Abras, Joan

A painter, sculptor and ceramist, born in Bisbal del Ampurdán, in the Province of Gerona in 1949. In 1973, this self-taught artist held his first ceramics exhibition in his birthplace, a town with a long history in pottery. Throughout the seventies he held one exhibition after another, in places such as Madrid, Sant Feliu de Gíxols, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Perpignan, amongst others. Exhibitions which now also included his sculptural works. During the eighties his work was mainly focussed on sculpture. In fact, one of his works was the first public sculpture in Palafrugell, entitled "La Ninfa de l"Empordà", standing opposite the Palafrugell Art gallery. He also presented a major exhibition at the Casino of Lloret de Mar. In 1984, by agreement with the Center for Tourism Initiatives and the Town Council of Palamós, the most important project to date, created by Abras the sculptor, became a reality: a concrete work of art weighing 187 tons and measuring 7 x 5 x 4 metres, entitled "Palamós, paraíso de la vela". In 1989, he was commissioned by the MOPU (Ministry of Public Works) to create a 3.5 metre high sculpture entitled "La Dama del Mar", which stands on the main road from Figueras to France, whilst he also installed his work entitled "Tramontana" in Pamplona.

In 1992 he presented his collection of sculptures dedicated to all the winds of the Mediterranean, at the El Claustro Gallery. In 1993 he held exhibitions at the Grup D"Art Diagonal de Barcelona Gallery in Gerona, and he won the Magda Alsius sculpture prize, and the Vila de Palamós Art prizes. During the following year, he travelled through Italy, exhibiting at Trieste, Venice, Turin and Rome. In 1996, he opened the Abrás Museum in Corçà-La Bisbal. In 1998 he created a 4 metre high, glass fibre macro sculpture, located in the Masía gardens of the Barcelona football club. The inauguration of this work, entitled “Vitoria”, was made by the FC Barcelona Chairman, Josep Lluís Núñez. In 2002, he held a major exhibition in The Hague. As an artist, Joan Abras has always placed great interest in public sculpture. His public works can be found at places such as Palamós, Barcelona, Pals, Lloret de Mar, Platja d"Aro, Begur, Santa Cristina d"Aro, etc. His models are always sourced from his closest surroundings and from his own inspiration, and are particularly based on Mediterranean tradition.

JMMS

Sources of information: Artist"s website: www.joanabras.com