Ricard Opisso y Sala (Tarragona, 1880 – 1966)

Opisso arrives in Barcelona at eleven. 1896 This period of his adolescence was central to the foundation of his future work. The urban drawing took him away from academicism and fully integrated into one kind of spontaneous composition. His entry into the Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluc in 1896, resulted a recommendation of Antoni Gaudí, he with many artists of the time, under the influence of which he completed his training, ully integrating his art in Modernism. In April 1900 along with fellow exposes circle at Sala Pares.

French publications such as “La Caricature” or “La Vie Parisienne” came weekly to Barcelona and were read with a passion for young artistsEspecially for those who went to the gatherings of Els Quatre Gats, as it was a particular case of Opisso. Miquel Utrillo, who was the promoter of this coffee, sent drawings of our artist  to friends who was overseas.

To Els Quatre Gats, Opisso was a part of the youth group and shared endeavors with Picasso, Manolo Hugué, Casagemas, Vidal Ventosa, Sebastià Junyer and others. They all admired and listened to Casas, Rusinol, Nonell, Mir, Pichot, Anglada Camarassa, Canals and Regoyos, and particularly admired Nonell Opisso.

In July 2, 1903 he started his activity as a draftsman in the press, particularly in the weekly satirical humor “Cu-Cut!”, Which not only began an occupation but also established the basis for a way to always be faithful to: build your personal formula of social criticism, rehearse various ways to draw and don’t fall into the doll of humorous.

Madrid centralism criticized, praised the worker stopped by civilians, denounced the excesses of the treasury and drew many beautiful and well-dressed girls, leaving a good testimony of how women’s fashion was in Barcelona in the first decade of the twentieth century. He made many drawings with charcoal and other dotted techniques, which are the most artistic ambition.

Among the artists of the years 1915, 1917 and 1918, we find crowded drawings and the direct precedents of what he will do next, but not until 1919 when Opisso published his first “crowd”: a scene of the double-page Encantes and then, with variations, repeated at different times; but not until 1922 that he decided to attend such drawings, which gave him a job and never compensated by monetary compensation received.

The best “crowd” from the point of view art are the first, because when production intensify drifted due to the rush, by progressive figures outlining; although in the communication aspect all have great interest in the great knowledge that proved to be the collective soul of the Catalans.

Opisso, in those years and in those of his old age, the political regime was chasing all references to eroticism, privately held decidedly pornographic drawings. These works should be placed under the heading of personal expansions.

Opisso participated in the proclamation of the Republic in the city of Barcelona, which left graphic evidence. Spurred by Joaquim Renart, Opisso decides remember its beginnings through charcoal portraits of the artists who had known or which had coincided as Nonell, Casas, Rusiñol, Picasso, Gosé, Anglada Camarasa, Mir, Regoyos, Pere Romeu, Tolouse-Lautrec, Oscar Wild and other famous modernists from Barcelona and world famous artists from Pariss. This resulted in a very successful exhibition held artistic and economic reasons why Opisso pressed the issue for a long time. On old or aged paper with unorthodox methods, memory portrayed his friends and acquaintances, dating his works in 1900, made with great skill but coincide in time with others who do not have much interest.

The outbreak of the Civil War and familiarly staff worried Ricard Opisso. He tried to stay out of any propaganda activity and sought that his name be forgotten. In 1937 an unsigned illustrated informative booklet on what had to be done before the air war. Then he left Barcelona and took refuge in Rellinars, ready to carry out a very retired life. There, the writer Ferran Canyameres written him a long biography for review: “Catalans” and asked illustrations for various reports.

Back to the rhythm of regular expressions from 1941, representing horse racing, girls “topolino” accompanied by dogs, and repeating the portraits of his childhood friends. Also continued to work in magazines. Opisso knew he will survive as a popular character.

Ricard Opisso Sala

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