|1926||Antonio Martí was
born on July 25th into a middle class family in Barcelona,
|1947||Martí entered the
School of Massana in Barcelona to study fine arts. The emphasis of the
school was on experimental art. There he could converse frequently with
the famed Joan Miró who was one of his teachers. A companion
student was the now renowned Catalan master of materials Antoni Tapiés.
At this time abstract art
was still not accepted in the Franco era. Martí decides to leave Spain
and to emigrate to Cali, Colombia to stay and work there with his uncle
Emilio Royo, who has a book distribution business and was the
representative for the largest editorial houses of Spain in Colombia.
|1953|| Martí makes the
decision to move to Bogotá following his entrepreneurial instinct and
dedicates himself to his business of interior design by day and to his
passion of painting at night. His shares the office building with the now
renowned late Colombian master Enrique Grau.
his business in safe hands of its managers Martí returns to Spain.
|1960||There he finds, meets
and falls in love with Montserrat Pont. They marry in Barcelona and travel
to Bogotá. During the following years his sons Germán and Tony are born.
|1961||Martí is presented to
a recently arrived Enrique Sarazola, who later becomes Spain’s
greatest financial tycoon and he helps him orient his new insurance
business in Bogotá. They soon become friends. When Sarazola decides to
relocate his business from Bogotá to Caracas he invites Martí to
|1963||Martí travels once
again back to Spain where he meets an old friend, María Dalí, who at
Port Ligat presents him to her cousin; the great master of the surreal Salvador
|1964||Moving his family back
to Spain Martí and Montserrat decide to live in Tarrega close to
Barcelona where shortly thereafter their only daughter Jackie is born.
In this year Martí becomes a widower when his beloved Montserrat dies from breast cancer. Shortly thereafter Martí closes into himself and gives himself up completely to art in search of new formula of creation. It was at this moment in his life that he dedicates himself to large format abstract works. In this he is supported by his Peruvian friend and celebrated artist Armando Villegas. Martí´s life and work is then reported on and published in Colombia top newspaper El Tiempo. By the end of the year his friend and compatriot Catalan artist Miquel Villá, whose work was soon to be recognized in his home country of Spain also pays Martí a visit. At this time, Martí receives visits from the curator of the Museum of Modern Art of Bogotá, the known Cuban artist Galaor Carbonell, and the excellent and today revered Colombian artist David Manzur.
|1973||It was in this year
that Martí’s work was represented by the great art merchant and
bookstore impresario Karl Bucholz and Martí,s work is exhibited in
the Bucholz galleries in Colombia and Europe along with works by the likes
of the Colombian master Fernando Botero and other great
international artists. It was at this time Martí´s work was sent to all
over the works but in particular to Europe. During this period everything
went well and Bucholz´s sales allowed Martí to dedicate himself
completely to the investigation and creation of his art. However, destiny
is never so easily reached and in 1977 the art merchant Bucholz died and
to Martí it appeared as if his path to success also died.
|1977||Without the support of
the great marchand Bucholz and with the responsibility of his three
children, Martí heads for Miami where de decides to make a new start and
there he is exposed for the first time to the American way of life. His
work is included in various collective exhibitions in prestigious
galleries such as that of Virginia Miller. From Miami he organizes
participation in an exhibition in Mexico City, where he is invited to
visit the recently opened mixography workshops and where he gets to see
first hand the creation of the works of Rufino Tamayo who kept a
small studio en the workshop. Shortly thereafter he goes to New York City
where he is presented to the director of the Guggenheim Museum who offers
him a grant and where he also meets Leo Castelli one of the
world’s great artist managers, and who compares Martís work to that of
the great Italian master of abstract Alberto Burri, and he invites Martí
to take a workshop in Brooklyn´s famous 12th Street.
|1979||Martí on returning to
Colombia continues his abstract artwork, but soon he meets Nury Hernández
and marries again. Deciding to make a great change in their lives they
leave with his children for California in search of new opportunities.
|1980||On arriving in
Bakersfield, California they spend some time with family before moving on
to Laguna Beach.
|1981||Martí is invited to
visit Sam Francis workshop in Santa Barbara and is impacted by the
immensity of the work – a half dozen assistants are working on a canvas
of over 30 metros occupying a space almost equivalent to an airplane
|1982||Martí moves to Palm
Springs and enters the jet-set of Hollywood, getting to know Zsa Zsa Gabor,
Joan Collins, John Forsyth, Charlton Heston and Barbara y Frank Sinatra.
And it was with the Sinatra’s that Martí conceived and took to fruition
in 1985 and idea that would help their foundation – the first art
auction involving Hollywood’s art community.
|1989||Missing his friends
and the Latin life, Martí and his wife return to Bogotá where he
continues his investigations in materials and c
olors and the integration of the abstract with the figurative.
|1991||In this year Martí
decides to return to live and work in the USA and arrives at San
Francisco. Shortly thereafter he is invited to Texas to participate in the
1st Hispanic Book Fair on this continent. His work wins him
first prize and is selected to promote the second fair and it is printed
as a poster. Once more Martí moves to Palm Springs and meets the great
Mexican master Rufino Tamayo in what would be his last exhibition in the
|1992||After this last trip
Martí decides to live in La Jolla en California where he meets and
exhibits with Sylvestor Stallone (“Rocky”) in the Gallery Rezt of
Madame Chirlot, Picasso´s ex-wife.
|1997||Newly tired of the
fast life of California, Martí returns to Bogotá where he continues to
experiment in his “laboratory” or kitchen as he calls his workshop
periodically traveling to Miami to continue his work.
|2003||Participation in Art Miami and the beginning of a new
stage of international representation.
|2004||Martí is invited to present his work and his biography in a
book created through the Spanish Cultural Center in Colombia and edited by
Planeta. The book is dedicated to presenting the life and work of famous
Spanish ex-patriots who are living in Colombia.
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