From 1906 to 1918, Daniel Vázquez Díaz lived in Paris, where he met Juan Gris and learned about Cubist painting, which was to have a defining influence on his style. When he returned to Madrid, he took part in all the major artistic events connected to the avant-garde, and was one of the signatories of the Society of Iberian Artists’ manifesto in 1925. This was the year that he did the second version of La fábrica dormida (The Sleeping Factory) – there is another dated 1920 in the Bilbao Museum of Fine Arts collection –, which is without doubt one of Vázquez Díaz’s most important works, showing the synthesis that the Huelva artist had achieved between tradition and modernity.
Vázquez Díaz never accepted the categorisation of his art as Cubist: “I didn’t do Cubism,” he said. “The people who said I did were wrong. My work always contained a geometric interest in architecturalising shape and colour.” However, the movement’s influence on some of his major works is undeniable, notably in La fábrica dormida, in which the structuring of the volumes is even reminiscent of Cezanne’s positioning, although always “tempered” by an undeniable lyricism and poetry.
Paloma Esteban Leal