BARCELONA.- One of the most unknown facts about Mercè Rodoreda (1908-1983) is her dedication to the plastic arts in the fifties, before starting her literary career again from 1958 and in particular from 1962 with the publication of La plaça del Diamant, making her the most translated modern Catalan writer in the 20th century.
This exhibition offers 30 of her paintings and collages, the majority of which have never been seen before, to commemorate the centenary of her birth, proposing new ways of reading one of her main pieces over which the plastic arts have a very strong influence.
Mercè Rodoreda, the most widely acclaimed author in contemporary Catalan fiction, was born in October of 1908, in a house with a garden in the neighbourhood of Sant Gervasi. She was the only child of a couple who enjoyed literature and the theatre, and she lived in a happy, somewhat bohemian atmosphere, dominated by the figure of her maternal grandfather, Pere Gurguí, former writer for La Renaixença and L'Arc de Sant Martí. In fact, the figure of her maternal grandfather was very important for Mercè Rodoreda because he instilled in her a deep sense of Catalan identity that accompanied her throughout her life, even in very difficult times far from her country, as well as an intense attraction to flowers, flowers that presided over her childhood and would play a significant role in the short stories and novels that she wrote. In 1910, her grandfather built a monument to Jacint Verdaguer, who had been a friend of his, in the family garden, where it became the centre of parties and gatherings: a hill of big stones, with pans of dirt in between, where rosemary plants and other typical Mediterranean plants grew, surrounded by a strip of pink cement that wound around the rocks and had the titles of Verdaguers main works engraved in it, El Canigó, L'Atlàntida, etc., wrote Mercè Rodoreda in Images from Childhood. Marked by her upbringing (her father was fond of books, as she herself mentioned in an interview), she was a great reader, especially of classic and modern Catalan authors: Llull, Verdaguer, Maragall, Sagarra, Carner, etc. When she was twenty, she married her uncle, an American, (as emigrants to the were called), Joan Gurguí, a man of his time, who had been sent at the age of fourteen to make his fortune in ; a year later her only son was born.