I pick up the primitive form: the one given by the lathe. Thus, the forms of my works are related to those of the primitive ceramics of all countries and all civilizations, and they have only come from my hands. My inventive and personal work is in the glazes and colours: here I am looking for the new.
Josep Llorens Artigas (Barcelona, 1892 – Gallifa, 1980) was born and raised in Barcelona. Artigas began his artistic education at the Academia Francesc Galí, -the most modern institution at that time in Barcelona-, continued at Crecle Artístic de Sant Luc – where he coincided with Joan Miró, Joan Prats and Antoni Gaudí- and, as soon as it was established, he joined the Escola dels Bells Oficis, which is considered one of the axes of the noucentist spirit in Barcelona. It was in this school that Artigas began to focus on ceramics.
Since 1916 his trips to Paris, where he went to improve his knowledge of the technique, started to become more frequent, turning into long stays in the summer. When he finally moved to the city, in 1924, he had already found a core of friends and colleagues and had joined the avant-garde scene of the time. He often collaborated with artists like Raoul Dufy, Pablo Gargallo, Albert Marquet and Georges Braque.
In 1935 he married Violette Gardy in Geneva, spent some time in Switzerland and returned to Paris, where he continued to work in his new studio, in Vitry. In 1936 he took part in the Milan Triennale and was awarded with the Diploma of Honour.
Until 1939, while living in Paris, he focused on producing works for solo exhibitions. At the beginning of the war Artigas settles in Ceret, for a while, and in 1941 he moves to Barcelona. He set up his studio in Rue Juli Verne and began to teach Massana ceramics, slowly training a new generation of Catalan ceramists. In 1944 the first ceramics came out of the kiln thanks to the collaboration of Artigas and Miró. Eleven years later, in 1955, the two of them began the project that occupied Artigas’ job until 1959. For this purpose they visited the Altamira cave paintings together.
In 1955 UNESCO commissioned them to decorate its new headquarters in Paris, for which they created two ceramic murals. After this project -which received the international Grand Prize from the Guggenheim Foundation – similar commissions followed, such as the mural of the University of Harvard (1960), the Handels-Hochschule of Saint Gallen (1964), the Guggenheim Museum in New York (1966), Barcelona Airport (1970), Osaka Airport (1970), Cinemateque de Paris (definitively installed in the Museum of Vitoria) and the large group of works in the labyrinth of the Maeght Foundation, Saint Paul de Vence.
Until her death in 1980, he received numerous awards and prizes.