fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Josefa Tolrà
La Biennale di Venezia

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Josefa Tolrà

1880 – 1959, Spain

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Until 1941, Josefa Tolrà was known in the countryside around Cabrils as Pepeta, a healer and fervent Catholic; a few years after losing her son in the Spanish Civil War, she began going into long trances during which she drew and wrote extensively. As if to substantiate the notion that she was guided by disembodied entities, her compositions contain messages that seem too sophisticated for her basic education,  and images too elaborate for a hand untrained in drawing. According to Tolrà, the spirits with whom she was in contact were well versed in geography, science, art, and philosophy, and prone to flaunt their skills in long streams of poetry, aphorisms, and reflections, or complex pictures of brightly coloured human figures, currents of energy, or extraordinary natural landscapes. Sometimes, as in the pages of Llibreta (1944) or the work Dibujo escritura fluídica (1954), the verbal and visual components share the page and flow into each other. The Christian images that the artist made around the same time are full of occult symbols; they suggest a religious syncretism very similar to the theosophic beliefs of the late 19th century and turn Josefa Tolrà’s feverish activity as a medium into the expression of a surprisingly modern sensibility. 


Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte