Joan Sandalinas (Barcelona, 1903 – 1991) claimed that his masters had been “Cézanne, Picasso, de Chirico and the streets of Barcelona.” He trained within the network of workers’ athenaeums, which were traditional in his hometown in the early 20th century, and at the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc [Sant Lluc Artistic Circle], where Joan Miró also studied.
In his drawings of the 1920s he portrayed popular scenes and figures, including workers, and parents with their children at leisure on the shore. With enthusiastic ingenuity Sandalinas interpreted different artistic movements in his canvases, Cubism, Purism and Constructivism among others. Romanesque art was another key influence. In 1928 the critic Sebastià Gasch wrote that he was “intense, barbaric, at odds with the decadent good taste that is fashionable”
Outside of the official artistic environment, with few public appearances, Sandalinas produced his work in solitude. In 1948 he participated in the I Salón de Octubre [First October Salon] with two abstract paintings that caught the attention of the critics for their power. From that moment on his work appeared in studies dedicated to the Barcelona pictorial school and was included in collective avant-garde art exhibitions, though he did not have an individual exhibition until 1985.