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Lot n° 22

GASPAR HOMAR MEZQUIDA (Bunyola, Mallorca, 1870...

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GASPAR HOMAR MEZQUIDA (Bunyola, Mallorca, 1870 - Barcelona, 1953). Furniture with modernist sofa, ca. 1905. Mahogany wood with carving, marquetry and gilding. Measurements: 284 x 212 x 66 cm. A piece of furniture of great importance both for its creator, Gaspar Homar, and for the originality of its design, its dimensions, the quality of its materials, the very high level of its craftsmanship and the variety of its decoration. It is an example of the best modernist furniture, both at a formal and technical level and in its very conception, given that it is a piece of furniture that is at once a sofa, a shelf and a wood-panelled panel with a mirror, reflecting the integrating intention of modernism. The artists of modernism tried to integrate the different arts in an organic, natural way, and this also led to the unitary conception of the domestic space, where each small element was designed by the same author, perfectly integrated into the general concept. It is a piece of furniture made of mahogany wood, with different grainings perfectly exploited to achieve contrasts of colours, textures, etc. In the lower part is the sofa, with an open arm on one side and a shelf on two levels on the opposite side. Above the backrest, in proportion to it, is a large rectangular mirror with a bevelled profile. Practically all the secondary areas of the piece of furniture are decorated with marquetry of flowers in a synthesised language, in keeping with the geometric modernism of the United Kingdom and Central Europe, a common feature of Homar's designs. However, at the bottom of the upper level of the side shelf the designer includes a marquetry panel with a different language, more realistic and with smooth lines, directly related to the illustration of Catalan modernism. In this panel we see a woman on her back holding a garland of ears of corn and fruit, against a beautiful landscape background conceived with a language based on planes of Japanese heritage. A modernist cabinetmaker and decorator, Gaspar Homar began his training at the Escuela de La Lonja in Barcelona, and then furthered his knowledge in the workshop of the cabinetmaker Francesc Vidal, who had also been his father's teacher. In 1893, just ten years later, they both opened their own establishment in Barcelona, under the name of P. Homar e Hijo. Two years later his father died, leaving Gaspar in charge of the workshop. Throughout his fruitful career he took part in exhibitions in London, Madrid, Barcelona, Saragossa and Paris, and was a member of the jury of the 1908 Venice International. Homar began his style within the neo-Gothic trend but soon specialised in Modernisme, a style in which he produced his best works until 1918, later devoting himself to the production of conventional furniture. During these years he collaborated with Sebastià Junyent, Joan Carreres and Josep Pey Farriol in the design of furniture and complete rooms, with an exquisite richness of design, figurative marquetry in soffits and furniture which are his hallmark, etc. He incorporated exotic woods such as sycamore, banana, mahogany and rosewood. His production of ornamental furniture (chests, umbrella stands, etc.) as well as beds, wardrobes and chairs was well known. His best known works are the complete decoration of the Lleó-Morera (1904), Navàs and Burés houses, as well as several buildings by Gaudí and Doménech i Montaner. He also won, among other awards, the Grand Prize for Furniture and Decoration at the London Exhibition of 1907, the Grand Prize, Gold Medal and Grand Cup at the Esposizione Internazionale Industria-Lavoro Arte Decorativa in Venice (1908) and the Grand Prize at the Exposition Internationale de Confort Moderne in Paris in 1909. Today, pieces of furniture by Gaspar Homar are kept in the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña, the Museo de Art Nouveau y Art Déco Casa Lis in Salamanca and the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas in Madrid.

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