This exhibition presents an overview of seven Spanish artists working in Paris in the early twentieth century and whose work contributes to the renewal and creation of new languages in Contemporary Art. Of the selected artists, the first to move to Paris in 1899 is Julio González, who was followed by Pablo Picasso in 1900, Pablo Gargallo in 1903, Juan Gris in 1906 and María Blanchard in 1909. After the First World War, another wave of Spanish artists chose France as their home, including Joan Miró in 1920 and Salvador Dalí in 1926.
All works in this exhibition at the Marcelino Botín Foundation belong to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía funds. The selection is made from those pieces in the collection that are not currently exhibited in the museum but which are representative of such a prolific period in Spanish Art.
By Julio González there are three paintings from his early works in this discipline: Mujer peinando a una joven (1914-1918), La recolección de manzanas (1920-1925) and Dos mujeres (1920-1928). In 1910 he produces the first of his embossed metal masks; this moment belongs to Máscara inquietante (1913-1914). A few years later he produces pieces in cut and wrought iron such as Masque aceré (1929-1930). His work evolves into abstraction without abandoning figurative references like in Petite maternité assise (1933-1934) and El pie (1934-1936). For Gonzalez, drawings are an essential part of his creative process. Exhibited are: Mujer con niña en malva (1906), Personaje de pie amarillo y blanco (1937), Personaje con velo largo nº I (1941) and El grito (1939), which lay the foundations for the Montserrat which González presents in the Spanish Pavilion at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1937, to which the Reina Sofía Museum dedicates an exhibition in 1987.
The contribution of Pablo Picasso is overwhelming. On this occasion eleven preparatory studies to the Guernica (1937) are exhibited, a work that exemplifies the Reina Sofía Museum Collection. Following the bombing of Guernica, Picasso works on this monumental piece specifically for the aforementioned Spanish Pavilion. The horse is one of the first figures he drafts, along with Cabeza llorando, an image of the suffering of a mother. These exhibited drawings and canvasses refer to these reasons, in addition to Estudio de composición VI (1937).
Pablo Gargallo, received by Picasso on his arrival in Paris, is along with Julio González the most important Spanish sculptor from the early twentieth century. By him the pieces Torse de gitan (1923), La dormeuse (1924), Porteuses d’eau (1925) and Tête de prophète (1926) are exhibited accompanied by three drawings, which are the basis for his sculptures Arlequín a la guitarra (1927) and Bailarina. Teresina Boronat (1927) in two different versions.
By Juan Gris, creator of Synthetic Cubism, the paintings El violón (1916) y Guitarra con incrustaciones (1925) were chosen as well as drawings Naturaleza muerta a la guitarra (1925) and Hombre a la guitarra (1925-1926). These last two are the original drawings and drafts for lithographs that Gris produces for Gertrude Stein’s Book: A Book Concluding with As a Wife Has a Cow: A Love Story (1926).
The Museo Reina Sofía has a large collection of works by María Blanchard, partly acquired in 1932 from her sister Carmen. They include: Mujer con abanico (1915-1916) and Composición Cubista (1916) from her cubist period and Niña peinándose (1926-1927), La bordadora (1926) and Niños (1930-31) from her return to figuration.
The second group is made up of those artists who return to Paris in the Twenties like Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí. The paintings by Miro include: Personnage, oiseaux (1974), Paisaje (1974), Femme, oiseau I (1977), Paysage (1976) and Personnages, oiseaux, constellations (1976), accompanied by sculptures such as Femme soleil (1966), Torse de femme (1967), Tête dans la nuit (1968), Tête de taureau (1970), Jeune fille rêvant de l’evasion (1971) and Femme et oiseau (1971).
Dalí presents an untitled canvas from 1928, a study to Premonición de la Guerra Civil (1935), the unfinished painting of his muse and companion Busto de Gala (1939), the canvas: A propósito del “Discurso sobre la forma cúbica” de Juan de Herrera (1960), inspired by the renowned architect, a painting that reveals his interest in science Árabes. Ácido desoxirribonucleico (1963) and the first version of El Camino del Enigma (1981), one of his final compositions.