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Joan Hernandez-Pijuan, born in 1931 in Barcelona, is, for his talent in geometric figuration, a prominent 20th century artist. His paintings have been exhibited in the greatest institutions: the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim in New York, at the Museum in Buenos Aires during the 1960s, and in 2003, two years before his death, his retrospective took place at MACBA.
He trained at the Escola de la Llotja, then at art school in Barcelona and the Reial Acadèmia Catalana de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi. He then moved to Paris where he learnt lithography and print-making. He began to be interested in post-War American painting, for example work by Franz Kline, and made several black and white canvases. During the 1970s, his interest in the object and space grew, and Joan Hernandez-Pijuan become part of this new movement, to the detriment of the Expressionism he was practising before.
Very concise, his work was inspired by Catalan landscapes and he sought to paint the « emotion of the perfect stillness of a summer’s day ». This gives us a good idea of the pigments present on the colour palette: generally yellow, ocre, green, pink; as well as the symbols we constantly find: houses, trees, clouds… These elements, sometimes scratched with a palate knife, stand out from a monochrome background in white, grey or black to transport us into the world of his emotions, as we explore the silence.
From the 1960s, he became known worldwide. He won various prizes, such as the Spanish National Art Prize in 1981 and the National Geographic Prize in 2004.