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Mystic Encounters and Plastic Discoveries in Eugenio Granell’s Work

Eugenio Granell Foundation Collection October 10, 2008 – December, 2009

Mystic Encounters and Plastic Discoveries in Eugenio Granell’s Work is a monographic exhibition by Eugenio Granell, curated by Natalia Fernández, director of the Granell Foundation, in collaboration with Monse Cea, the institution’s assistant director.
The show is made up of 44 works, including large and small oil paintings, gouaches, drawings featuring different techniques, ready-mades and constructions, all of which belong to the Eugenio Granell Foundation Collection.
The exhibition takes a look at works depicting significant encounters with personalities, cultures, poetics, systems of thought, landscapes and objects, which triggered the main aesthetic discoveries characterising Eugenio Granell’s work.
In André Breton’s poetics, great importance is given to the aesthetic idea defined as a mystical encounter, regarding which he establishes a hierarchy in which the encounter with other beings attains the greatest significance. For Granell, meeting André Breton led to his joining the surrealist movement; equally fruitful was his friendship with Marcel Duchamp, or his profound knowledge of Pablo Picasso’s work –three essential figures in 20th-century plastic art that had a great influence on Granell’s aesthetics.
His encounter with the woman, a being that appears repeatedly under different iconographies throughout his career, means that his work is filled, as is the case of Breton’s poems, with historic or mythological characters from the female universe, as well as figures associated with the act of the encounter itself, in the sense of facilitating such an act, and therefore of the discovery of the mental idea that will later become a work of art. In Eugenio Granell’s work, special importance is also given to the encounter with his wife Amparo Segarra, to whom he dedicated a series of works.
The encounter with the American continent’s extremely rich native culture and magnificent nature produced a genuine creative catharsis in Eugenio Granell’s work, being reflected in an important number of his artworks. Finally, the idea of encounter also appears exhaustively in the artist’s plastic work, as a syntactic structure for his two-dimensional artworks, paintings, collages and drawings, commonly inhabited by characters, beings or objects, depicted at a standstill and at the precise moment when their meeting results in a momentous event.