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AURÈLIA MUÑOZ (1926 - 2011)

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Aurèlia Muñoz Ventura (Barcelona 1926 - June 9, 2011) was a Catalan artist whose trajectory is strongly linked to textiles, an area in which her contribution has been fundamental. She was also a great supporter of the arts and crafts movement, again her work signifying a great symbiosis between the fields. She studied at the Montserrat Institute in Barcelona, an institute that followed the methods of the Montessori school. She went on to study at the School of Applied Art and at the Massana. From 1970, she began to focus on tapestry, her research was heavily concentrated on knots, ancient clothing and the possibilities of three-dimensional work. The consequence of her craftmanship led her weaving practices to become a form of cultural expression.

Her textiles are derived from macramé. She made banners, clothing, large cylinders and transformable pieces supported by sisal ropes. Muñoz’s’ practice is self-taught, she initially used drawings and paintings to express and experiment. From 1958 onwards, she decided to practice with other materials such as terracotta and screen printing. These endeavours eventually led her to textiles.

Around 1960 Muñoz decided to paint on burlap, (a course canvas woven from jute), this marks the beginning of her familiarity with the textile world. Her inspiration for painting on this material was the schematism of gothic and Roman architectural designs, she experimented with drawings, figures and geometric shapes. Towards the middle of the 1960s she began to see a three dimensional aspect emerge from her work, the first experimentations taking form through theatre sets and costumes. During the same period Aurelia was also discovering macramé and other ancient knotting techniques embedded in traditions. She was investigating knots such as those used by the local fishing community of Barceloneta, something she later introduced into her work the following decade.

From the 1970s onwards, Muñoz's work was expressed through three-dimensionality. Her work is defined as “Nouvelle Tapisserie”, through skilled craftmanship and a reunification of the industry, the curves of her knots create a warmth against the coldness of the metallic metal edges, and are a reflection of nature.

Aurèlia Muñoz was also interested in the cultural fabrics. During the 80's she approached the matter of paper, having always expressed books as objects of inspiration the move was progressive, and she explored the matter in a similar way to which she had earlier explored vegetable fibre and textiles. Finally, in 1983 she abandoned the knot and the use of textiles all together to return to a sensual manipulation of matter. With a sensitivity for its high organic value, paper became the focus of her new wave of work. Muñoz made, worked and dyed paper by hand, always choosing colours that remined her of nature.

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