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The collection

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I MOST SINCERELY CONGRATULATE JOSEP MARIA CIVIT FOR SUCH AN INTERESTING COLLECTION, REVEALING TO EVERYONE HIS COMMITMENT TO THE MOST ADVANCED ARTISTIC PRACTICES, HIS MANIFEST COURAGE AND HIS TALENT.

WITH A WARM EMBRACE FROM RAFAEL MONEO.

TANIA BRUGUERA. PLUSVALIA

“SHARING A GAZE BEYOND THE RETINA”

The Civit Collection is one of the leading collections of contemporary art in Catalonia. Developed over various decades, it seeks to be a story of contemporaneity and a unique contribution to Catalan collecting. The collection has the goal of reflecting the complexity and transformative nature of human society, spanning the period from the end of the 20th century to the beginnings
of the 21st century.
It is just as well a collection where ways of thinking, freedom of expression and internationality are the main axes turning the discourse into a global archive of artistic movements and genres used by art in expressing itself in this period.
The aim of the collector Josep Maria Civit Gomis (born in Montblanc) has been to construct this narrative, this contemporary archive, from conceptual, philosophical, literary and political perspectives, enabling it to recognize and sense its own era. Civit invites us to understand different ways of thinking and to enter into dialogue with the present. Cultural engagement, experimentation with the image and the practice of mental adventure are the distinguishing
features of the collection, coming together in an effort to share a gaze beyond the retina.

“LOOK, SEE, PERCEIVE”

In this regard, the Civit Collection is an experience and constructon of an imaginary domain that modestly seeks to map present-day art. For this reason, the collection is an excuse for exercise in looking, seeing and perceiving; this is also why the collection would not have meaning without the active participation of the those viewing it. Interpretative freedom for convulsive, complex times.
The Civit Collection, which began when the collector was only 16 years old, is about to celebrate 50 years of existence. The collection’s content is broadly international, featuring many movements and tendencies from the beginnings of the 1970s to the present: conceptual art, arte povera, minimalism, visual poetry, and more. The presence of Catalan artists in the collection is significant.
Quite beyond the collection’s values and those of its artists (whether seminal, mid-career or emerging), its interest is in how it presents a narrative of contemporaneity, embracing everything from the Holocaust to current tendencies. This has enabled the collection to be the subject of a thesis on tragedy and banality, or that it has become a key point of reference in private collecting. What is more, the collector himself is highly active when it comes to doing seminars and classes for all kinds of publics.

Currently the Civit Collection is held in spaces at the Centre Cultural Terrassa, Barcelona, the Empordà region and Mallorca. For many years the collection has spent time in Gil Stauffer containers. It opened to the public in 2008 at the Centro de Arte y Naturaleza [Centre for Art and Nature] (CDAN) in Huesca, thanks to the architect Rafael Moneo, CDAN director Teresa Luesma and curator Menene Gras Balaguer.
Since then it has travelled throughout Europe and has been deposited and shown at the collector’s space at the old Tauler factory building in Palamós (2010-2017).