Dengra, Andreu, Ventosa, Sílvia, Aurèlia Muñoz. Recerques infinites. Fibres, textures i espai, Datatèxtil [on line], no. 29, 2013→
Giralt-Miracle, Daniel, Aurèlia Muñoz. Estructures, Tarragona, Museu d’Art Modern, 1994→
Parcerisas, Pilar, Aurèlia Muñoz, Barcelona, Ámbit Serveis Editorials, 1990
Anudar el espacio. Donación Aurèlia Muñoz, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, October 2019–December 2020→
Aurèlia Muñoz, Centre d’Études Catalanes, Generalitat de Catalunya, Paris, November– December 1985→
Aurèlia Muñoz, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, 1990
Spanish textile artist.
The outstanding textile artist Aurèlia Muñoz was associated with the Nouvelle Tapisserie (also known as Fiber Art) movement during the second half of the twentieth century. Somehow – incomprehensibly – she has been missing from Spanish museums, although the New York MoMA’s 2020 acquisition of three of her pieces for its permanent collection sparked renewed interest in her work.
On numerous occasions, A. Muñoz recalled the importance of her early education at the Institut Montserrat, Barcelona’s first Montessori school, where she learned to work with her hands. Later on, she attended the Escola Massana – Centre d’Art i Disseny, one of the city’s leading art schools, where she trained in various techniques. This explains the centrality of manual skills in all her practice: she insisted on taking charge of the entire productive process herself, without resorting to a team. She started with a preliminary study, from which she made a cartoon, using this to make an outline, dye her materials, weave them together and assemble them.
After taking up embroidery to produce work such as Personajes místicos y cruz [Mystical figures and a cross, 1964], in the mid-1960s she discovered macramé, a knotting technique that was to play a major role in her practice. After an experiment in making a voluminous macramé knot in 1969, she took a leap into three dimensions with pieces that created spaces suggesting the concepts of protection and shelter. During this period, she made Homenaje a Gaudí [Homage to Gaudi, 1969], a hanging sphere resembling orange segments. Later, her work took a monumental turn, with pieces like Ente social [Social entity, 1976].
In the following decade, A. Muñoz went deeper into this line of reflection, giving special attention to the materials and volumes of her work. Her tapestries abandoned walls to embrace architectonic functions, entering into dialogue with space. In this way, she presented them as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk that blurred the lines between the fine arts and crafts, and muted the hierarchy between techniques and materials. Consequently, her work is usually categorised as being at the confluence of tapestry, sculpture and architecture; it discarded the “functionality” attributed to the decorative arts, making them an autonomous medium of expression. Using natural fibres such as hemp, wool and sisal, and her profound knowledge of folk techniques and wisdom concerning textiles, A. Muñoz infused her pieces with meaning, linking them with an ancestral and organic universe in dialogue with the natural world.
During her lifetime, this Catalan artist enjoyed widespread renown in Spain and internationally, accumulating many honours from the beginning of her career onwards. Her work appeared in leading biennials (for example, Lausanne and São Paulo), and the main international bibliography of textile art includes an entry on her work signalling her status as a reference in the field. Her production is held by museums including the MoMA (New York), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the National Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh), the Umêleckopruumyslové Museum (Prague) and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid). The exhibition Anudar el espacio. Donación Aurèlia Muñoz at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelona) in 2019 marked the beginning of a reconsideration of her career in her native country.
A notice produced as part of the TEAM international academic network: Teaching, E-learning, Agency and Mentoring
Aurèlia Muñoz, Verge de la Macarena [Virgin of the Macarena], 1967, collage with fabrics, trimmings and reliquaries, wood and mirror, 70 x 53 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Macra vermell, 1970, macramé with sisal and cotton threads, 220 x 120 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Estel ancorat [Anchored Star], 1974, macramé with nylon strings, 280 x 900 x 900 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Ocell seda natural II [Bird in natural silk II], 1982, natural silk fabric and leaded metal rods, 90 x 120 x 120 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Ocell seda natural II [Bird in natural silk II], 1982, natural silk fabric and leaded metal rods, 90 x 120 x 120 cm, XII International Tapestry Biennial, Lausanne, 1983, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Llibre [Book], 1985, handmade paper and wooden rods, 90 x 110 x 80 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Washi </em [Japanese paper], 1984, hand-dyed vegetable paper, 106 x 100 x 15 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz
Aurèlia Muñoz, Mobils cubistes [Cubist Mobils], Mòbil M#19 [Mobil M#19], 1989, handmade paper and rushes, 148 x 60 x 100 cm et Mòbil M#24 [Mobil M#14], 1989, handmade paper and rushes, 130 x 70 x 20 cm, Estate of Aurèlia Muñoz