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Retículas (6 arquetipos). Francesc Català-Roca and Sílvia Martínez Palou

September 28, 2023

Galería Santa & Cole Barcelona


Retículas (6 arquetipos) is an exhibition that brings together the work of Francesc Català-Roca (Valls, 1922 – Barcelona, 1998) and Sílvia Martínez Palou (Barcelona, 1961).

For this show, Martínez Palou displays a set of original pieces and Neoseries that stem from her interest in emblematic buildings in Barcelona – such as Mitre or Seida – raised during the XX century. These constructions integrated into their structures the key formal aspects of the international Modern Movement, however, always bearing in mind the socio-economical context of the Catalan city.

The compositions are made of different fragments of the façade of those buildings by architects like Moragas, Mitjans, Bonet Castellana, and Barba Corsini, among others, many of whom were part of Group R. Through the superpositions of these images and the use of engraving technique, Martínez Palou brings to light the importance of geometry in those projects as well as the ambiance of those architectural models that defined Barcelona during that period.

The exhibition also showcases the photographs made by Català Roca of those same buildings. From another formal perspective, the photographer’s eye offers a precise portrait of Barcelona during the fifties, where the building emanated that rationalist aesthetic through a radical volumetry and austerity when selecting materials.

This dialogue between the oeuvre of Català-Roca and Martínez depicts the brutalist and urban landscape of a postwar city like Barcelona that deeply desired becoming modern.


Fotografía Laia Sabaté

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