The career of Joan Junyer (Barcelona, 1904 – 1994) developed between Europe and America; between the renovation of figurative art in the 1930s and the rise of abstract art in the 1950s. His father, Carles, and his uncle, Sebastà Junyer Vidal, were friends and supporters of Picasso. Junyer was educated in an artistic environment and he entered the international sphere at a young age: in 1929 the Carnegie Institute awarded him a runner-up prize, introducing him to the artistic scene of the United States. At the time, he lived in Paris where he interacted with poets and architects. His drawings and canvases of the characters and landscapes of Mallorca reveal the influence of Picasso and of Romanesque art.
Exiled after the Spanish Civil War and a fugitive of World War II, his time in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and in Cuba led to his adoption of a brief tropicalist period before moving to New York. Along with his wife, the educator Dolors Canals, he established relationships with members of the European avant-garde émigré community, including Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Fernand Léger.
During the summer of 1945 MoMA held the exhibition Stage Designs by Joan Junyer. In the Free Standing Paintings, some of his most recognized works of the time, painting, sculpture, color and movement form one single element. In 1976 he returned to Barcelona where he died.