Barcelona, Spain

28.05.1912 - 07.05.2000

Journalist, writer, cartoonist, set designer

Avelli Artis-Gener started journalism in 1928, at the age of 16. He devoted himself to creating cartoons, which he handed under the door of the editorial office of the weekly “Papitu”, which began to publish them. A year later, using the same method, he began to write articles that were published in the newspaper Mirador. In 1931, he established himself as a cartoonist in the weekly El Be Negre, one of the satirical sources of the time. In 1932 he began to collaborate regularly with Diario Mercantil, and during the “Second Republic” he did so with l’opinió, La Rambla. Esport i ciutadania and La Publicitat. In 1936, together with Pere Calders, he became the director of the humorous weekly L’esquella de la Torratxa.

As soon as the civil war began, he fled to Paris, threatened with death by the FAI. However, he quickly realizes that he must return and voluntarily joins the ranks of the People’s Army. He directed publications intended for the fighters of Meridià, Amic and Vèncer. Artis-Gener spends the entire war as part of the 60th Division of the People’s Army of the Republic, fighting on the Aragon, Segre and Ebro fronts as part of the 27th Division.

After the end of the war, he went into exile in Mexico, where he lived for 25 years. Although he really adapted deeply to the Mexican reality, he did not stop visiting the circles of Catalan exiles in Mexico. During this time, he fell in love with pre-Columbian culture, resulting in his most famous book Paraules d’opòton el vell. Despite this, before writing in Spanish for any Mexican media, he preferred to quit writing and take up other tasks: proofreading or advertising artwork. He only collaborates as a cartoonist in the publications Full Català (early 40s), Quaderns de l’exili, Revista de Refugiats d’amèrica, Lyrica, Pont Blau, Tele-revista (between 1943 and 47) and La Nostra Revista (1946-1954). In 1955, he created La Nova Revista, the heiress of the previous one founded by his father.

In 1965, he returned to Catalonia, where initially he was not given a journalistic card. However, thanks to personal connections, he managed to publish his work in the newspaper El Correo Catalán and, as a result of the intervention of his cousin Sempronio, director of Tele-Exprés, he became deputy director of the Catalan weekly Tele/ Estelle.

In 1970, he translated Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” into Catalan.

Since the end of Francoism, he has collaborated as a columnist and cartoonist in a variety of media: Avui, El Periodico, Catalunya Information, L’avenç, Serra d’Or, Canigó, Culture, The Triangle, The World, Presence, Mediterranean Spaces; among others, between 1984 and 1990, he developed crosswords for La Vanguardia; In the early 90s, he worked for the newspaper El País, while collaborating with an entertainment program on TV3.

Reference: Wikipedia, 2010

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