Eulàlia Grau, Nixon (Etnografia), 1973. Private collection
“Exhibition produced by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and curated by Teresa Grandas.
Since the early seventies, Eulàlia Grau (b. 1946; Terrassa, Spain) has been creating photographic montages and collages in the avant-garde tradition of an art committed to values that happen to be in crisis at the time of production of the work. She criticises the way in which the media, in line with the political and economic powers, serve the interests of a controlled, censured, unjust and male-dominated society. Her aesthetic option cannot be understood without her strong ethical commitment: it holds a prominent place among the artistic practices that make up the space of expression occupied by feminist movements at the end of modernity, and that are part of the changes in opinion that radically altered our society at the end of the Franco dictatorship and during the Transition that followed.
I Have Never Painted Golden Angels is a survey of Eulàlia’s ‘paintings’—as the artist herself calls her works—that helps us revisit them today with a renewed interest. The exhibition is constructed as a visual story based on subjects that have always interested the artist: from the most obvious mechanisms of control, such as the police and prisons, to more subtle yet equally efficient devices, such as schools, labour hierarchies, access to living accommodation or to justice, and gender models. Eulàlia’s silkscreens and emulsified canvases are shown together with lesser known works such as posters, books and inserts in magazines, media that she used to reach a wider public. Worth mentioning are works such as the unpublished book Cancionero de los hombres verticales y de los hombres horizontales (Booksong of vertical men and horizontal men), 1975; Etnografies (Ethnographies), 1972–74; and …Inventemos también nosotros… (Let us invent too), 1976.
At a time when the mass media and its image overload have acquired a central role in the perception of facts, Eulàlia Grau’s message is absolutely pertinent. In this sense, MACBA presents a recent work, Me gustaría morir en un lugar donde nadie me viera. María (I’d like to die in a place where no one can see me. María), 2011–12. While, on the one hand, we witness the everyday routines of a homeless woman in the streets of Barcelona, on the other we see internet images of current cases of political and financial corruption.”