Francisco Farreras

Francisco Farreras
(1927 – 2021)
Untitled, abstract composition
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated 1955

Height 87 cm
Width 129 cm

Francisco Farreras moved to Murcia with his family in 1940, where he followed his early vocation and attended classes with Antonio Gómez Cano. A year later, he moved to Santa Cruz de Tenerife and continued his artistic education at the School of Arts and Crafts under Mariano de Cossío. In 1943, he settled in Madrid and joined the San Fernando School of Fine Arts, where he studied under the guidance of Daniel Vázquez Díaz and Ramón Stolz. In 1952, he held his first solo exhibition at the Biosca Gallery in Madrid. The following year, he received a scholarship from the French Institute and relocated to Paris for the years 1953 and 1954. From that point onward, he participated in numerous exhibitions in Spain and abroad, including notable showcases such as the Venice Biennales of 1958 and 1960, an exhibition at MOMA in the same year, and an exhibition at the Tate Gallery in 1962.

In 1963, he established his residence in New York, where he created a mural-collage for the Spanish Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. He initiated relationships with the Bertha Schaefer Gallery and the Juana Mordó Gallery, showcasing his work on multiple occasions. He returned to Madrid in 1966, where he permanently settled and continues to reside to this day. His artwork is featured in prominent collections such as the MNCARS, Fundación Juan March, Atheneum Museum (Helsinki), Musée National d’Art Moderne (Paris), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), The National Museum of Modern Art (Tokyo), and The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York).

As an artist with a continuous spirit of inquiry, Farreras initially explored geometric figurative painting influenced by Cubism. During his time in Paris, he evolved towards geometric abstraction, gradually transitioning to Informalism. In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, he experimented with the plastic possibilities of tissue paper, combining it with various types of paint such as oil, tempera, or wax. Collage became his preferred technique. In the late 1960s, his color palette lightened, incorporating figurative elements sourced from fragments of posters and other printed papers. In the 1970s, he expanded the size of his works. In 1982, he created a mural-collage at Madrid-Barajas Airport, marking a substantial shift in his artistic approach as he moved away from flat surfaces and embarked on a new phase of volumetric works he called “coudrages,” created with plywood filled with foam rubber and covered in sewn fabric. From 1988, he dedicated himself exclusively to wooden reliefs, using salvaged and discarded materials. Around 2004, he started working on nearly flat surfaces with new materials, displaying a clear synthetic intention.