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El pueblo español tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella (maqueta) (There Is a Way for the Spanish People That Leads to a Star [Maquette])

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  • Date: 
    1937
  • Material: 
    Plaster
  • Technique: 
    Modelling and painting
  • Dimensions: 
    184,5 x 32 x 33 cm
  • Category: 
    Sculpture
  • Register number: 
    AS11424
  • On display in:
This work is Alberto’s maquette for the sculpture of the same name, the final version of which was 12.5 metres tall and stood outside the Spanish Pavilion from the 1937 International Exhibition in Paris. The monolithic monument became part of the Museo Reina Sofía collection after it was found in storage at Barcelona’s Palace of Montjuic in 1986, along with other works from the Servicio de Protección del Patrimonio Artístico (Artistic Heritage Protection Service). Alberto gave the sculpture a ‘statement-title’ to highlight, from a socialist point of view, the drama and pain suffered by a people involved in a Civil War. The work was conceived as an assertion of the avant-garde as a reaction to those that supported politically committed art tied to realism. El pueblo español tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella (There Is a Way for the Spanish People That Leads to a Star) is not an isolated case in Alberto’s oeuvre; there are a number of drawings that pre-date it showing very similar forms to those of this huge anthropomorphic cactus, its surface grooved to resemble ploughed earth. The idea of a utopian goal and the shape of a star (missing in this maquette) came from another of his works that was lost during the war, Escultura del horizonte. Signo de viento (circa 1930-1932). The final sculpture rises up like a totemic icon to represent interwar social utopias, embodying Alberto’s interest in verticality and the potential social meaning of elements taken from the rural environment. In his essay "Palabras de un escultor" (1933), Alberto refers to the idea of “raising those land forms”, with their “tracked lines and glazed grass, soil and stones from the footsteps of solitary walkers, from the paths covered with the shapes of huge stones carved by passing time.”

Carmen Fernández Aparicio

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