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August Puig

1929 - 1999
Barcelona, Spain

0 Works exhibited on Kooness

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Works by August Puig

August Puig (Barcelona, 1929 – Girona, 1999) was violent, in his painting. As a person, he was modest; always willing to share a joke on himself, or with others. He felt a saintly rage at all the things we in Catalonia, collectively, suffered because of the civil war and its outcome. He held bitter memories of the immediate post-war period, but did not personalise them. Instead, he exposed them as a great rent in our social fabric, a universal evil that he wanted to combat, like a surgeon with a scalpel, separating the layers to expose a malignancy that had to be removed.

Many of his paintings invoke a specimen on a slide, ready for the microscope of the observer. But these are not cold science, without poetry; these are an abundance of layers that live and feel and suffer – and, on occasion, seduce.
August Puig first exhibited his work in 1946 — before his success in winning the prize at the Exposición internacional unión arte de Bilbao – in an exhibition in Els blaus de Sarriá, along with the work of Juan Tort, Ponç, Boadella and the text from J.v. Foix. It was the first post-war exhibition of avant garde art. In the same year, he was awarded the first art scholarship to study in Paris, funded by the Institut Francais. These were the good beginnings of an artist whose presence soon grew, within Europe, to much greater importance than it found at home, in Catalonia. Here, he remained almost an unknown. Even now, there are those who ignore the power of his painting — in spite of the efforts of Manuel Barbié on Puig’s behalf. His withdrawal and the ensuing years in seclusion in Monells did little to increase the recognition that the power of his work deserved. Perhaps, in hindsight, this art is not to the taste of those who seek the easy comfort of forgetfulness. But here it is – powerful, compelling, and deserving.