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The Reina Sofía Vindicates The Art Of Dictatorship And Exile

The Reina Sofía Museum inaugurated last May the first part of the ambitious remodeling (and reorganization) of the funds of its permanent collection that will be presented as chapters until next November from a different perspective that abandons the linearity to bet by the thematic blocks of a conceptual nature that serve to approach the works from a contemporary perspective.

After “They see us: from modernity to developmentalism” and “The enemies of poetry: resistance in Latin America”, now it is the turn of the third episode, “Lost thought: Autarchy and Exile” , a journey through 300 works made in different formats that attempts to address the complex context in which both the creators who remained in Spain and those who had to go into exile for political reasons after the Civil War lived .

In short, an artistic panorama that ranges from the late 30s to the 50s across 16 rooms, each one focused on a different problem (or reality), and that begins with the entry of Franco’s troops to Madrid in the film ‘The courtship is coming'(1939), by Carlos Arévalo, and ends with a fragment of ‘¿Telephone red? We fly to Moscow ‘(1964), by Standley Kubrick and his mythical scene of the atomic bomb.

It is not surprising that the episode opens and closes with iconic movie moments, since in this new structure the museum is committed to constant dialogue between different disciplines and formats. Once again, architecture acquires an unprecedented role : from the model of the Madrid Trade Union House by Francisco Cabrero-Torres Quevedo, a building promoted by the regime and which currently corresponds to the Ministry of Health, to urban planning projects in Madrid and Tarragona , the latter created by José Antonio Coderch.

The Spain of silence
There is also space to remember the Spain of silence and prisons, hunger and ration cards with works such as ‘La seamstress’, by José Gutiérrez Solana or ‘Cárcel’, by Aurelio Suárez. And, at the same time, the frivolous postwar avant-garde, with Salvador Dalí, Luis Castellanos, the graphic artist Farinyes, the photographer Santos Yubero or the sculptor Ángel Ferrant, as well as some covers of La Codorniz by Enrique Herreros.

Likewise, the I Congress of Abstract Art of Santander is included, which brings together the Altamira School with artists such as Mathias Goeritz or Pablo Palazuelo ; the School of Zaragoza or Grupo Pórtico, and the avant-garde magazine Dau al Set , where creators such as Joan Ponç, Modest Cuixart, Antonio Tàpies and Joan Miró participated .

In addition, some pieces by creators who would become international figures, such as Antonio Saura, Jorge Oteiza or Manuel Miralles, as well as Delhy Tejero , of which ‘Abstract composition’ (1954) is exhibited for the first time.

More cinema to introduce us into exile through the film ‘The Exodus of a People’, by the French Louis Llech and Louis Isambert, to continue with Pablo Picasso’s painting ‘Monument to the Spaniards who died in France’ and photographs by Robert Republican concentration camp cape . As a novelty, the drawings by Josep Bartolí and José García Tella.

The tour continues with those who managed to work outside our borders, such as the filmmaker Josep Renau, the architect Martín Domínguez, Antonio Bonet Castellana or José Luis Sert. And the International Exhibition of Surrealism (1940) organized in Mexico by André Breton could not be absent, which delved into the indigenous theme and from which works by Remedios Varo or Diego Rivera are collected with ‘The communicating vessels’ , recently deposited.

With this third episode, the Museo Reina Sofía intends to settle a historical debt with the wounds of our most recent past in order to highlight the different feelings and realities that were experienced in the Franco era, from the oppression of those who remained, to the nostalgia for those who left, from defeat to resilience through the integration of cultures.

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