Antoni Torrell. Un esperit lliure

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Antoni Torrell, a free spirit

Antoni Torrell (Alcover, 1953 - Tarragona, 2019) was a creator who always went his own way, very conscious of the work he produced, outside trends or fashions, matters which did not concern him. He always maintained a critical attitude towards the world of culture, and towards society in general, a stance in parallel to the work he did as an activist and cultural administrator. As a creator, the scope of his activity was very broad: painter, illustrator, stage designer, poster artist and costume designer.

In 1974 he commenced his studies at the Tarragona School of Art. He continued at the Llotja School of Applied Arts and Artistic Trades and attended the Sant Lluc Art Circle in Barcelona. At the end of the academic year, he decides to move to Italy, a country for which he had great affection and admiration, particularly for its Renaissance and Baroque painting. On his return to Tarragona, he meets Jaume Vidal Alcover and Maria Aurèlia Capmany, who would become very important in his artistic and intellectual training.

As an illustrator, he takes part in various initiatives, the first in 1976 in Paradís, a journal dedicated to comic art promoted by Xavier Izquierdo, the nephew of Jaume Vidal Alcover, in which the artist Gelo was also a contributor.

In 1977, in the university sphere, the journal La Gent del Llamp was founded, which has two phases: the first, 1977-78, and the second, 1978-79. In the second, Antoni Torrell joins as an illustrator.

The bar-café-art gallery Poetes, which opened on 9 June 1978, occupies a key part of the life and work of Antoni Torrell. The bar, which would become a veritable cultural centre of the city, is created by Torrell and his colleague, Joaquim Martín. A place where one could go to have a drink, talk about anything and listen to music.

In 1982, Torrell joined the SIEP (Sàpigues i Entenguis Produccions) postal art group, led by Francesc Vidal, along with Robert Bofarull, Aureli Ruiz and Joan Rom, a group which acted as a cultural catalyst in the city of Reus.

In 1988, along with Chantal Grande and Glòria Malé, members of PACT (Promotion of Cultural Activities in Tarragona), he was the founder of Tinglado 2 Moll de Costa, one of the finest artistic initiatives created in the city of Tarragona, which would become recognised as one of the most important art centres in Catalonia.

As a visual creator, Antoni Torrell is acclaimed for his collages, in which he managed to express his own language, where he decontextualised images of art history and visual culture in general, giving them a new composition and meaning.
In this exhibition we can see a selection of his work, in particular some of his lesser-known series and others that have not been previously exhibited publicly.