The bronze piece, entitled “Parée de Mimosa”, is one of the nineteen donations that the artist’s family has made to the city
In 2011, under the title Vilató. Un camí de libertat, the city of Barcelona paid tribute to Javier Vilató (1921-2000) with exhibitions in various locations in an effort to recover the work of a Barcelona-born international artist who, for historical reasons, found himself separated from the artistic panorama of Catalonia. Last year, in an additional effort to prolong this recovery, the artist’s family donated nineteen of his pieces to various museums around the city.
One of these donations, a bronze sculpture from 1998 measuring 38 cm x 29 cm x 15 cm entitled Parée de Mimosa was presented today in a press conference and now forms part of the Museu Frederic Marès. The remainder of the donated pieces, which include paintings, etchings and pottery, have been incorporated into the collections of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and the Museu del Disseny.
The son of neuro-psychiatrist Juan Bautista Vilató and Maria Dolores Ruiz Picasso, the sister of Pablo Picasso, Javier Vilató had first-hand experience of contemporary, avant-garde art from a very young age and it wasn’t long before he began his training in Barcelona. During the Civil War retreat he and his brother Fin, also a painter, were captured and imprisoned in the Argelès prison camp, from where they were rescued by their uncle, Pablo Picasso, with whom they worked in Paris until the outbreak of World War II. Upon his return to Barcelona in the first years after the war, Vilató breathed new life into the local artistic scene at the time with an orientation towards the plastic arts that broke with the existent conventions.
In 1946, thanks to a grant from the French government, he returned to Paris, where he remained indefinitely. In 1957, by now an internationally recognised artist, he returned to Barcelona to visit his family and from that date on he was to spend many a summer in Catalonia.
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