The Josep Suñol Collection itself shows the special way this collector understands art. The coherence and quality of the works of art which make up the collection give us a broad, representative vision of artistic creation from 1915 to 2006.
Thanks to his friendship with Fernando Vijande – one of the founders of the Galería Vandrés in Madrid – he lived very close to the transformation that art was undergoing in the sixties. It should be remembered that Vijande has been regarded as one of the driving forces behind avant-garde art in Spain, which meant Josep Suñol was in direct contact with the new artistic tendencies.
1976 was a key year in the history of the collection as a happening known as “Situation-Colour” took place in which Antoni Miralda, Jaume Xifra and Antoni Muntadas were involved, amongst others. The event was organised to coincide with the presentation of the collector’s new home, a three storey building designed by Josep Lluís Sert which was the perfect backdrop for a large part of his works of art.
Some years later in 1980 a second space was opened to house the works Suñol continued to acquire, the Galeria 2, in Barcelona. In the Galeria 2 a small atelier was loaned to various artists like Zush, Pablo Maeso, José Noguero and others, so it became one of the key jobs Josep Suñol was to do as a patron.
By 1988 renovation work began on the building in Passeig de Gràcia in Barcelona, the collector’s birthplace, with a view to converting it into the main headquarters of the collection.
This collection comprises over 1,200 works of art, 454 of which are done on paper and 180 on canvas; 325 sculptures in various materials and the rest of the contents are mixed-media.
Since the late sixties Josep Suñol has kept up a rhythm of continuous acquisition, bringing many new artists into the collection. The most notable growth took place in the four year period between 1980 and 1984, when 377 new pieces were added to the collection. As regards the time of production a great many works were done in the years between 1970 and 1979, a remarkable 488 pieces.
There are over 200 artists featured in the collection, the greater percentage being from Spain (60%), while Catalonia is the autonomous community with the most representatives (38% of all the Spanish artists), followed by Madrid and Valencia. The second country is Italy with 7% of the artists and then the United States with 5%. The Fundació Suñol would like to bring in international artists, though being based in Barcelona there is obviously a predominant amount of artists from the city.
Jordi Vidal i Sordé