Xavier Grau and the abstract expressionism
The Trama collective and its influence on contemporary painting
‘Filled with echoes of other paintings in which chaos sometimes reigns and suddenly there is light and everything is ordered.’
These are the words that Juan Manuel Bonet (former director of the Reina Sofía Museum and friend of the artist) has wanted to dedicate to the work of Xavier Grau, after his death the past weekend.Originally from Barcelona, Grau became a benchmark for abstract expressionism in our country. His career was marked by his membership in Trama, a collective of political, artistic, literary and critical intervention that emerged in the early seventies.
The group, made up of four painters (José Manuel Broto, Gonzalo Tena, Javier Rubio and Grau himself) and a writer (Federico Jiménez Losantos) focused their main activity on their pioneering contribution to the abstract pictorial trend called painting-painting. Trama was also the name given to the magazine that they themselves created to act as a spokesperson for their ideas, articulated around Marxism, Lacanian psychoanalysis and North American 'color field' style painting. A group with a radical and combative discourse against the figurative painting of Madrid and the Catalan concepts of the up ‘Grup de Treball’ of the moment.
Xavier Grau always remained faithful to his painting. He began in art with the creation of paintings in which monochrome and geometry reigned. His professional career has led him to be considered a master of lyrical abstraction, heir to abstract expressionism, capable of transmitting strong expressiveness and enormous emotional power with his works.
Closely (expressively) linked to the New York School, his creations manifest the influence of Wilhelm De Kooning, Arshile Gorky and Philip Guston. His works are part of collections such as the Los Bragales Collection, La Caixa Contemporary Art Collection, MACBA and the Reina Sofía Art Center.