Considered the first avant-garde Spanish language poet, Vicente Huidobro (Santiago de Chile, 1893 - Llolleo, Chile, 1948) was a pioneer in the use of calligrammes, a form of expression where the words come together to form complete images that widen or complete the meaning of what has been written. Triángulo armónico is his first calligramme and is published in his 1913 book, Canciones en la noche.
Around 1916 in Paris, Huidobro establishes one of the major poetic movements of the time, creationism, which he introduces later in Spain and which influences the work of the Generación del 27 members but also, more specifically, Federico García Lorca. Huidobro comes into contact with numerous characters of the time. Among them include the artists Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Tristan Tzara, Robert Delaunay and Jacques Lipchitz and the writers Guillaume Apollinaire, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Max Jacob, Rafael Cansinos-Asséns, Pierre Albert-Birot, Paul Dermée and Pierre Revendy.
This exhibition has the fundamental purpose of recovering works which make up Salle XIV, a collection of 10 of the 13 painted poems which are still preserved and whose originals were presented in 1922 at the Tèâtre Edouard VII in Paris. Currently eight original poems are preserved: “Océan I”, “Marine”, “Océan II”, “Minuit”, “Piano”, “Couchant”, “Kaléidoscope” and “6 Heures Octobre”. There are also three coloured models: Paysage, Marine and Moulin. The poem "Tour Eiffel" was reconstructed from a photographic paper and an ink design where the author himself chose the colours. There are two versions of "Océan" with the same text but with different colours, the one which was exhibited as part of Salle XIV is not known.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is launching two publishing projects following this exhibition. The first is a facsimile reprint of the three editions of the magazine founded by Huidobro, Creación/Création. The other is the life-size reconstruction of Salle XIV on silk-screen.
The exhibition also includes an extensive collection of pieces, documents and manuscripts relating to the painted poems and the time they were created. Among the selected materials portraits of Vicente Huidobro by Picasso, Jean Arp, Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay and Joaquín Torres-García stand out, added to which are Cubist works by Picasso, Louis Marcoussis and Juan Gris, the canvas La Tour Eiffel (1926) by Robert Delaunay, sculptures by Jacques Lipchitz, designs by Sonia Delaunay, drawings by Francis Picabia and Hans Arp and many more.
The exhibition also includes editions of books by Huidobro among which are: Adán (1916), Horizon Carré (1917), Saisons Choisies (1921), Tout à Coup (1925), Automne régulier (1925), Vientos Contrarios (1926).
Finally, one cannot ignore the letters sent to Huidobro by figures as relevant as Bretón, Jean Cocteau, Iván Goll, Joan Miró, Tristán Tzara, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso and Erik Satie which have also been included in the exhibition together with copies of the many magazines where the majority of avant-garde movements were developed, those as emblematic as: Dada, Sic, Nord-Sud, 391, Aujourd’hui, Action, Le Coq, L’Esprit Nouveau, Prisma, Ultra, Aventure, Le Coeur á Barbe and Montparnasse.
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