24 February – 26 June 2022
Rooms 4 and 5. First floor.
“The sea has been an important part of my life since my birth in the Dominican Republic. My mother used to take me to Boca Chica Beach, in the Caribbean, which is close to the city of Santo Domingo. I think we used to go by bus. My mother, like all Valencians, loved the beach, and she would go whenever she could. Years later, I took my own children to that same beach.
When we lived on the island of Puerto Rico, the beach we went to there was Luquillo, right next to El Yunque National Forest. The name comes from a word used by the Taíno people, Puerto Rico’s indigenous inhabitants, that means “White Land.” This tropical rain forest is the only one of its kind in the United States.
My mum would drive us in her old Ford. For a good part of the journey, we would be lying down, looking up at the sky and looking for things to see in the quickly changing clouds.
In the USA, during several summers we rented a house very close to the beach in Nags Head, North Carolina. There we would walk at daybreak and enjoy watching the sandpipers playing with the waves, as they washed on and off the beach. In time, each year there were less birds, and more and more jellyfish.
The beach began to change considerably.
On the walls in this exhibition, you can read about how my father felt attracted to the sea in A Coruña during his childhood and youth.
He even wrote a book to explain –something that he never usually did– one of his paintings: Los amantes de la playa de Riazor (The Lovers of Riazor Beach).
Apart from works of art dealing with the sea and water, this exhibition also features a series of photos that I took in 2016 at Washington Zoo, where many sculptures made from rubbish taken from the sea were on display. Rubbish that has a strong impact on all life forms that exist in this extensive part of our planet; a part of great importance for all of Galicia and Spain.”
Natalia Fernández Segarra
Curator and Director of the Eugenio Granell Foundation
The exhibition Environment. The Sea in A Coruña is the second in a series of exhibitions that began last year. This series, curated by Natalia Fernández Segarra, director of the Eugenio Granell Foundation, is centred on the important theme of the environment and its impact on our daily lives. While the previous exhibition focussed on the city of Santiago de Compostela, this one features A Coruña and its sea.
All the exhibits are from the Foundation’s own collection and are on display in Rooms 4 and 5, on the museum’s first floor.
Room 4 is entirely devoted to works by Eugenio Granell that are linked to the sea and A Coruña, including El mar del Orzán se yergue cada noche (1965) or Homenaje a los amantes de la playa de Riazor (1980), about which Granell wrote the book Historias de un cuadro –the only time that Granell analysed one of his paintings. He was not fond of doing this since he wanted his work to speak for itself. There are also quotations and texts by the artist and other authors, highlighting environmental problems affecting the sea, one of the main sources of Galicia’s wealth, and its fauna and flora.
Room 5 features a meticulous selection of works by different artists from the Eugenio Granell Foundation’s Surrealist Collection, such as Marcel Duchamp, Susana Wald, Ludwig Zeller, Max Walter Svanberg, Frances del Valle, Mario Granell, Rik Lina, Alex Weiss, among others.
The exhibition also includes items from the Ethnic Collection such as La Nieve, a kachina toy or a Dan mask for children; and Eugenio Granell’s experimental film, Lluvia (1961).