Adolf Genovart (Barcelona, 1953) was one of the key figures in the emergence of Catalan painting in the 1980s, when democracy was being consolidated in Spain and the normalisation of the art scene was under way. Genovart’s work was exhibited at iconic galleries of the period such as Galería Ciento and Dau al Set. When his work became known, critics were unanimous in applauding his originality within the framework of practices associated with Art Informel. Genovart drew widespread attention when he won First Prize at the 5th Biennial of Barcelona. During the first stage of his career, to which the piece Diana Doble (1986) belongs, his painting was strongly gestural, focusing on colour and materiality and emphasising features arising from a spontaneous approach to execution. Thanks to this energetic style of painting, Genovart came to be seen as a leading exponent of the ‘wildness’ pursued by Catalan painters during this period. His second period, which began with works like Desierto Star (1987–1988), is characterised by a renewed focus on form. His output during this stage is close to the poetics of Spatialism; his compositions tend towards the monochrome, and geometric elements combined with mathematical schemes feature prominently. Rather than representing a shift away from the defining features of his earlier output, the approaches pursued by the artist during this period served to enrich his work by providing him with new ways of distributing and delimiting space on the canvas before applying his gestural method. It is perhaps the fusion of these contrasting elements that has led critics to note the ambivalence between calculation and spontaneity in Genovart’s work. The latest stage of his career, in which he combines pictorial investigation with digital images, can be viewed as the culmination of exercises of this kind. While pursuing his artistic career, Genovart has also worked as a lecturer at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Barcelona.
Andrea Aguado Alemany