Cousin of Antoni Tàpies, Modesto Cuixart was part of the movement Dau Al Set, the first radical group of artists to publish a manifest in Spain after the Second World War. The aim of Dau Al Set was to revive a tradition of the artistic avant-garde in Catalonia that had been interrupted in 1939 by the victory of Franco’s insurgents in the Spanish Civil War. The members of the group, which included Brossa, Ponç, Tharrats, and Tàpies, cultivated a magical realism very much in line with European Surrealism and Dadaism. The style of Dau Al Set, however, did not really consist of a particular group of pictorial and literary techniques, but was based rather on what one might call a shared pool of “iconographic material”. Cuixart’s
style evolved from expressionism to an abstract and informal vocabulary, with a special emphasis on the treatment of material, the development of new techniques and procedures, and the superimposing of several complex and heterogeneous elements such as paper, cloth, metal etc. Cuixart often exploited the density of matter, scraping and polishing, so as to enrich his pictorial surface.
Cuixart exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, as well as The National Museum of Art in Mexico, the Museums of Modern Art in Munich and Tokyo, the Museums in Barcelona and Madrid, and the Tate Modern in London.