From July 5, 2024, to January 12, 2025

Mari Chordà (Amposta, 1942) used the image, language and social action as a material in her work, and as an inextricable part of her life. The artist, writer, poet and activist form an inseparable bond that sustains and attitude and certain convictions that are the backbone of her work and her biography. She moves in a present continuous, in which everything she does is a simultaneous and inseparable experience. An active observer and aware of the reality that surrounds her, she needs to get involved, agitate and subvert what she sees, from certain principles, through feminism: they emerged as a response to the stifling context of the Franco regime, but have remained throughout time in a society that still has to change many of its values and has to restore the visibility and recognition of the work of women.

She founded Lo Llar in Amposta, a venue which, for two years, was a cultural centre that promoted concerts, exhibitions and other activities. After she moved to Barcelona, with a group of other women she founded laSal, a library-bar aimed as a venue to chat and receive support and advice, which later became laSal, Edicions de les Dones, a publisher or women’s literature and essays. laSal was a place to have a good time: “We aimed to generate the spoken word, music and, above all, pleasure […]. Pleasure is very subversive.”1 In fact, everything Mari does involves the need to have fun, and to play, which does not undermine the need to fight against the situation of women or her own practice, but reaffirm it. The demand for pleasure is very present as a need and as a tool for viewing the world and, above all, being in it, by breaking the established norms, which relegated women to passivity or denial. Play also materialises in her sculptures, based on interaction and mobility, which emerged from the first time she acted as a plaything for her daughter.

A pioneer of her generation to express free feminine sexuality, to speak about pleasure, about maternity and about lesbian relationships in her painting and in her poetry, in 1964, while still studying at the anachronistic Faculty of Fine Arts in Barcelona, she paints the first Vagina: “I was imagining the inside of the female body, with some recollection of the forms, although it was not at all realistic figuration”.2 She paints the body fluids, secretions, sexual organs or coitus not in an abject way, but with attractive forms and colours very similar to the visual sensibility of pop or psychedelia, in which she expresses full eroticism.

Her work is a constant NO, from a perspective of fulsome pleasure. She expresses culture and territory, the ties with her roots, which she expresses as a way of moving forward and making her way. She promotes research as a tool for giving visibility to women. She does not want to construct a memory, but to be a tool for changing the constructed memory and the vision of the present and the future. Mari Chordà could not stop calling out what she did not agree with, like when she gave the opening speech at the local festival of Amposta in 2022 and spoke of animal cruelty in local festivities, which promoted savagery under the protection of tradition. Painting, writing, acting and taking a stance are forms restitution of this present continuous proclaimed by Gertrude Stein and upheld by the political commitment of Mari Chordà.

Mari Chordà... i moltes altres coses is a co-production of the MACBA, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, and the Museu d'Art Modern de la Diputació de Tarragona.

1 Documentary I moltes altres dones. Original idea: Sonia Trigo and Dolors Marín. Directed by Sonia Trigo, Andrea Corachán, Nacheli Beas, Marta Muñoz, Begoña Montalbán and Maria Romero García. Francesca Bonnemaison Cultural Centre for Women, 2007. 

Documentary Dones amb nom propi, Canal 21 Ebre, 22 September 2015,


Mari Chordà

Curated by

Teresa Grandas
In collaboration with
Logo Museu d'Art Modern Tarragona
Logo Diputació de Tarragona