To a large degree, the work of Pep Agut (Terrassa, 1961), sometimes framed inside the post-conceptualism of 1990s Spain, reflects the role of the artist, problems of representation and the place of art. Agut, often drawing on irony, sets forth a critical standpoint in relation to authorship and the art world, a world he views as the product of a society marred by spectacle, in which art becomes reduced to a mere financial commodity and scenography that reverts back to the neoliberal system.
Agut employs different media and techniques in his projects and work, which stem from long and rigorous processes of research, primarily aiming to return the dimension of atemporal public space to art, where narrative and text habitually surface as inherent factors in the same plastic form — the artist acknowledges he is drawn more to writers such as Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Lévinas than to contemporary artists.
Pep Agut studied in the Sant Jordi Fine Arts Department in Barcelona from 1979 to 1984, and founded in the same city, in 1980, Grup Tal Taca, an alternative contemporary art space that ran until 1983. Between 1988 and 1991 he lived in Cologne, until he received an invitation for an artist’s residency in Paris by Fondation Cartier. He has lived and worked in Terrassa since 1993.
Across the breadth of his career, Agut has coordinated and participated in numerous seminars, lectures and debates on art and presented his work at the 45th Venice Biennale (1993), Prospekt (1996) and the 11th Biennial of Sydney (1998), as well as exhibiting at solo and group shows in institutions that include the Tel Aviv Museum of Art (1993) and MACBA Barcelona (2000), among others.
Pep Agut’s site-specific project for the Palacio de Cristal in the Retiro Park questions art spaces as public spaces par excellence, interweaving, as is customary in his practice, visual challenges with a political stance.