“Given that I reach the age of 70 without blood relatives and without any binding moral obligation, given the fiercely independent trajectory of my life, I wish that all my assets, with the exceptions that will be duly mentioned, become a single block for set up a Palau Foundation”. These words by the poet, writer and painter Josep Palau i Fabre (Barcelona, April 21, 1917 – February 23, 2008) laid the foundations for the Fundació Palau located in Caldes d’Estrac.
Until the arrival of the Foundation to this coastal and seaside town of the Maresme, the artist toured innumerable Catalan towns to find a place to locate it. Finally he found in Joan Rangel, then mayor of Caldes d’Estrac, the perfect support for his project. The place, Can Muntanyà and the Casa de les Monges, the buildings occupied by the Foundation were empty and, although they had been used as a thermal center, nobody wanted to take charge of them. In the words of Rangel himself, the Foundation “is a reinforcement because being a thermal town implies both the aspect of spas and that of culture. When the current spa can be expanded and there are locations for other possible spas, for a first class cultural facility is an unbeatable opportunity that could not be missed”.
Rangel saw in the Fundació Palau the possibility of promoting the town even more. Time has given it a reason.
The Fundació, for what it has as an art center but also as a writer’s legacy, is an atypical foundation. The two aspects of the artist make it possible to greatly diversify the offer through art exhibitions, publications that are not only limited to the edition of catalogs but also include reissues of the work of Palau i Fabre. Also noteworthy are the Nits de Poetes converted into the Poesia i + Festival, where neighboring towns participate and which has taken root in the region, with an offer of shows around poetry (performances, music, theater…) and which still has a Nit de Poets with the clear will to honor the founder.
Anna Maluquer (1963) was appointed director of the Fundació Palau i Fabre at the height of the lockdown, on April 1, 2020, replacing Maria Choya. From the first moment of her appointment, Maluquer set herself the goal of making the Foundation known in the region. In an interview with her in the magazine “Temps de les Arts” she said: “It seems unbelievable but the Foundation is not well known in the Maresme, which is why we want to create a network throughout the region. I’m from Cabrera de Mar, a town near Caldes d’Estrac, and sometimes when I talk about the Fundació there are still those who think I’m talking about the Palau de la Música. I am surprised that this magnificent facility is not well known because since its inauguration many things have been done. We need a more global vision. That is why one of my goals is for the center to take root throughout the region”.
Josep Palau i Fabre was essentially a poet passionate about the work of Picasso, about whom he wrote 20 volumes. This fact, together with the fact that his father, Josep Palau Oller, was a painter, has filled the Foundation with literary works reinforced by an outstanding pictorial work, including paintings by Picasso.
Upcoming activities of the Fundació Palau
Till May 22nd
Exhibition “From Balís to the Tunnel. Sant Vicenç de Montalt, Caldes d’Estrac i Arenys de Mar”, an exhibition of drawings by Núria Gifra of the building -existing, missing or projected- in the space between the train track and the coast that runs from the Riera del Balís, to Sant Vicenç de Montalt, to the train tunnel in Arenys de Mar, passing through Caldes d’Estrac.
May 12th. 18.30 hrs
Els Dijous a la Palau: Presentation of the photobook ‘Sota la llum del mar’. The photographer Espe Pons (Barcelona, 1973) will present this photobook, accompanied by Manel Guerrero. The work is a photographic essay that wants to dignify the victims of Francoism during the Civil War and the postwar period. The project is based on the story of the little brother of the author’s grandfather, Tomàs Pons Albesa, shot at the Camp de la Bota in Barcelona in 1941, when he was 31 years old. The book combines contemporary photography with documentary witnesses of the time.
May 28th – September 18th
Exhibition “Signs and writings. Suñol Soler Collection”. Collective exhibition produced by the Fundació Suñol that aims to emphasize the role of the sign and writing in the plastic arts of the second half of the 20th century, tracing a descriptive journey of these symbolic applications through a selection of works from the Suñol Soler Collection.