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Retrospective exhibition on one of the greatest Catalan Art-Nouveau’s sculptors: Josep Llimona

To mark the 150 years since the birth of Catalan sculptor Josep Llimona, the European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), in Barcelona, is hosting an exhibition of over 60 pieces of his work. The curator, Natàlia Esquinas emphasised that Llimona was the most important Catalan sculptor around 1900 and 2014 marks 150 years since his birth, and 80 since his death, making it the perfect time to host such an exhibition. Speaking to the CNA, Esquinas said that the exhibition was "to rediscover him and see all his work, beyond ‘Desconsol’ (‘Desolation’ in Catalan) his great masterpiece." It will be the most important retrospective of Llimona’s work, featuring some unpublished pieces. The exhibition opens on Wednesday and will run until 1 March 2015. 

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03 December 2014 11:13 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- This year, it will be 150 years since the birth of Catalan sculptor Josep Llimona, and in commemoration of this date, the European Museum of Modern Art will be hosting a retrospective exhibition of his work. The curator, Natàlia Esquinas emphasised that Llimona was the most important Catalan sculptor around 1900, and the exhibition will honour the artist with over 60 pieces of his work, some of which have never been shown to the public. Speaking to the CNA, Esquinas explained the exhibition aimed "to rediscover him and see all his work, beyond ‘Desconsol’ (‘Desolation’ in Catalan) his great masterpiece." The exhibition, which will be the biggest retrospective of the artist’s work to date, opens on Wednesday and will run until 1 March 2015. It will assemble works from his family, private collectors and museums in Catalonia. 


A sculptor admired "beyond Catalonia"

The sculptor Josep Llimona (Barcelona 1864-1934) was a key artist of the turn of the century. His work had a great impact on Catalan sculpture of the time, and he was one of the artists that evolved the most rapidly from the fin-de-siècle style of the 1800’s towards Symbolism. From his early work, the exhibition features pieces such as 'El Fill Pròdig' ('The Prodigal Son') (1879, Catalonia’s National Museum of Art, MNAC), of his mature period is seen in 'Adolescent' o 'Ingènua' ('Naive') (1924, Museum of Catalan Modernism) or work with a more symbolist style such as 'Modèstia' ('Modesty') (1891, Museum of Montserrat). Among his unpublished works are 'La Cabellera' ('The Hair') and 'Retrat del Sr Barrau' ('Portrait of Mr. Barrau'). The exhibition also covers different work of Llimona in different media, his drawings and other works of art.

The curator reiterated there was much more to Llimona than his most famous work ‘Desconsol’ and said that the sculptor was admired in many other places "beyond Catalonia".

Over 60 pieces of his were provided to the MEAM by the family of Josep Llimona, foundations and private collectors and public and private museums such as the MNAC, the Museum of Montserrat, the Museum of Catalan Modernism, the Museum of Art in Cerdanyola, the Garrotxa Museum, the Museum of Terrassa, the Deu Museum and by the MEAM itself.

"Aesthetic experience"

Esquinas explains how the work of Llimona is an "aesthetic experience". "It’s like when you are before a piece and you fall in love with it and you do not why you feel this way. For some people they have seen this from some of Llimona’s work and want to discover him by seeing as many pieces as possible." The curator admitted that Llimona inspired her respect for "history of art", and explained that she had devoted her doctoral thesis to the sculptor. 

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  • Josep Llimona's 'The First Communion' (by P. Francesch)

  • Josep Llimona's 'Desolation' is included in the exhibition (by P. Francesch)

  • Josep Llimona's 'The First Communion' (by P. Francesch)
  • Josep Llimona's 'Desolation' is included in the exhibition (by P. Francesch)