Xavier Nogués i Casas (Barcelona, 1873-1941)

Disciple of Pere Borrell del Caso, he went to Paris when he was very young with Alexandre de Cabanyes. A member of the group of El Rovell de l’Ou (about 1898-1901), when he made his Auca of the gathering of Sant Medir, it took a while, however, to achieve true popularity among the public. He became involved as a cartoonist in the famous Papitu Magazine (1908), by Feliu Elias – “Apa” -, where he signed the drawings as “Babel”, and also contributed to other publications, such as Poti -Poti, Cucafera, Picarol. , Mar Vella, D’Ací and from there the New Magazine.

Xavier Nogués is, without doubt, one of the most interesting and representative characters of Catalan Noucentisme. In it we find the kindness, intelligence and sensitivity of man and of creation, honesty and sensitivity of the artist, qualities that, applied to the demand, discipline and thorough knowledge of the procedure and technique they allow him to enrich his work, full of life and rooted in Barcelona, ​​exempt, but of folklore and superficiality, because in it we find, to a high degree, the sense of taste and measure. Xavier Nogués is, without doubt, one of the most interesting and representative characters of Catalan Noucentisme.

He was the creator of some characteristic and peculiar characters between pathetic and tender, with a particular style. He drew two major works of the Catalan graphic humor: 50 Ninotsi The Picturesque Catalonia.

Xavier Nogués towards the years 1933-1935 in his study of Paseo de Gracia 115 in Barcelona.

Xavier Nogués cap As a painter, his satirical murals in Barcelona stand out for the Galería Laietanes winery (now mostly preserved at the MNAC), which he made in 1915, which he did for the salon of the collector and industrialist Lluís Plandiura, at his address on Carrer de la Ribera in Barcelona in 1917, and the most sober of the mayor’s office at the Casa de la Ciutat, made following the Barcelona International Exhibition of 1929.

A complete artist, he also cultivated figurinism. Particularly noteworthy in this field are the designs for the premiere of the opera Elgiravolt in May, by Eduard Toldrà and Josep Carner (1928), a wonderful example of the survival of the Noucentista spirit in the midst of Primo de Rivera’s Dictatorship. He was a member of the Royal Catalan Academy of Fine Arts of Sant Jordi.

It is possible to also indicate his incursions in the field of the decorative arts, with the accomplishment of ceramic paintings and glazed fire glass, as well as his facet like educational. He was a professor of engraving in Barcelona and Olot, and also left a lithographic treatise that was published in the volume Xavier Nogués and his circumstance, written by Salvador Espriu.

A prominent figure of Noucentisme, he brought a special irony that, in plastic terms, translates into Personal Expressionism, which sometimes has some points of contact with that of a George Grosz. This makes his style the most skeptical version of the plastic Noucentisme. Francesc Pujols and Feliu Elias (now under the pseudonym “Joan Sacs”) each dedicated a monograph to him, but the most complete one was published by Rafael Benet already in the postwar period (1949). His activity as an engraver has been studied and cataloged exhaustively by Jaume Pla (1960).

The latest specialist in Xavier Nogués’s work is Cecília Vidal, perpetual secretary of the Xavier Nogués Foundation, who seeks to disseminate the artist’s name, awards printers, promotes limited editions of Nogués and art of the engraving and acquires singular works of the same to deposit them in museums of the country. In the years 1933-1935 in his study of the Paseo de Gracia 115 in Barcelona.