Miquel CABANAS

THE FAMILY
Miquel Cabanas Alibau was born in September 10th, 1916, in his grandparents and parents? home, in the Barcelona, Sants district. However, when he was only 6 years old, they moved to Sant Cugat del Vall?s (city close to Barcelona). They were five brothers, and he was the younger of three boys: Joan, mechanic and photograph; Francesc, painter and writer ? narrator and a playwright; Matilde, dressmaking instructress; Montserrat, photography expert and poetess; and Miquel, painter and poet.
His father, Frederic Cabanas i Serra, born in Sallent (province of Barcelona), was an intelligent and artful mechanic inventor, director and foreman of a woollen textile mill. His mother, Rosa Alibau i Capdevila, also from the Sants district, was an ironer and a great mother.

FIRST STUDIES

In 1929, when he was thirteen years old, he starts as a trainee in Antoni Petit Marsal's art studio, with studios in both Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Vall?s. At fourteen years old he takes part in the 1st Local Art Exhibition, held in Sant Cugat, organized by his brothers Joan and Francesc.
From 1930 to 1933, he attends to three courses given at the Escola de Mestres Pintors, of Barcelona (School of Master Painters), and, for each consecutive year, he is rewarded with the 1st Decoration Award. He also wins a poster design contest against accidents, organized by the same school he is attending and, in 1934, he also wins another poster design contest on the subject of ?Fira i Festes de Sant Cugat? (St. Cugat's Fair and Feasts).

YOUTH

During his youthful years he combines his artistic vocation with his activities at the ?Colla de Bastoners? (typical Catalan stick group dance), his participation as theatre actor and his interest in cycling: all these aspects are characteristic of renascent Catalonia?s cultural atmosphere, where the civil society has a great impetus in the recuperation of all aspects of its traditions and in the diffusion of all types of new incoming sports, from the most popular ones (like cycling) to the beginning of motoring and aviation.

THE CIVIL WAR

From 1934 to 1936, he attends the courses of the Academy Baixas and the ?Llotja? (Art School) of Barcelona, which he has to interrupt because of the Spanish Civil war. He joins the Republic army and ends up in the Madrid front-line, as mentioned in some of his poems. Other poems narrate that in 1939 he has to exile himself to France where he is sent to the Saint Cyprien concentration camp.

BACK HOME

In 1942, he starts as a skilled worker at Joan Queralt Oliva's posters and decoration workshop, in Barcelona, and in 1943 he begins working on his own as a decorative painter at Sant Cugat del Vall?s, where he becomes, as time goes by, what is affectively known as a civic institution, both in his business professional activities and in the exercise of his literary and artistic vocation.

HIS CHILDREN

In 1951 he marries Adelina Castells F?bregas, a pretty, sensible and artistic countrywoman at heart. They will have three children: Ignasi, painter, draftsman, and director of the Rusi?ol Gallery, in Sant Cugat; Frederic, inborn artist, exclusive and bright, painter and vocational musician; and Maria Rosa, founder of the nursery ?Mainada?, in the same Sant Cugat.

THE PROFESSOR

He cooperates in the foundation of the ?Estudi d'Art? group, of which he was vice-president until its merger with the entity ?Amics de Sant Cugat?. In 1970, and for a number of years, he exercises as a professor of painting at the Escola Municipal de Belles Arts (Fine Arts Municipal School) of Sant Cugat del Vall?s. At the same time, he is a significant workmaster and technician in pictorial procedures at the Escola Internacional de Pintura Mural Miquel Farr? (Miquel Farre's Mural Painting International School), of Sant Cugat, until its dissolution.

BUSINESSMAN-ARTIST

Throughout these years, while Sant Cugat was a privileged town, Miquel Cabanas was a significant businessman in his own painting and decoration workshop: he painted kitchens, doors and walls, factories, schools, all kind of buildings, facades, posters, car plates, bicycle frames, embellished as in the old days... And only in his leisure time he used to paint landscapes, still life, flowers: his own craze and great vocation. Seduced by his love of poetry, he also used to eventually write verses related to his own experiences, which neither his noble and emotive heart could avoid, nor his spirit, as usual avid, and always flying as if a swallow.

