Enric Casanovas is known as a sculptor of the Noucentista ("1900-ist", a term coined in 1906 to refer to 20th century Catalan culture) movement. However, like many other artists, he was educated in Modernisme, and in his case he was a committed champion of the movement.
He began his training with J. Llimona and two years later, in 1900, he enrolled in La Llotja, the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, where he obtained a travel grant to go to Paris, Italy, Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium. He made a name for himself at the Zaragoza exhibition in 1898, but his first individual exhibition was at Els Quatre Gats (Montsió, 3 bis) in 1903, when he was part of the group called Els Negres (The Black Ones). Voyou (1904-1905; MNAC collection) and Tristos caminants (Sad Wayfarers, 1904-1905; MNAC collection) are works from this early period. He also made some designs for the ceramicist A. Serra, with whom he often collaborated.
He published various articles in the magazines Joventut and Catalunya Artística and illustrated stories on sordid themes between 1901 and 1903.
His travels round Europe brought about a change in his work: he put aside social subjects and started to sculpt figures from the rural world. Lastly, in his Noucentista period, he concentrated on female figures. In 1935 he was elected chairperson of Les Arts i els Artistes (Arts and Artists).
In 1939 he went into exile in France and did not return to Barcelona until 1942.