Sandalinas, Joan

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Joan Sandalinas

Barcelona, 1903

Barcelona, 1991


His training took place in his hometown, first at the Ateneu Obrer and later at the Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc, where he met the future art critic Sebastià Gasch. He presents his work to the public for the first time at the Exposició Municipal d’Art of 1923. The Dictatorship of Primo de Rivera will cancel the municipal art exhibitions in Barcelona and Sandalinas misses the annual opportunity to show his paintings. Throughout his life, he developed his dedication to painting in parallel to his work in the Telefónica company, which stayed until his retirement.

Among his first canvases, those in which the impact of cubism and futurism are appreciated stand out, as well as urban landscapes of a certain metaphysical tone. In other works he approaches a surrealism that could be described as silent. In 1929, Sebastià Gasch dedicates a praiseworthy article to him in the avant-garde magazine L’Amic de les Arts, of which Sandalinas was a graphic collaborator, and another within the cycle entitled Pintura catalana published in the Madrid magazine Atlántico. That same year he exhibited at the Saló de Tardor, held at the Sala Parés in Barcelona. As a result of this exhibition, Josep Dalmau invites him to participate in the Exhibition of abstract art and later in the Exhibition of national and foreign modern art, together with important international artists.

With the Second Republic, municipal art exhibitions were reestablished in Barcelona, and Sandalinas participated in the Saló de Montjuïc in 1932. He would not take part in these exhibitions again. In the post-war period, in addition to returning to themes of his previous painting, he painted landscapes of the outskirts of Barcelona, numerous works that recall De Chirico and other abstract works, with which he participated in significant group exhibitions, such as the Salones de Octubre, in the first of which, held in 1948, he exhibited radically constructivist works.

His association between 1951 and 1954 with the Inter-Nos group formed by Eduard Alcoy and Joan Hernández Pijuán, among others, led him to participate in the exhibition held by the latter in 1953 at the Museu de Granollers, an initiative that attracted the attention of the Barcelona press.

Being one of the most relevant and, nevertheless, less known painters of the first Catalan avant-garde, the vindication of his figure began in 1983 by the hand of the historian and art critic Francesc Miralles, who in 1986 oversaw the retrospective that Caja Madrid dedicated to the painter at its headquarters in Barcelona.

Isabel Menéndez