1929, Sant Cugat del Vallès (Catalonia, Spain) - 2011, Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire (Angers, France).

1929, Sant Cugat del Vallès (Catalonia, Spain) - 2011, Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire (Angers, France).

Josep Grau-Garriga was born in Sant Cugat del Vallès, on February 18, 1929, within a family of farmers who suffered the hardships of the Civil War and particularly those of the Post-War. The artist, underwent through jail and exile and it was in this environment where he discovered his vocation for art.
In the early 1940s, Grau-Garriga gets his first influences through the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, especially by its frescoes, Romanesque and Gothic paintings.
Grau-Garriga pursues his artistic formation, first at the Llotja and then at the Escola Superior de Belles Arts de Sant Jordi in Barcelona.
In the 1950s, he devotes himself to mural painting, creating works of the same magnitude as the ones in the murals in the Sant Crist of Llaceres chapel (Sant Cugat del Vallès, 1956) or the ones in the St. Mary of Paretdelgada sanctuary (La Selva del Camp, 1959).
In 1956, the entrepreneur Miquel Samaranch offers him the opportunity to revitalize the old Casa Aymat in Sant Cugat dedicated to the production of carpets and tapestries. Samaranch hands him the artistic direction of the company in which an experimental tapestry workshop is organized.
A year later (1957) the company funds his first study trip to France, where he closely gets to know the technique for medieval and contemporary tapestry, a medium he will revolutionize and that will grant him international relevance.
He personally meets the painter and French poet Jean Lurçat, considered a master of modern tapestry and one of the leaders of its renovation, who, the following year (1958), would come to work with Grau-Garriga in Saint Cere, in Olt (France).
Applying the technical and conceptual knowledge acquired in France to the local context, Grau-Garriga, as an artistic director, and his disciples, place the Casa Aymat on the basis of what has been called the Catalan School of Tapestry. He became the theorist of the movement generated there, involving, for nearly two decades, some of the most well-known artists of the time such as Joan Miró, Josep Maria Subirachs and Antoni Tàpies. The new emerging concepts revolutionized textile art both nationally and internationally.
In 1964, he presents the first solo exhibition of tapestry ever in Spain, at Sala Gaspar in Barcelona. The following year, his first exhibition abroad, at the II Biennale Internationale de la Tapisserie Moderne in Lausanne (Switzerland), grants him a special public recognition.

In 1969, the Institute of International Education in New York grants him a scholarship that allows him to move to New York for a year and travel around the United States, Mexico and Canada.

During the 70s he combines his work with a remarkable teaching practice.

In 1988 a major retrospective exhibition is presented at the Palau Robert in Barcelona.

In 2004 his hometown pays him tribute by announcing the "Grau-Garriga Year”, which includes, inter alia, a double exhibition of his recent work and one dedicated to his early years.

Since 2007, one of his tapestries presides the entrance of the new building of the Town Hall of Sant Cugat. It is made up of four red and yellow pieces using different materials, including copper wire of different thicknesses that give the work a transparent appearance.

He died on August 29, 2011 in Angers (France), where he lived since 1989.

The Contemporary Tapestry Museum - Casa Aymat, holds an important collection of his works, as well as the MACBA - Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona.
In March 2019 the renovated Casa Aymat was inaugurated in his hometown, Sant Cugat del Vallés (Barcelona) with the name 'Center Grau-Garriga d'Art Tèxtil Contemporani', the first contemporary art center dedicated to textile art. A permanent headquarter for his legacy.
In addition, his work is part of the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art International Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City, among others.