THE BRAIN ACCIDENT

All this until 1974. When he was painting some boards outside his workshop, a cerebral embolism struck him. Urgently taken to the Sant Joseph Clinic, in Barcelona, soon enough, it could be seen that his left arm and leg were paralyzed. Dr. Adolfo Lye Sr., a reputed surgeon from the Canary Islands, submitted him to a surgical operation, and, miraculously, he came out of it almost totally cured. Still, he was left with some chronic problems in the eyes that somewhat altered his balance and actual spatial vision. Because of these problems he is compelled to carry on his daily life with multiple limitations and unavoidable difficulties. And depending, for good, upon others to help him.

THE LEGACY

As of that moment, he quits painting walls. He used to speak about his fate and said that, thus, the gifts inherited from his parents ?wit, artistry, sensibility? could be manifested as they could not have been before, when his daily obligations unable him to. In such a situation, forced to create ways to fulfill himself with new and original procedures fit to his own possibilities, he kept painting oils and writing verses.

EXHIBITIONS

In 1977 he carries out his first individual exhibition, which he received several awards for. Amongst his several exhibitions we should emphasize that of his Testimonial, exhibited at the Exhibition Hall, of the Caja de Madrid, in Barcelona, as well as the exhibitions celebrated at the Sala Rusi?ol, of Sant Cugat, when in 1991, he was dedicated the 1st volume of the ?Homenatges Rusi?ol? (Rusi?ol Tributes) collection.

POETRY

In the literary field he obtains, amongst others, the First Honorific Mention at the 1981 Barcelona Floral Games and in Sant Cugat del Vall?s, more than once, the ?Flor Natural, l'Englantina i la Viola? (poetry prizes), and the honorific title ?Mestre en Gai Saber? (Catalan honorific title related to the art of poetry and the ancient art of the troubadours). In 1990, the book ?Voliaina dotze tries de poemes? (Voliaina, twelve assorted poems), presented by the Sala Rusi?ol, is edited.

GRACE AND MIRACLE

This is his motto. The resume and qualification he indistinctly applies to all sincerely good and positive things on earth. Now, everything is essence. Everything is light, colour and personality. Everybody admires and loves him. He has made countless friends. And has no enemies. He relies on the sincere friendship of his sons and his wonderful and encouraging grandsons.

?FALUGA? AND ?MARILYN?

It cannot be omitted, because he also proclaimed it, that, all the time, he had by his side two black-haired little pet dogs that became even literary and pictorial characters. Faluga, the mother, Marilyn, the daughter, always joyful, skinny, with long whiskers and always dishevelled, with intelligent and sensible eyes and very mischievous. Their company was almost essential for him.

RECOGNITION

Finally, in 1994, the city awards him the distinction of ?Santcugatenc de l'any? (best citizen of the year, of Sant Cugat) for his human and artistic trajectory. He died in Sant Cugat del Vall?s, the 13th of May of 1995. That very year the book ?El llibre blau. Passaport a l'eternitat? (The blue book. Passport to eternity). A year after, the Sala Rusi?ol edits the book ?10 anys de pintura? (10 years of painting), by Francesc Gal? i Zeneida Sard?, which was accompanied by an exhibition gathering the paintings of his last ten years.
This year 2005, while commemorating the tenth anniversary of his passing away, the Sala Rusi?ol organizes an ?Exhibition-Testimonial?.

Go to the painter's exhibition: 12/2010 - MIQUEL CABANAS (1916-1995). IT IS NECESSARY TO USE THE WAY

Go to the painter's exhibition: 12/2016 - THE SANT CUGAT OF MIQUEL CABANAS (Centenary 1916-2016)