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'Post-War art in Spain' opens at London gallery

Works by Brossa, Tàpies , Saura, and Feito on display as “disruptive” artists with the Galeria Mayoral

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27 February 2018 02:28 PM

by

ACN | London

This week, an exhibition opened in London that aims to look back on a very particular moment in Spanish art. Called ‘Post-War Art in Spain,’ the display runs until March 9, put on by the Barcelona-based Galeria Mayoral and is held at the Colnaghi Gallery in the English capital, one of the oldest in the city.

Injustice, oppression, and uncertainty leads to art

Here, Londoners will get a chance to discover the art of Joan Brossa, Luis Feito, Antoni Tàpies, Antonio Saura and Manolo Millares, through which these creators expressed the existential malaise of a generation due to the “injustice,” “oppression,” and “uncertainty” that 20th century politics generated.

There are 11 paintings and 4 object-poems on display, all work that showcases the artists’ opposition to the status quo. Additionally, visitors will also get a chance to see two large-scale paintings by Saura and a selection of compositions by Tàpies.

One of the pieces by Feito was already shown in 1962, in a similar exhibit at the prestigious Tate Gallery in the same city, alongside other “disruptive” artists. Having the Feito piece among those on display today, the gallery admitted, is a “miracle.” 

  • “We show how the artists (...) were able to transgress and turn the artistic line of their time upside down" 

    Jordi Mayoral · director of the Galeria Mayoral

Honoring the past and rejecting the present

This 2018 exhibit aims to show how the featured artists found, within painting, a new formula through which to view and explain the thinking of their time, along with their work with the legacy of renowned names such as Diego Velázquez , Francisco de Goya, El Greco, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró.

Indeed, along with rejecting their political situation, their art paints a picture of confrontation towards the artistic world of their time, one which, after the wars of the twentieth century, had in a way become obsolete. This would in fact lead to the movements like Informal Art and Abstract Expressionism.

The human condition remains relevant

The director of the Galeria Mayoral, Jordi Mayoral, celebrating being able to collect these post-war works of art, which all display “great historical transcendence,” in order to help contextualize that moment in the Spanish State. “We show how the artists broke the artistic canon, how they reinvented art, and how they were able to transgress and turn the artistic line of their time upside down,” explained Mayoral.

Mayoral further noted that the artists on display in London are “free,” “transgressors,” and “radicals” that wanted to escape the world in which they lived. According to the gallery director, it’s in fact thanks to their treatment of these experiences of the human condition that their work stays so relevant.

Promoting visibility on a global scale

“London is the city in Europe for art and its market,” stated Mayoral. The Barcelona gallery has once again brought Catalan names to the English capital, and, inasmuch, the director stated that “it’s vital to explain and share with the London and international audience. This way we promote the visibility and knowledge of our artists on a global scale,” he expressed. 

A spotlight on the overshadowed

Founded in Barcelona in 1989, the Galeria Mayoral has since become one of the main spaces to showcase Post-War Art, establishing a dialogue between this era and those of Modern tendencies and contemporaneity, often shining a “spotlight on artists that have been overshadowed,” as their website explains.

The Galeria Mayoral states on its website that from the Post-War art movement it often works with the Catalan artists Antoni Tàpies, Modest Cuixart, Joan Brossa, Joan Ponç, as well as with Manolo Millares, Antonio Saura, Eduardo Chillida, Luis Feito and Fernando Zóbel.

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  • On the left, a piece by Luis Feito, and on the right, art by Antoni Tàpies at the Colnaghi art gallery in London on February 26 2018 (by Guillem Roset)

  • On the left, a piece by Luis Feito, and on the right, art by Antoni Tàpies at the Colnaghi art gallery in London on February 26 2018 (by Guillem Roset)

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