Godofredo Ortega Muñoz. Alcornoques, 1970. Colección Telefónica


Fundación Telefónica began its art collection in the 1980s, initially focusing on Spanish figures representative of the avant-garde (Juan Gris, Luis Fernández, Eduardo Chillida, Antoni Tàpies and Picasso) and, gradually, seeking to acquire pieces of authors scarcely present in the museums of our country. Today, its collections comprise nearly a thousand works by Spanish and international artists (paintings, sculptures, photographs, works on paper), which do not make up a collection with an encyclopedic or linear vocation, but rather an overview of some of them. the most significant movements of the last century; Among them, Cubism is the most represented.

These Telefónica funds mostly nourish the new temporary exhibition of the Carmen Thyssen Museum in Malaga, “Latent Modernity”, which opens to the public tomorrow, March 16, and which features sixty paintings by Spanish artists dating between the twenties and the seventy; That is, we have sought to propose a journey through the validity or dissolution of the promises of modernity that emerged in the first decades of the 20th century during the dictatorship. If the development of the avant-garde prior to the Civil War was largely closed since 1936, after the end of the war the desire of some artists to give shape to a renewing figuration and, later, to consolidate an abstraction consistent with informalism, survived. European, two ways of testing breaks with tradition that are examined here (mainly the first) paying attention to creators who remained in Spain and those who worked abroad.

The montage begins with formulations of advanced cubism by Picasso, Gris or María Blanchard to continue reviewing the plastic possibilities explored in Paris by Francisco Bores, Pancho Cossío, Joaquín Peinado, Hernando Viñes and Ismael González de la Serna, halfway between lyrical figuration and neo-cubism. In the French capital, other artists would join this group from 1939 onwards.

Maria Blanchard.  Cubist still life, around 1919. Telefónica Collection, deposited in the Reina Sofía National Art Center Museum
Pablo Picasso.  Still life, 1944. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

The influence of his work would be noted among those who decided to stay in Spain, most of whom in those years approached the European, realistic movement of return to order, although there were many parallel paths, such as those represented by Gutiérrez Solana and his attention to the grotesque; Benjamín Palencia, who drank from the poetics of the Castilian landscape typical of the Generation of '98; or Vázquez Díaz, also a great landscape painter and close to the aforementioned neo-cubism. Paying attention to its evolution we can appreciate how figuration with a renewing purpose moved from the audacity before the war to the self-absorption and atmospheres of silence that followed.

Since the forties, traditional genres, such as the aforementioned landscape or still life, became the most conducive to the evasion of academicism. In the Thyssen of Malaga, individual plastic initiatives have been collected that did not respond to the majority taste, but were not far from it in a very disruptive way (those of Díaz-Caneja or Zabaleta) and proposals closer to the avant-garde of the twenties and thirties on the part of authors who remained in Paris or were in Spain – to the names already mentioned of Viñes, Cossío or Bores, we can add that of the surrealist Óscar Domínguez -.

The members of the Vallecas School deserve a special chapter in this exhibition, who combined the popular and the dreamlike, seeking an identity for Spanish art that would bring it closer to cosmopolitan modernity without detaching itself from the agrarian. Benjamín Palencia was its fundamental figure and he himself would lay the foundations of the later Madrid School, of which Menchu ​​Gal, Martínez Novillo and Ángeles San José, present in the Palacio de Villalón, were part. Godofredo Ortega Muñoz or José Beulas would delve into other forms of landscaping.

In the final stages of this exhibition we will contemplate the nostalgic urban landscapes of Antonio López and Carmen Laffón, contemporaneous with the migrations to the cities of the 1950s and 1960s.

Godofredo Ortega Muñoz.  Cork oaks, 1970. Telefónica Collection

“Latent modernity. Avant-garde and innovators in Spanish figuration (1920-1970). “Telephone Collection”


C/Company, 10


From March 16 to September 8, 2024

Similar Posts