Revisitng a Familiar Place, 1972-2002
Exhibition

Revisitng a Familiar Place, 1972-2002

Joan Hernández Pijuan, Paisatge amb acotacions A B C D, 1972

Although he was active during decades that were dominated by the polarities between pictorial claims and conceptual practices, Joan Hernández Pijuan (Barcelona, 1931–2005) kept his work on the fringes of stylistic movements and generational groups. Instead, the artist devoted himself to the quest for his own pictorial language, always linked to abstraction and terrestrially grounded in the landscape. To Hernández Pijuan, painting was an empirical form of knowledge. It was the means through which he embarked an ongoing dialogue between subjective experience, personal memory and the plasticity of materials, in a process of ongoing experimentation with the formal possibilities of the pictorial space.

Rather than taking an anthological approach, the exhibition Joan Hernández Pijuan. Revisiting a Familiar Place, 1972–2002 offered an overview of the most significant moments in the artist’s career. For this purpose, 140 works were brought together, including paintings, drawings and prints.

Through about one hundred and forty works – paintings,
drawings and engravings –, the exhibition brings together the milestones in the evolution of the artistic career of Joan Hernández Pijuan (Barcelona, 1931), from the seventies to the present day. Faithful to his beginnings in abstraction, his work bears witness to the most substantial pictorial changes that have taken place in the last three decades, yet he never belonged to any tendency or generation.

Throughout his career, he has dealt with subjects like space, memory, landscape or the void, taking as a central theme an exhaustive analysis of the components of painting and, in short, an understanding of painting as a form of knowledge.

Itinerances

18 JUNE – 14 SEP. 2003 MAHN Musée d’Art et d’histoire de Neuchatel
22 JAN. – 23 MAR. 2003 Museum galleries
22 NOV. 2003 – 25 JAN. 2004 Malmö Konsthall

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dates
22 January 2003 – 23 March 2003
title
Revisitng a Familiar Place, 1972-2002
dates
22 January 2003 – 23 March 2003
title
Revisitng a Familiar Place, 1972-2002
artist
Joan Hernández Pijuan
Barcelona
1931
Joan Hernández Pijuan studied at the Escola d’Arts i Oficis de la Llotja and the Escola de Belles Arts, Barcelona, and in 1957 moved to Paris, where he studied engraving and lithography at the École des Beaux-Arts. Although his early work was close to gestural expressionism, he soon adopted a geometric figuration dominated by colour fields and by the presence of solitary objects such as fruit, glasses, eggs and scissors. Treated with elegance and mysticism, colour was always central to his work. On a smooth ground with passages of grey and green, Hernández Pijuan incorporated elements and mathematical references such as grids or metric tapes. Colour strips, tonal gradation, transparencies, textures and resonant light are all elements that typify the artist’s work, which in the eighties incorporated elements such as the profile of a cypress, the furrows of the plough or the shape of a leaf, without ever abandoning abstraction. In the late eighties, Hernández Pijuan returned to Informalism, eventually developing a style of painting characterised exclusively by the use of a black-and-white palette. Atmospheric though austere, the work becomes an exercise in spirituality and inner contemplation. He also continued his work as a printmaker, producing carefully executed, monochromatic grids in series. Following his first solo exhibition at the Museu de Mataró in 1955, he exhibited throughout Spain and internationally. His numerous retrospectives include those at the Centre Cultural Tecla Sala, Hospitalet de Llobregat (1992), Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid (1993), MACBA, Barcelona (2003) and Museum of Modern Art, Moscow (2011). His work features in the collections of Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; National Gallery, Montreal; Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid; and MACBA, Barcelona, among others.
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Revisitng a Familiar Place, 1972-2002
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