Collection information: In 1968, Juan Antonio Samaranch, then a leading figure in Spanish sport, recognised the artist’s potential in the field of sport and entrusted him with the assignment for the first “Olympic Suite”, consisting of a set of retables forming a veritable “suite", with the Olympic sports as leitmotif. In 1984, Jordi Alumà received another commission for “Olympic Suite No. 2”, consisting of 20 pictures depicting 20 sporting situations, in which he developed his vision of peaceful and poetic sport. Again at the express request of IOC President Samaranch, in 1988 Alumà prepared a series devoted to the birth of the Olympic Games. This series, composed of nine retable paintings, was inspired by antique iconography. In 1992, he produced the third series “Olympic Suite: Barcelona 92” composed of paintings devoted to sport events with, in the background, the city of Barcelona, host city for the 1992 Games.
Artistic school or movement: Jordi Alumà i Masvidal grew up in a family of artists; his grandfather was a sculptor and his father was a painter and a poster artist. His grandfather also handed on to him a passion for home-made kites, which Alumà even included in his trade mark. In 1937, in spite of the civil war, he started artistic studies with the sculptor Coscolla and was introduced to painting as an apprentice in the Propaganda Department of Cataluña. There he met several artists including Antoni Clavé, a fresco painter who influenced his artistic approach. In the early 1940s, he worked for the craft studio of the papal order of the Salesians in Barcelona. He decorated several religious objects and retables and discovered his favourite artistic technique: painting on wood. In 1953, he became a painting and polychromy professor at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Barcelona. The San Jorge Prize, won in 1955, enabled him to travel to Italy and to discover gothic art from the 15th and 16th centuries. The year 1959 represented a turning point in Alumà’s career. He decided to abandon religious painting to be able to explore other themes with the retable technique. It was during his trip to Amsterdam that he developed his later typical geometrical structured style. The Amsterdam trip was the first in a series of long stays abroad during which the artist visited the United States and Canada, as well as Paris, London and Geneva.
In 1967 he received the first prize of the first “Bienal del Deporte en las Bellas Artes” with his painting “Ciclistas”.