This exhibition is the first one dedicated to studying the role that artists played in the creation of magazines published during the Spanish Civil War. During those years magazines were the most important means of spreading ideologies; authentic laboratories that created propaganda which would be determinants in the formation of a wartime culture. The magazines attracted writers, artists, photographers and typographers, engaged in an essentially experimental, creative activity.
The study of the contribution of artists, who were both from the Republican and the "national" side, on the development of propaganda techniques during this period, allows an analysis, with fresh eyes, of the relationship between art, propaganda, politics and war through the artistic complexity of these magazines, from the publication of drawings, photographs or montages themselves to the appropriation of images, especially the political propaganda industry of the Soviet Union.
The great diversity and quantity of magazines that were published during the war, in addition to their generally high quality, demands a deeper and broader knowledge. In fact the material quality of some are surprising in contrast to the scarcity of resources that existed in daily life, as well as the shocking juxtaposition of images that blend visions of the most tragic moments with others of fashion, shows, leisure and humour. In a certain way, the study of these magazines defies monolithic interpretation of the cultural and social situation of the time of the conflict. The exhibition examines the Civil War magazines in relation with broad thematic areas, publishing houses and artists involved in their production. Many authors who designed the famous war posters collaborated in these magazines with drawings, photographs, photo-montages and typographic designs, including the most well-known, such as Josep Renau, José Bardasano, Manuel Monleón, Carlos Sáenz de Tejada and Jalón Ángel .
The exhibition studies the publication of magazines by the many factions during the conflict, in such a way that they were classified by their geographical location. The main magazine publishing centres were Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and San Sebastian. In these cities, the materials, the factories and printing workshops made use of their resources and previous experience and created exceptional lines of continuity in the design of their own war magazines.
MuVIM Valencia (July 20 - September 2, 2007)
Reina Sofia Museum's Publications