On March 22nd, at 7 pm, in the Auditorium of MACBA’s Convent del Àngels, a book presentation of Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain (Liverpool University Press, 2017) by Paula Barreiro López will take place.
The presentation will be made by the author, along with Miriam Basilio and Juanjo Lahuerta.
Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain (Liverpool University Press, 2017), surveys the shifts in the aesthetic discourse and artistic practices that decisively influenced the shaping of the avant-garde during Franco’s dictatorship (1939–1975). On the basis of extensive, so far unpublished, archival material, it discusses the intellectual and cultural world as an important battlefield for fighting the regime from within. The book 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 avant-garde art, considering the special relations and negotiation processes between artists, critics and institutions during a major gap in the historiography of post-war Spanish culture: the late Franco dictatorship (1959–75). It then presents an in-depth analysis of the important role played by a group of art critics 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 helped to shape a completely new discourse for the avant-garde in Spain.
Miriam Basilio is an associate professor of Art History and Museum Studies at New York University. She was a curatorial assistant at MoMA’s Department of Painting, Sculpture and Drawing from 2001 to 2005. In 2013, her first book, Visual Propaganda, Exhibitions and the Spanish Civil War, was published by Ashgate. She has contributed articles to academic journals such as Art Journal, Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture, and Journal of the American Institute of Conservation, as well as texts for the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museu Picasso, Barcelona; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Cleveland Museum of Art. She is currently preparing a book on the history of the modernist canon at MoMA and the idea of ‘Latin American’ art.
Juan José Lahuerta is the Director of the Gaudí Chair and Professor of Art History at the Barcelona School of Architecture. Among his recent books are Religious Painting. Picasso and Max von Moos (2014); Photography or Life. Popular Mies (2015); On Loos, Ornament and Crime (2015); Marginalia. Aby Warburg, Carl Einstein (2015); and Antoni Gaudí. Ornament, Fire and Ashes (2016). He is a member of the editorial board of Casabella, Milan, and founder of Mudito & Co, Barcelona. He was an advisor to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; member of the Academic Board at the IUAV, Venice; senior curator at the Museu Picasso, Barcelona; Head of Collections at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC); and lecturer at New York University.
Paula Barreiro López is a lecturer at the Ramón y Cajal programme of the Art History Department of the Universitat de Barcelona and the principal researcher of the i+d Modernidad(es) Descentralizada(s)/MoDe(s). Since 2007 she has worked at several European institutions such as INHA, Paris; University of Liverpool; Université de Genève; and Spanish institutions such as CSIC. She edited Modernidad y vanguardia: rutas de intercambio entre España y Latinoamérica, 2015 (with Fabiola Martínez) and Crítica(s) de arte: discrepancias e hibridaciones de la Guerra Fría a la globalización, 2014 (with Julián Díaz), and is the author of La abstracción geométrica en España, 2009, and Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain, 2017. She is a member of the cultural and scientific committee of the Archives de la Critique d’Art in Rennes, as well as member of the editorial boards of Critique d´Art and Brumaria.
Some images of the presentation at the Convent dels Angels: