Luis Claramunt

Luis Claramunt

MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Luis Claramunt, Untitled (from the Series La muela de oro), 1991.*

July 13, 2012

Luis Claramunt
The Vertical Journey

13 July–21 October 2012

Museu d’Art Contemporani de
Barcelona (MACBA)

Plaça dels Àngels, 1
08001 Barcelona

The exhibition Luis Claramunt, The Vertical Journey features a broad selection of works produced by the artist in the period from the early seventies to the late nineties. Although Luis Claramunt (Barcelona, 1951–Zarautz, 2000) is known almost exclusively for his work as a painter, this exhibition presents a complex cosmology that is nonetheless unified and consistent, based on his drawing series, his photographs, and the self-published books that complement his pictorial work and go beyond it.

A self-taught artist, Claramunt belongs to a generation that tried to be of its time without belonging to it. The start of his career in the seventies coincided with the emergence of a more politicised approach to art to which most of his contemporaries subscribed, at a time when Barcelona was teeming with experimental initiatives in the spheres of art, literature, and film, as well as underground subcultures.

During this period, Claramunt swam against the tide, focusing on painting rather than looking to the avant-gardes for inspiration. The finishes of naturalist painting, and in particular the work of Isidre Nonell, became the first rung of the ladder that Claramunt would build in the course of his life. The subject matter and style of his work gradually changed as Claramunt physically and socially distanced himself from Barcelona.

The exhibition is structured by series and aims to show the extent to which, for Claramunt, living and painting were one and the same experience. Madrid, Seville, Bilbao, and his frequent trips to Marrakesh came to replace Barcelona in a geographical territory that he never tired of representing. The Vertical Journey charts a course through his body of work as it gradually sheds its heaviness, with matter and images being stripped back to the point of becoming a kind of calligraphy.

Throughout his entire career, Claramunt shifted between the figurative and the abstract realms, combining the abstract mark—which featured in his whole series on seas, shipwrecks, and storms—and the line, in a graphic calligraphy that ended up reduced to black on white in his series on Bilbao and Madrid. Claramunt’s work offers a different kind of account of the history of contemporary art, one that critically and effectively contemplates the evolving images and grammars of a visuality that seems alien to us today.

Text published under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported – CC BY-SA 3.0)


Thursday 12 July 2012, 6:30pm
Special guided tour
With commentary by Nuria Enguita Mayo, curator of the exhibition
Admission with Museum ticket
Museum galleries. Limited places.

Daily guided tours
(included in the admission fee)
Weekdays at 6pm
Saturdays at 12pm and 6pm
Sundays and public holidays at 12pm
Available in English on Mondays (6pm)

Luis Claramunt. El viatge vertical. Barcelona: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), 2012. Texts by Nuria Enguita Mayo, Carles Guerra, Ángel González, Teresa Lanceta, Bartomeu Marí, and Francisco Rivas. Single edition in Catalan, Spanish, and English.

Exhibition organised by MACBA and curated by Nuria Enguita Mayo.

In parallel to the exhibition, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) presents the project Nonell and Claramunt. Urban Registers, co-organised by Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and MNAC.

More information: and Twitter.

Monday–Thursday, 11–8pm
Fridays, 11–10pm
(from 25 September, weekdays 11–7:30pm)
Saturdays, 10–10pm
(from 25 September, 10–8pm)
Sundays and public holidays, 10–3pm
Closed Tuesdays (except public holidays)

*Image above:
Luis Claramunt, Untitled (from the Series La muela de oro), 1991. Courtesy of the Claramunt family and Galería Juana de Aizpuru. Photo: Jorge Oronoz.

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MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
July 13, 2012

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