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Josep de Bartoli, painter, dies

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NEW YORK, Dec. 4 -- Josep de Bartoli, a refugee of the Spanish Civil War who made his name as a writer and painter in Mexico and the United States after World War II, died Sunday in New York of a brain tumor. He was 85. Bartoli was diagnosed with cancer in October, said his companion, Bernice Bromberg. Born in Barcelona, in Cataluna, in 1910, Bartoli was active in left- wing politics of the era, drawing political cartoons for magazines. He also fought in the Spanish Civil war, fleeing to France in 1939 when the Spanish Republic fell to Generalissimo Francisco Franco. It would be 40 years before he returned. He was imprisoned in France and later turned his experiences into a book of drawings, 'Campos de Concentracion 1939-1943' (Concentration Camps 1939-1943). Released from prison, he fled to Mexico in 1943, where, after publication of his book, he helped create the magazine Mundo en Mexico (The World in Mexico). He moved to he United States in 1945, joining the staff of Holiday magazine. He also journeyed to France and Italy, collaborating in the creation of several left-wing magazines. Bartoli continued to roam between countries and continents producing works of art. German art critic Mariana Frenk, in the catalogue for the 1990 exposition 'Homage from Cataluna to Mexico,' described his work as 'an impassioned fight against injustice and violence.' During the 1950s in New York, Bartoli was part of the 10th Street Group, which include Mark Rothko, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

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He also designed costumes and set decorations in Hollywood until he was placed on the Joseph McCarthy blacklist of suspect communists. He returned to Mexico, but traveled widely in Europe, and collaborated on the illustrations for 'Gullivers Travels,' 'Robinson Crusoe,' and 'Los Cuentos Catalanes' (Catalan Stories). In 1973 he was awarded the Mark Rothko Prize in New York. He returned for the first time to Spain in 1978 for one-man shows in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities.

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