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El Taller i l'Escola

From the Republic to democracy


The Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia in Tarragona

When the II Republic was proclaimed in 1931, the Government constructed a significant project about the culture of the country. The creation of the Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture in Tarragona established Tarragona as a leading centre for education in the plastic arts.

The proposal directed by Ignasi Mallol and Joan Rebull, with the teachers Salvador Martorell, Enric Cristòfol Ricart, Josep M. Capdevila and Rafael Benet, contributed to the training of a great number of students, some of whom, such as Josep Busquets, Sadurní Garcia Anguera, M. Teresa Ripoll, Gonzalo Lindín or Enric Pinet, became recognised artists.

The school was destroyed by the bombings suffered by the city of Tarragona during the course of the civil war.

Ignasi Mallol (Tarragona 1892- Bogotà 1940)
Ignasi Mallol, Paisatge

He was educated in Barcelona at the Galí Academy, where he also went on to become the director. Through his friendship with Francesc Vayreda, he visited Olot with Iu Pascual, where he established himself in 1917 and where he painted some of his best landscapes. In 1934, with Joan Rebull, he was the promoter of the Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture of Tarragona, of which both were co-directors until it disappeared in 1938. He was also Commissioner for Safeguarding Artistic Heritage of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia (1934-1938). He died in exile in 1940.

There are two primary stages in his painting: Olot (1917-1929) for which he gained recognition as one of the artists who best captured the landscape of Olot, and Tarragona (1929-1939) which was the conclusion of his artistic career.

Salvador Martorell (La Canonja 1895 – Tarragona 1968)
Salvador Martorell, Sortint del bany

He began his training at the Arana i Bru Workshop in Tarragona and in 1914 he moved to Barcelona, where he studied at the Llotja School for a year and worked at the house of Gabriel Bechini. With a grant from the Provincial Council of Tarragona, he stayed in Paris from 1918 to 1919 before returning to Barcelona. He worked as a teacher at the Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture of Tarragona (1934-1938) and at the Workshop and School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona (1947- 1965).

His work is formally linked to noucentisme (a cultural-political movement in Catalonia at the beginning of the 19th century) and shows great technical skill and sensitivity when dealing with the human form

Gold medal at the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Paris, 1925

M. Teresa Ripoll (Tarragona 1914-1987)
M. Teresa Ripoll, Nicodemus

An excellent student of the Art School, when the Julio Antonio Award for Sculpture was created, she often participated in the competition and won in 1946 and 1949. Although she continued to draw for a long period, she only worked in sculpture for four years, while she lived in Tarragona, creating a piece with a realistic edge and notable influence from her teacher, Joan Rebull.

Enric Pinet (Tarargona 1912- Reus 1974)
Enric Pinet, Paisatge urbà

He began his education as a student of the School of Arts and Artistic Crafts and Fine Arts in Barcelona. He received a grant from the Commission of the Autonomous Government of Catalonia and was a student of the Workshop and School.

After an initial period researching his own pictorial language, the strength of colour, the abundant use of his subject matter and thick brushwork approaching fauvism became predominant elements of his work.



The Workshop and School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona

A short time after the end of the Civil War, in 1946, the Provincial Council of Tarragona began a project to create a Workshop and School of Art directed at training in the field of applied arts, initially linked to the Technical College of Tarragona..

The sculptor Lluís M. Saumells was the first director of the school, and the sculptor Salvador Martorell and the painters Gonzalo Lindín and Sadurní Garcia Anguera were the first teachers.

In 1951, the school was set up at the Martí House, the building in which we are now and which was the residence of the scientist Antoni Martí i Franquès of Altafulla. The school moved to its current location in 1976 in the area of Sant Pere Sescelades.

Throughout the life of this teaching centre, now the School of Art and Design, a great number of professionals have been part of its teaching body, achieving great professional prestige, for their teaching as well as for their artistic creation.

Lluís M. Saumells (Gironella 1915- Tarragona 1999)
Lluís M. Saumells, Estilita 3626

He held his first exhibition in Tarragona in 1934 at the Tarragona Association and in 1945 he moved to Paris with a grant from the French government. On returning from France in 1949, he was named director of The Workshop and School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona, the city where he lived, except for stays in the City of Palma.

The artist, using minimum details and a defined volume, creates his own typology that, with small variations, is constantly repeated: expressionist figures of hands with long thin fingers and faces with angular features. These characteristics are also applicable in his pictorial work and on paper.

His commitment to art compelled him to become a veritable cultural promoter in the city.

