Villelia, Moisés

Moisès Villelia was born in Barcelona (Gràcia) in 1928 as the son of the sculptor Julian Villelia. He is considered a pioneer of Arte Povera. At the age of 14, he began an apprenticeship as a carpenter in his family's furniture factory in Mataro near Barcelona. At the beginning of the 1940s, Moisès Villelia became involved with artistic forms of expression for the first time. Founds the group 'Art Actual' in Mataro, first exhibition, but soon leaves the group. Acquaintance with the artists Brossa, Cirici, Pellicer, Lerin. Joan Prats introduces him to the Club 49. 1958 Begins sculptural work using bamboo and simple materials such as cork and plants. 1959 Meets Miró, James Johnson Sweeney, Pierre Matisse, Frank O'Hare. 1960 Friendship with the planners of a museum for contemporary art in Barcelona, who intend to honour his work in a first exhibition. 1963 Villelia declines an invitation to participate in the Sao Paulo Biennial as a representative of Spain. From 1967 to 1971, the artist lived in Paris, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador. The culture of South America exerted a lasting influence on his work; among other things, he encountered the vigorous growth of bamboo there, which would henceforth shape his sculptures and his pictorial forms. In 1971 he returned to Barcelona at the call of the Sala Gaspar, which was concerned about its artists. In 1986 Villelia experimented with bamboo and ceramics, a collaboration with the ceramicist Isabel Torquemada. Moisès Villèlia dies in Barcelona at the age of 66 after a long illness. This biography is subject to copyright. (c) Evi Kliemand, 1998. All rights reserved. Reproduced with kind permission of the author.

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