15 October, 2019 – 2020
Rooms 2, 3 and Room Amparo. Second floor.
On October 15, 2019, an exhibition of the portraits by the distinguished Galician surrealist, Eugenio Granell, was inaugurated at the Eugenio Granell Foundation. Titled “Homage to Amparo”, this exhibit composes many of the portraits of friends, exiled companions andfamily. Portraits of friends and exiled companions.
The exhibition begins in the Amparo Room on the second floor of the Museum. The self-taught painter shows that he not only triumphed in surrealism but also had an incredible eye when portraying his wife Amparo as well as several of his friends in exile.
The Dominican Republic, his first place of exile from the Franco dictatorship, waswhere Granell found his love for art, painting and drawing, many of which he dedicated to his muse: Amparo. Most of these are in ink or pencil on paper but we also display a number of oils. You will find that many of the works shown in this exhibit evoke connotations of home life and family.
Though the majority of the pieces are surreal in nature, the portraits of friends are very realistic, though one could simply describe them as “doodles”. Few of pieces in this collection are of posed subjects, they are etched onto envelopes, loose papers and notes. A very interesting portrait of Lenin: “Gongorian portrait of Juana de la Cruz and Vladimir IlichUliánocv”, can be interpreted in two ways: on the one side you see Lenin’s portrait on the other, that of the Mexican poet.
In Puerto Rico, Granell was a good friend of Juan Ramón Jiménez whom he visited frequently; especially during a time when Jiménez was quite sick and depressed, bedridden for a long time.Granell also made several portraits of his friend Vela Zanetti as well and in his letter to Candle, Eugenio states “Your moral fortitude against slander is your best portrait.” Zanetti responded that “Whoever fell, always straight and relentless, fell as if memory were guided by a line of steel.”
The exhibition follows a chronological order. First, the Dominican Republic where many of those opposed to the Franco dictatorship met while maintaining their identity as Spanish exiles (Vela Zanetti: “I returned to Spain to exercise my Spanish right.”); continuing through Guatemala, Puerto Rico, New York and finally Spain. For some, Puerto Rico and New York represented a reunion of these surrealist figures, having already accepted their exile as permanent and consolidating their lives outside of Spain. Though these men grew from the distinct regions of their homeland, whether they were Basque, Catalan, Valencian, Galician, Leonese, forever they remained Spaniards.