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The Fundació Joan Miró opens the photography exhibition Cunningham, Cage & Tudor (Sitges, 1966)
Joaquim Gomis. Merce Cunningham. 1966 Joaquim Gomis Archive, held in the National Archive of Catalonia © Hereus de Joaquim Gomis, 2019.

BARCELONA.- On the night of 29 July 1966, the Casino Prado Theatre in Sitges staged a performance of contemporary dance and experimental music by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, John Cage and David Tudor. Two years earlier, Joan Miró had been to one of their performances in Paris. Excited by what he saw, he asked the company to include Spain on a future tour, putting them in touch with his friends at Club 49. This group of Catalans, including Josep Maria Mestres Quadreny, Carles Santos, Joan Miró and Joan Brossa, who were interested in the artistic movements of the moment, sought to recapture the spirit of the artistic avant-garde that had flourished during the Republic and been cut short by the Civil War. In the absence of institutional support, Ricard Gomis turned his house in La Ricarda pine forest in El Prat de Llobregat into a site for artistic experimentation of all kinds.

The performance was a one-off event in Spain, and Joan Miró himself, who had helped promote it, also designed the poster in order to help with the costs of the tour. The company stayed at the Terramar Hotel in Sitges and rehearsed the show at the Prado Theatre. It was divided into three parts and introduced by the critic Alexandre Cirici Pellicer. The day after the performance, the company attended the reception offered by the Gomis family at La Ricarda: a day for them to rest before continuing the tour in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

To commemorate the centenary of Cunningham's birth, the photographic essay by Joaquim Gomis of the rehearsals and that historic day at La Ricarda will be on show in the space devoted to photography in the foyer of the Fundació Joan Miró. It can be seen alongside the temporary exhibition Sound Art?, which will open on 24 October 2019. This show addresses the presence of sound in art and explains how the introduction of sound enables art objects to state their presence in a radically different, augmented way through works by John Cage, among others.

Joaquim Gomis i Serdañons (Barcelona, 1902-1991) was an entrepreneur, photographer, art promoter and the first president of the Fundació Joan Miró (1972-1975). For more than five decades, he produced a broad and powerful body of photographic work in keeping with the most avant-garde artistic expression of his time. He was a founder member of ADLAN (Friends of the New Art, 1932-1936) and of Club 49 (1949-1971), two of the groups that were most active in promoting the new art in Catalonia between 1930 and 1970.

Since 2012, the Fundació Joan Miró has organised photography exhibitions in the foyer. Through an agreement with the heirs of Joaquim Gomis and the Catalan Government, the Foundation manages the Gomis Archive and disseminates and promotes the study of this Catalan photographer’s work. To this end, the Foundation organises temporary exhibitions of Gomis’s work in this space, alternating with shows featuring the work of other amateur photographers.

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