Nesting in the gesture: Alberto’s shelves

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23 April, 2023 - 30 July, 2023


Type of audience: Todos los públicos


Cultura contemporánea

Análisis del contexto

Nesting in the gesture: Alberto’s shelves

23 April, 2023 - 30 July, 2023

The starting point is a gesture: The sculptor Alberto Sánchez (Toledo, 1895 – Moscow, 1962) made it in Paris between April and September 1937. There, after the installation of his sculpture El pueblo español tiene un camino que conduce a una estrella for the Pavilion of the Spanish Republic, Alberto remained in the city until the work was completed and the pavilion could be inaugurated.


Alberto’s shelves, with their rounded, fluid forms, which inevitably related to surrealist painting and sculpture, specifically of the Vallecas School, made it clear that the artist’s work was not just “lending a hand”, but that they ultimately ended up becoming one of the pieces Alberto showed in that pavilion. If we twist the story a little further, it is highly suggestive to see the work of the renowned artist, who had been given one of the main spaces in the exhibition, placing his forms at the service of the exhibition of popular art that occupied, intermingled with the photomontages signed by Josep Renau, one of the floors of the Sert and Lacasa building. This explains the peculiarity of those shelves, but more so the peculiar action of the artist who made a commitment by delaying his return home in order to set in motion that collective project that desperately sought to gain exposure and support in order to halt the advance of the fascist uprising in Spain.


On the basis of this gesture, a double invitation was extended in the initial phase to the artists Teresa Lanceta and Xavier Arenós, motivated by an interest in their work as creators in relation to the popular arts and the Spanish artistic avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. Their participation was thus considered from the beginning of the research with the aim of creating an exhibition project for the FCAYC, the form of which has remained open and subject to the research work. As a result, it became possible that this process could result in the creation of an exhibition and/or a documentary space where the works of these artists are combined with those of others, -with those on a list that is being gradually assembled-, with the material collected, and with other types of material presented for this research.


Ángel Calvo Ulloa (Curator)



Image: Still from the interview conducted by Xavier Arenós and Ángel Calvo Ulloa with researcher Josefina Alix Trueba on 21 May 2022 in Madrid. Video: Ada Cerdá.

This post is also available in: Spanish