Knotting the Space. Aurèlia Muñoz Donation
Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona
October 24, 2019 – April 18, 2021
A notable group of works by Aurèlia Muñoz (Barcelona, 1926-2011) have entered the Museu Nacional, which will enable us to see the diversity and the originality of her techniques and the coherence and intensity of her poetics. The artist’s family has donated seven textile works and a collection of drawings to the museum that will make it possible to appreciate the quality of her work in the formative years of the language of contemporary textile art. These works are exhibited temporarily in the context of the project to configure and develop the collection of post-war art and the second Avant-garde.
Throughout her long career, Aurèlia Muñoz was favourably reviewed by critics. She was especially celebrated in the fields of tapestry and textile art, which witnessed a boom in the 1960s and 1970s. Using a technique derived from macramé, Aurèlia Muñoz took textile art to a sculptural conception that affects the space and offers a sensory experience. Revisited, her works show a refinement, an Avant-garde rigour and an expressive belonging that may be interpreted from a contemporary point of view, and for this reason they have to be rescued for posterity.
The group that has entered the museum contains works from the early 1960s, in which she practised line-based painting with echoes of Torres-Garcia on rustic sackcloth. We can show a patchwork and the tapestry La font de la vida (The Source of Life), which takes us to the sphere of an imaginative mysticism with medieval echoes. The collages on fabrics and paper show Aurèlia Muñoz‘s boldness and wish to establish a dialogue with the past, understood as a cultural palimpsest.
Esfera i ploms (Sphere and Lead Weights, 1969) is an homage to Gaudí and his funicular models. Ens social (Social Body, 1976), constructed from Aurèlia Muñoz‘s characteristic knotted fabrics, is a work with great presence, a fascinating large-format sculpture suspended in mid-air that projects itself into the space. The group is completed with a collection of drawings in which we find sketches and plans that help us to understand the larger pieces, together with works that reveal to us her quality as a draughtswoman.