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Marta Palau

Lleida (Spain1934 -  Mexico City (Mexico) 2022.

 Born in Albesa, Spain, in 1934, Marta Palau went into exile with her family to Tijuana, Mexico, in 1940 after the defeat of the Second Spanish Republic (1931-1939). In 1955 she began her studies in painting and sculpture at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Engraving “La Esmeralda”; in Mexico City. She also studied printmaking with Guillermo Silva Santamaría (1921–2007) at the Taller de la Ciudadela in Mexico City, as well as with Paul Lingren (1923–1989) at San Diego State University.

In the late 1960s she moved to Barcelona to study textile techniques with Josep Grau Garriga (1928-2011) and, from then on, she made this medium an integral part of her practice. In the mid-1980s, Palau re-conceived her sculptures as indigenous magical objects, and in 1990 the Naualli (sorcerer or witch in the Nahuatl language) became a constant motif in her work. Alluding to the primitive and ritualistic, Palau, in her work with Naualli, often weaves vaginal images and various organic materials (plant fibers, earth, clay and salt) to pose as symbolic guardians against hegemonic Western aesthetic forms. Palau also began experimenting with the barriers between sculpture and architecture, creating ephemeral murals as well as large-scale installations of barriers made from woven straw mats, tree branches, or found wood.

In 1994, she received first prize at the Havana Biennial. In 2010, she was awarded the National Prize for Sciences and Arts in the area of Fine Arts. In 2022 she was the winner of the ARCO Fair award for best SOLO exhibition. Among her most important exhibitions we can point out. Radical Women: Latin American Art 1960 – 1985, organized by the Hammer Museum, UCLA, California, United States. Between the Earth and the Divine, Institute for Studies on Latin American Art, 2023 In 2021, Memoria included her tapestry work in the exhibition Vidas en Tránsito, together with Gracia Barrios (1927-2021), and in tribute to the recently deceased Roser Bru (1923-2021).

Her work is part of important public and private collections, including: Manuel Zacatecas Museum of Abstract Art. Mexico; Museum of Art of the Americas. Organization of American States (OAS). Washington. D.C. United States; Museum of Modern Art. National Institute of Fine Arts. Mexico City, Mexico; Salvador Allende International Museum, Santiago de Chile, Chile; Managua Museum, Managua, Nicaragua; Rufino Tamayo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico; National Institute of Fine Arts, Mexico City, Mexico; Chopo University Museum, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; University Museum of Sciences and Art, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego-La Jolla, California, USA.

CV

Exhibitions

Vidas en Tránsito; Homenaje a Roser Bru 

08/07/2021- 30/10/2021

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