Born in Àger, Lleida, in 1937, Benet Rossell was a painter, sculptor and experimental artist. After studying economics, law and sociology in Barcelona and Madrid, he moved to Paris where he trained in theatre and cinema and became involved in the so-called ‘Catalan artists in Paris’ (Jaume Xifra, Antoni Miralda and Joan Rabascall), with whom he collaborated on numerous occasions. While based in the French capital, he spent long periods of time in different parts of the world, including India, Nepal and New York, as reflected in a body of work marked by multicultural and heterodox tendencies. Referring to his creative and multifaceted personality, the critic Jean-Clarence Lambert coined the term artor, a hybrid of artist and actor. Among his many linguistic forms, above all Rossell favoured cinema, with over a hundred short and feature-length films, as well as signwriting or calligraphy. To this end, he even created his own language. Benigrafia (he signed his early works as Beni) is based on ideograms and pictograms containing painting, writing, unconscious automatism and technical innovations. His work can be described as a poetics of fragility, imbued with irony and a critical spirit. His interest lies in the complexity of simplicity and all the things that get pushed to the edges of reality and language.

With over one hundred solo exhibitions, major retrospectives dedicated to his work include Cinemathèque française-Musée du Cinéma, Paris (1971); National Film Theatre, London (1979); Anthology Film Archives, New York (1990); and Parallel Benet Rossell, MACBA (2010). His work can be found in the collections of Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá; Museu de Arte Contemporãnea, São Paulo; Musée d’art moderne, Céret; and MACBA; Barcelona, among others.

Visit the Collection exhibition