ARCHIVE / 2018 / Texts

Josep Playà Maset

The Real Museum of Prints

There is a history of complicity between Cadaqués and the artists, that starts out at the end of the 19th century and persists for over a century with circumstantial ups and downs. When Joan Josep Tharrats wrote his memorable book One Hundred Years of Painting in Cadaqués, among the 338 artists who at one time or another passed through this village, he mentioned the enameller, painter and printmaker Pascual Fort. “In Cadaqués he opened the Taller Galería Fort (the Workshop Gallery Fort) where he exhibited the graphic work of mainly Catalan artists.” He wrote this in 1981, and that same summer Pascual Fort guided the Mini Print International of Cadaqués out of anonymity.

If some day this historic-artistic story of Cadaqués, which has such powerful names as Pichot, Meifren, Picasso, Dali, Duchamp or Hamilton, is updated, the Mini Print competition, which has reached its 38th edition, should have its own chapter next to other events that have marked this privileged corner of the Cap de Creus.

The statistics of the Mini Print are impressive. From the beginning an average of 600 to 700 artists from more than 50 countries have participated annually. The sum of the 38 exhibitions raises the number of participants to 9,700 artists from around the world. And their work has been examined by a jury and admired by the public in the Workshop-Gallery, converted into a veritable museum, on Hort d’en Sanés street. Spain, the United States and Japan are the countries that have congregated the most participants. But in 2018, seven artists from South Korea, three from Iran, one from Mongolia and five from New Zealand – to mention only the most distant – have contributed works. The name Cadaqués attracts many of these artists and each one of these becomes a new diffuser of the brand Cadaqués associated with art. It is a mutual attraction based on the landscape, on the people, on the tramontane, on a cultural tradition…

Every year this love story extends to other towns that exhibit the works: l’Étangd’Art in Bages (France); Wingfield Barns in Suffolk (United Kingdom); Tharrats Foundation of Graphic Art, in Pineda de Mar (Spain). On other occasions the work has travelled to South Korea, Japan, Italy, Mexico, the United States… In addition, and fortunately, since 2016 the prizewinning prints have been deposited in the Library of Catalonia, and there are now more than 250 of them. But beyond this numerical presence, what is interesting about the Mini Print is that in the future it will permit one to follow and analyze tendencies in the world of printmaking. The complexity of thematics, the presence of figuration, the introduction of the digital world and the diversity of techniques will be information that can be extrapolated from these exhibitions. Without elitist pretensions its catalogs have become a data base that will permit future studies of artistic evolution.

And a final element to take into account is that we face a proposal that can only be explained by the taste for the exquisite, by the sensitivity and by the willfulness of the Fort-Barberá family. And thanks to this the competition has been consolidated and another milestone achieved by continuing the project for four decades, not easy in Cadaqués.

Mercedes Barberà Rusiñol
Director of the Mini Print International of Cadaqués

The 38th MiniPrint International of Cadaqués offers us – this is its raison d’être and essential reason for its presence – a generous panorama of contemporary printmaking. The different expressive forms of the images created with the most varied techniques provoke concord and well-being, and harmoniously provide a hard to repeat knowledge of visual arts.

This year, on the occasion of their exhibitions, the following artists visited us: the Catalan Asumpció Espada, the Israelian Yael Saranga, the Swede Bo Cronqvist, the Japanese Mariko Furusho, the Corsican Chantal Ferracci who lives in Spain and the Thailandese Thamrongsak Nimanusornkul. They all performed the difficult task of juror for the current Mini Print exhibition. During their stay we shared artistic, cultural and technical knowledge, a gift that the Mini Print offers us year after year. The galleries Art en Brut of Girona and Arteria of Igualada have exhibited their works during the months of November and December respectively.

In Wingfield Barns (UK) the Mini Print is awaited as an inescapable cultural event. Ian Chance makes this possible with his enthusiastic dedication. Sophie Cassard exhibits the Mini Print during the Christmas holidays in the gallery l’Etangd’Art in Bages (France). As usual it attracts many visitors, especially schools and cultural organizations because of its pedagogical value. The French press publishes interesting articles about the show.

Of special relevance are the cultural events organized by the Tharrats Foundation of Graphic Art in Pineda de Mar in commemoration of the centenary of the birth of its patron, the artist Joan Josep Tharrats. The Mini Print contributed to this celebration. Unfortunately, his son Joan, promoter of the Mini Print in Pineda, could not attend the homage to his father because he passed away last spring. His memory will always remain with us.

I regret to communicate the loss this autumn of the respected journalist and writer Patricia Gabancho. She was an enthusiastic collaborator with our organization who wrote the presentation for the catalogue of the 34th Mini Print. She valued the knowledge that the Mini Print transmitted from her adopted land, Catalonia, that she loved so much. She will always be with us.

Catalan public television, TV3, and the media La Vanguardia, Bon Art, El Punt Avui, Hora Nova and the Setmanari de l’Alt Empordà promptly published all our cultural activities. Our acknowledgement.

Finally, our thanks for the cooperation of the participating artists. The continuity of the exhibition that for so many years is awaited and admired, is made possible by the beauty of your works. As always, we are counting on your esteemed participation in the new edition of the Mini Print that we are now preparing with enthusiasm and expectation.