Antoni Llena was born in Barcelona in 1942 and became known in the mid-sixties for pioneering ‘poor’ and ephemeral art in Catalonia. Between 1964 and 1969 he produced his first ephemeral sculptures. These are works made with shadows and paper, with boxes that had to be destroyed to see the work, and paintings made with talcum powder, among other basic materials. When Pop art was in fashion, he practised Conceptual art. Later, when Conceptual art prevailed, he opted for silence. By the eighties, he was still working with cut paper, creating an ephemeral and fragile art that led him to rethink the constructive space and the idea of volume.

He has also made public works for the urban space that communicate the same fragility as his work on paper. In parallel to his visual production, Llena has created literary works, such as La gana de l'artista (1999) and Per l'ull de l'art (2008).

With the group formed by Sílvia Gubern, Àngel Jové and Jordi Galí, he participated in several pioneering exhibitions of ‘poor’ art. Together they exhibited at: Jardí del Maduixer, 1969–70 (where they lived and worked); Col·legi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya, Barcelona, 1969; and the Aquitània gallery, Barcelona, 1970. His first solo exhibition was in the Petite Galerie, Lleida, in 1969. After a long creative break, in 1979 he rejoined the artistic scene and is still practising today. He has participated in exhibitions at the Patio Herreriano, Valladolid, 2004; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 2005; the Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul-de-Vence, 2007; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1988; and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, 1991; among other spaces. His work is included in collections such as: Artium, Vitoria; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and MACBA.

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I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life
Jean-Michel Basquiat