, his work jolts us and drives us to contemplate, to look.

This work, according to Arnau Puig, displays some of the radical concerns of the painting of our time: the concern for existential space and the indefinition that the individual existence of each of us has to go through.

32nd Tapiró Prize for Painting, Biennial Art Exhibition 2000.

Diego Pujal (Buenos Aires, 1971)
Diego Pujal, A mano
“The work of Diego Pujal is related to the world of keys and codes that arise from our interaction with this medium: in this regard, his paintings can be a tool, a key or an enigma."

Diego Pujal (Buenos Aires, 1971) is a graduate of Art and Drawing of the Buenos Aires School of Fine Arts. His works speak of emptiness, of what exists in the frontier. And of how from emptiness - from the abyss - it is possible to construct objects, forms and signs. Because sometimes emptiness - the great void - signifies more than reality and overwhelms us. "Bidimensionality is a space remote from our corporality. It is a conceptual and communicative space par excellence. It acts as a key to a sector of our perception and our understanding”.

He has held various individual and collective exhibitions in Argentina and Spain. Alongside Verónica Coulter he has produced the stage art of several operas for the Barcelona based company I.T.L.: Il viaggio a Reims, Orfeo i Eurídice, Gaudí, L'elisir d'amore, Carmen, Manon, Death in Venice, Simon Boccanegra, Le nozze di Figaro and Salomé, staged at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu and at various opera houses throughout the world.
He is the resident artist at Hangar, Centre de Producció d’Art de Barcelona. 

The work of Diego Pujal is displayed in institutions such as the Provincial Council of Alicante, the Modern Art Museum of Tarragona, the Casa Nacional de Moneda, the Central Bank of Bolivia and the Irureta Museum, in Tilcara, Argentina.
Ester Ferrando (Reus, 1972)
Esther Ferrando, Silenci diari

The recent installations by the artist are a provocation to make the spectator reflect on aspects of daily life. These speak of introspection and individuality.

Since 1995, when she held her first individual exhibition in the Hortensi Güell hall of the Reading Centre in Reus, Ester Ferrando has held exhibitions in various spaces in Catalonia and, in 2004, in the Centre for Catalan Studies of the Sorbonne University in Paris. 

32nd Julio Antonio Prize for Sculpture, Biennial Art Exhibition 2004.

Albert Macaya (Barcelona, 1961)
Albert Macaya, Sense títol

In this work, the artist plays with the tenuous and fragile corporeity and the luminous shadow that it generates; it also considers a new vision of empty and full spaces, a question that is present in current sculpture.

A subject that defines the work of Albert Macaya is research into identity in the contemporary world. The author works extensively on the idea of building knowledge and identity.

Looking at his artistic career, we can confirm that after a period in which he dedicated himself to painting, he moved on to work with sculpture as a terrain that, “has more possibilities to relate to space, to take steps towards installations: to make the visitors pass through the pieces, to make them feel involved,” as he says himself.

30th Julio Antonio Prize for Sculpture, Biennial Art Exhibition 2000.