Joan Rabascall: Majorca from £49, 1977, from the serie „Spain is different“, ©VG Bild-Kunst
Exhibition Zentrum | 31.10.2009 - 14.02.2010

Joan Rabascall

Production 1964-1982
Mass media, the role of woman. Militarization, violence, the “American way of life”, the recreation culture and computerization – these are Joan Rabascall’s main themes. The Study Centre for Artists’ Publications is now showing more than 150 hitherto little-known productions by the Spanish artist. The works on view date from the 1960s to the 1980s, which can be regarded the key period of his oeuvre. In an era in which most American artists submitted to the fascination of industrial production, Rabascall undertook to criticize the modern consumption culture, an approach he shared with many of his European colleagues. Within this context, he was interested above all in the increasing dominance of the media. The exhibition “Joan Rabascall: Produktion 1964–1982” inquires into the visual image and its transmission.
Joan Rabascall: Atomic Kiss, 1968, ©VG Bild-Kunst

Having escaped the Franco regime and gone to Paris in 1961, there Rabascall encountered the chief protagonists of French Nouveau Réalisme; later he went to London, where he had contact with the English avant-garde. Strongly influenced and inspired by these experiences, he began utilizing the language of the mass media themselves to criticize the mechanisms by which they operated. With carefully aimed manipulations of television images or newspaper texts, for example, he endeavoured to call attention to various aspects such as the influence of mass tourism and globalization on landscape and language.
In addition to collages, assemblages, installations, artist’s books, photos, films, prints and texts, the exhibition also comprises ephemera, multiples, postcards and posters. The creed of Rabascall’s art, which took shape early on in his career, becomes evident in the process: the artist was consistently concerned with art as a means of countering the trivialization of culture. Joan Rabascall’s works and the themes they address not only mirror the art and society of their time. Even to this day, they have lost nothing of their relevance.

Joan Rabascall: Eiffel Media, 1991, Multiple, Foto: Bettina Brach, ©VG Bild-Kunst

 

An exhibition of the Research Centre for Artists' Publications organised with the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad, supported by the Institut Ramon Llull and the Instituto Cervantes Bremen

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