Palazuelo. Paris, 13 rue Saint-Jacques (1948-1968).
Organised and produced by Jorge Oteiza Museum Foundation and Juan March Foundation in collaboration with the Palazuelo Foundation.
Curator: Alfonso de la Torre.
Oteiza Museum, from 11 March to 29 May 2011.
Pablo Palazuelo (1915-2007) is one of the most recognised artists of the second half of the 20th century. His work forms part of important collections and has been extensively documented and interpreted in many recent exhibitions. In the first decade of the new century, Pablo Palazuelo's work has been as famous as it is well known. However, no exhibition had ever looked at the almost 20 years Palazuelo spent in Paris in so much detail and extension.
The project Palazuelo. Paris, 13 rue Saint-Jacques (1948-1968) has been co-produced by the Juan March Foundation and the Jorge Oteiza Museum Foundation in collaboration with the Palazuelo Foundation. The curator is Alfonso de la Torre and the exhibition includes unpublished documents and almost 100 works (many never seen before), publications and documents related to the artist from his arrival in Paris in the last quarter of 1948 to his return to Madrid in 1968.
This exhibition follows the creative itinerary of Palazuelo's French years and comes to Alzuza after being shown at the Juan March Foundation Museum in Palma (22 June – 30 October 2010) and the Abstract Art Museum of Cuenca (19 November 2010 – 27 February 2011). The artist journeyed to what was still the capital of modern art in 1948 and remained there for 20 years. His Paris years were of capital importance and he spent them mainly in the small apartment at number 13 of rue Saint-Jacques. According to de la Torre, during these years, Palazuelo's “introverted imagination fought a solitary battle with his ancestors, Klee and Kandinsky, adopted its own peculiar language and geometry and built the grammar of all his later creation”.
The exhibition is divided into three parts. Part one, 1948-1954. Cité Universitaire-Villaines (1951) – Cité Universitaire, shows Palazuelo's first creative stages following his arrival in Paris on 22 October 1948 after he had been given a grant to study art. His first works show the already constant presence of geometric construction and the use of colour, as well as the influence of artists such as Klee and Kandinsky. In these years, he came into contact with the prestigious Maeght Gallery and his work was included in some of the collective exhibitions that were held there. In 1953, he was awarded the Kandinsky Prize.
Part two of the exhibition, 1954-1967. La Galerie Maeght and 13, Rue Saint-Jacques, focuses on the years in which his work assumes a more personal language, which can be seen in the individual exhibitions of his work at the gallery. In those years, he also completed one of his first sculptures, Ascendente (1954), which can be seen in this exhibition and which represents an isolated experience until he returned to his sculpture work in the mid-1960s, in collaboration with Juan Huarte.
Finally, part three of the exhibition is titled About Omphale and shows the canvases and drawings that correspond to one of the most important and original series of his career. Here, his work shows a completely developed language used by the artist in large formats.
The project includes a publication with a critical study by Alfonso de la Torre and a detailed chronology of the period. This is completed with a list of his collective and individual exhibitions and the corresponding references, together with the reproduction of unpublished poems written by Palazuelo.
The project has received collaboration from the Palazuelo Foundation, which has generously loaned many works and original documents, as have many private collections and museums such as the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao, Patio Herreriano of Valladolid, IVAM of Valencia, March Foundation Museum of Palma, Abstract Art Museum of Cuenca, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Guillermo de Osma Collection, Espíritu-materia Collection, the Pompidou Centre (Paris), the Maeght Collection (Paris), the Marguerite et Aimé Maeght Foundation, Saint Paul de Vence, Kunsthaus Zurich and Kunstmuseum St. Gallen.
•The changing colours of the seasons. Tuesday, 26 April.
•Mandalas. Feeling the colours. Wednesday, 27 April.
•Paper paintings. Thursday, 28 April.
•Night-time. Daytime. Friday, 29 April.
Free guided tours of the exhibition