We are happy to announce the publication of Paula Barreiro López‘s book New Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain (Liverpool University Press), a contribution to the history of Spanish art in the twentieth century. Based on unpublished archival material, the book surveys the shifts in the aesthetic discourse and artistic practises that decisively influenced the shaping of the avant-garde during Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975).
The study opens with a comprehensive historical overview on the cultural world from the end of the Spanish Civil War throughout Francoism and reveals for the first time the broader intellectual and cultural context of vanguard art considering the special relations and negotiation processes between artist, critics and institutions during a major gap in the historiography of post-war Spanish culture: the late Franco dictatorship (1959-1975). It then analyses in depth the important role that a group of art critics played as theoreticians and peers in key artistic movements from the 1950s onwards. Using their extensive international networks in the midst of the Cold War period, they decisively influenced the aesthetic and cultural debates of their time and very concretely helped shaping a completely new discourse for the avant-garde in Spain.
Paula Barreiro López is lecturer in Art History at the University of Barcelona and Ramón y Cajal fellow. She is head of the project Modernidad(es) Descentralizada(s)-MoDe(s), author of La abstracción geométrica en España (1957-1969), Madrid, CSIC, 2009, co-editor (with Fabiola Martínez Rodríguez) of Modernidad y vanguardia: Rutas de Intercambio Entre España y Latinoamérica (1920-1970), Madrid, Museo Reina Sofía, 2015 and (with Julián Díaz) Crítica(s) de arte: discrepancias e hibridaciones de la guerra fría a la globalización. Murcia, CENDEAC, 2014; she is also author of numerous articles on art criticism, politics and cultural networks in Spain, Western Europe and Latin America during the Cold War.
For more details about the book you can read The Changing Discourse in Spanish Art and Culture – An Interview with Paula Barreiro López.