Presentation at La Central del Museo Reina Sofía

On April 5th, 7 p.m, Paula Barreiro López will introduce her book Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain (Liverpool University Press, 2017) at La Central del Museo Reina Sofía, with the participation of Lola Jiménez-Blanco and Julián Díaz Sánchez.

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 On the basis of extensive, so far unpublished, archival material, it discusses the intellectual and cultural world as an important battlefield for fighting the regime from within.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.

Lola Jiménez-Blanco is an art historian, essayist, art critic, curator and, since 1998, Professor of History of Art III (Contemporary) in the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Geography and History at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Her publications include: Arte y estado en la España del siglo XX (1989); Juan Gris (1999); Museo Picasso. Colección Eugenio Arias (2001); Arte español en Nueva York (2004, with Cindy Mack); Julio González (2007) y Buscadores de belleza. Historias de los coleccionistas de arte (2007, with Cindy Mack). He has recently curated the exhibition Arte y poder en la posguerra española. 1939-1953 at the Reina Sofía Museum.

Julián Díaz Sánchez is Professor of History of Art at the University of Castilla-La Mancha. He is interested in recent art and the study of criticism as a source for the history of art. He collaborates with journals such as Archivo Español de ArteCultura ModernaMigraciones y Exilios y Papers d’Art. He is author of, among others, de El triunfo del informalismo. La consideración de la pintura abstracta en la época de Franco (Madrid, 2000), La crítica de arte en España (1939-1976) (Madrid, 2004), Políticas, poéticas y prácticas artísticas. Apuntes para una historia del arte (Madrid, 2009) and La idea del arte abstracto en la España de Franco (Madrid, 2013).

Paula Barreiro López is a contracted teacher of the Ramón y Cajal program in the Department of Art History of the University of Barcelona and head of the project Decentralized Modernities/ MoDe(s). Since 2007, her professional career has been developed in European institutions (INHA (Paris), University of Liverpool, l’Université de Genève) and Spanish (CSIC). She has published Modernidad y vanguardia: rutas de intercambio entre España y Latinoamérica, 2015 (with Fabiola Martínez); Crítica(s) de arte: discrepancias e hibridaciones de la Guerra Fría a la globalización, 2014 (with Julián Díaz). She is the author of La abstracción geométrica en España, 2009 y Avant-garde Art and Criticism in Francoist Spain, 2017. She is a member of the Scientific and Cultural Committee of the Archives de la Critique d´Art (Rennes), member of the editorial board of Critique d´Art and Brumaria.