Gonzalo Lindín (Oviedo 1920- Tarragona 1999)
Gonzalo Lindín, Paisatge

He was trained at the Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture of Tarragona and in 1947, the year of its inauguration, he joined the teaching staff of the School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona as a painting teacher.

His pictorial career began in the pictorial and landscape tradition and reveals the influence of his teacher Ignasi Mallol. He later achieved an initial degree of abstraction, which he quickly abandons to plunge deeper into abstract geometry, with which he  achieves his own pictorial language.

Sadurní Garcianguera (Tarragona 1912-1963)
Sadurní Garciaanguera, El retiro, Madrid

He was educated at the Workshop and School of Painting and Sculpture of Tarragona and in 1947, the year of its inauguration, he joined to teaching staff of the School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona as a drawing teacher.

In particular, he worked on landscapes, but without abandoning the representation of figures framed in the playful Mediterranean tradition. He was exceptionally skilled at drawing manolas, but also depicted harlequins, bullfighters, and other subjects. He also created large decorative murals.

Josep Icart (Tarragona 1928-1985)
Josep Icart, Sense títol

A student of the Art School of Tarragona, he combined painting with restoration and interior decoration and the teaching of Pictorial Procedures at the same centre in which he was trained.

Gifted in drawing and composition, in his first works you can appreciate a great sense of colour and expressive and intense brushwork, especially in landscapes.

His research into a personal language brought him to the traditional postimpressionism and a gradual distancing from the real model towards an abstract one in which his landscapes are removed from the real, which is only maintained for reference.

Ramon Carreté (El Catllar 1938 – Tarragona 1990)
Ramon Carreté, Llàntia

He trained at the School of Art of the Provincial Council of Tarragona, at which he taught ceramics from 1966 until his death, and at the Massana School in Barcelona.

His initial works, made with the potter's wheel, have the mark of his teacher Llorenç Artigas; his creative process passes through the deformation of pure lines until arriving at sculptural shapes.

Carreté always combined his ceramic work with painting and drawing showing parallel themes.

Mariano Rubio (Calatayud 1926)
Mariano Rubio, Era de Calatayud

Painter and engraver trained in Barcelona, Paris and Munich, he has shared his artistic career with teaching for many years, first in Gijón and then in Tarragona.

His main activity is engraving, for which he has won many awards and distinctions, and in which he has been recognised for his contributions to the technique of etching. In addition, it is worth noting his work as a theorist and especially his research into engraving, published in the book Ayer y hoy del grabado (Engraving - Yesterday and Today) (1979).

Tomàs Olivar (Madrid 1929)
Tomàs Olivar, Casablanaca

He was part of the first year group of the Art School of the Provincial Council of Tarragona, after the Civil War, as a student of Gonzalo Lindín i Garcianguera. In 1962 he returned to the centre as a teacher of drawing and painting.

He basically works on landscapes, yet not forgetting treatment of the figure. His work is characterised by great homogeneity in which two elements stand out: vivid colours and Mediterranean light.

Rufino Mesa (Valle de Santa Ana 1948)
Rufino Mesa, Gall

Artistic creation and teaching have been the lines of work of Rufino Mesa; he directed the Workshop and School of Art of Reus for 10 years and is now a teacher in Tarragona.

His sculptural work is based on the nexus between past and present: the world of symbols, the archetype, the sacred character, the basic principles of life, the relationship with nature, to name a few. The work displayed here belongs to the exhibition El Gallo de Oro (The Golden Rooster) held in this Museum in 1984.

He is currently working on the installation of a sculptural park near La Comella, in Tarragona, where his work, with maximum respect, enters into communion with nature.

Jordi Secall (Tarragona 1932)
Jordi Secall, What'd I say

Trained at the Workshop and School of Art of Tarragona and the Massana School in Barcelona, he was one of the first abstract artists of the area. In his gestural works, the artist is essentially concerned with the plastic arts.

Jazz has also been an inspiration, propitiating works that unite composition and improvisation; that is, structured works with the attraction of spontaneity.

Through experimentation with diverse materials, he manages to strengthen the texture and treatment of colour. He also works in the discipline of engraving within the framework of geometric abstraction.

Anton Gurí Comas (Valls, 1948)
Anton Guri, Noguer

A  sculptor who was trained a the Massana School of Barcelona and at the School of Arts and Trades of Tarragona. He participated at the II Biennial Art Exhibition of Tarragona, obtaining the Julio Antonio Silver Medal. He has presented his work at individual and collective exhibitions and obtained the First Prize at the City of Valls Sculpture awards (1971). He has been the Commissioner of several editions of the Guasch Coranty Awards of Valls.

He is a lecturer at the Tarragona School of Art and Design.