The Mayoral art gallery presents “Art revolutionaires”, a museum quality artistic project featuring works by Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Alexander Calder and Julio González in Barcelona.
This exhibition has been the result of a year-long research and document gathering; intense work has been carried out, full of interesting findings and discoveries, that enables us to show and evoke the Spanish Pavilion in a most accurate and exhaustive way.
The pieces that will be displayed share a very close link with those that represented the republican artists in 1937. The show includes the historical rebirth of the great monumental work by Miró: The Reaper (550 x 365 cm), which disappeared after the pavilion was dismantled and will be recreated in Paris, in black and white, on the occasion of the Biennale.
The exhibition, which will be presented first in Paris and then in Barcelona and London, will inaugurate the commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the Exposition Internationale des Arts et des Techniques appliquées à la Vie Moderne, in 1937 in Paris, with the aim of paying tribute to the artists who took place in it. The curator of the show, Juan Manuel Bonet, current director of the Instituto Cervantes in Paris, and former director of the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, explains: “Everyday there is an increasing awareness that the International Exposition was an exceptional event”. “Art revolutionaries” has had the collaboration of the best experts in the field, as well as the support of the Successió Miró, the Calder Foundation, the Fundació Joan Miró, the Museo Reina Sofía, the University of Barcelona, and the Harvard Library.
The Spanish Pavilion for the Universal Exposition of Paris, 1937, was created in a period of great turbulence, as Spain was in the midst of a Civil War. For this reason, the Pavilion presented by the Spanish Republican Government became a strategic platform to vindicate the tragic situation the country was going through. The architects who designed the building were Josep Lluís Sert and Luis Lacasa, and José Gaos was the curator of the exhibition. José Gaos counted on the participation of many Spanish artists. Josefina Alix remembers: “In the evenings, after work, all the Spaniards met at the Café de Flore, where long and friendly conversations around Spain, the pavilion and the war took place”. The main artists: Picasso (Guernica), Miró (The Reaper), Calder (The Mercury Fountain) and González (Montserrat) created some of the most relevant pieces in art history. In this regard, Picasso commented: “Maybe, later on, some art historian will prove that my painting has changed because of the war. I myself don’t know”. According to Joan Miró’s grandson, Joan Punyet Miró: “The Reaper and the Guernica seemed political propaganda posters of monumental dimensions. Nobody chose a solid and durable support, becasuse they knew in advance that those works were ephemeral, just to make an impact, and that they would finally disappear together with the pavilion.”
The gallery director, Jordi Mayoral, affirms: “”Art revolutionaries” is a commemorative exhibition with elements of highly historical value, as the replica of Miró’s The Reaper. The memory of this episode is indelible for all those who love art and culture. Therefore, the current exhibition is an enthusiastic and rigorous demonstration of admiration and affection for these brave and committed people who fought for their ideals and their country from their particular trenches: artistic creation.”