Between art and activism. That is the common feature of the works by Eulàlia Grau (Terrassa, 1946), to whom the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is devoting her first monographic exhibition. Corruption, exploitation of labour, real estate speculation, gender stereotypes, and in general the capacity of the mass media to influence our image of the world are the subjects that interest her most. Forty years after the creation of these works, many of the situations she criticizes still exist today.
I Have Never Painted Golden Angels brings together over a hundred works which she herself has called portraits of the reality around us, and many of them presented for the first time. They force the spectator to think about the mechanisms that our society is based on, where dominating values come from and how the systems of repression are structured. In all her work she uses photographs from the media because according to Grau, the photograph captures a unique fragment of reality in a context of permanent change. She then extracts and recomposes that reality on emulsified canvases and silk screens.
Her work becomes a radical means of observation of reality, reflection and activism. It is an uncomfortable testimony to the society of her time. Another common feature of her work is a determination to unmask the obscenity of the differences that tarnish our environment, the structural violence that permeates everyday life and the macrosystem we are embroiled in. She denounces the instrumentalisation of our lives and of politics, marked by the interests of capital and the market. She understands art as a political practice and her work is a detailed record of the weaknesses, shortcomings, contradictions and perversities of the system. I Have Never Painted Golden Angels shows the continuing interest of the gaze and the work of one of the most important Catalan artists to emerge in the context of the seventies avantgarde.
This exhibition is part of MACBA‘s mission to rediscover important local artists and focus on works which are little known but significant.