Homenatge a Picasso. Vallauris, 1972


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On 25th October, 1971, Pablo Picasso turned ninety years old. This occasion led to much greater visibility for the artist and also laid bare the antagonistic reception of him. While for some his name was becoming more established as a symbol of freedom, for others he embodied subversion and a personification of anti-Francoism. Furthermore, the latter considered
the series “Sueño y mentira de Franco” (Franco’s dream and lie) to be “an insult to the highest authority of the nation”. For certain reactionary groups this provided sufficient motivation to mount a campaign of attacks against the name of Picasso. This began a few days after his birthday with the destruction of the engravings of the “Suite Vollard” series that Galería Theo, in Madrid, was exhibiting in homage to the artist. The assaults continued with an arson attack on the Taller de Picasso gallery, in Barcelona, and further damage wrought on bookstores, such as Antonio Machado, Visor and Cinc d’Oros,
which were paying tribute to the painter in their window displays.

After the arson attack that destroyed the Taller de Picasso gallery, the young gallery director Santiago Palet devised a tribute to the painter: visual artists, musicians, writers, figures from cinema and theatre were invited to create a doily art – a piece of cotton bordered with lace – dedicated to Picasso. A year later, these works were displayed in Vallauris, in an exhibition entitled 1er. Rencontre International d’Hommage à Picasso. The event became an action of resistence, demonstrating the indignation of the art world at the attacks against the artist, as well as their frustration at the permissive official line on the attacks.

Homenaje a Picasso. Vallauris, 1972 (Homage to Picasso. Vallauris, 1972) presents this extraordinary collection of 400 doily artworks made by over 270 national and international artists, such as Rafael Alberti, Joan Brossa, Alexander Calder, Pau Casals, Equipo Crónica, Sonia Delaunay, Juan Genovés, Hans Hartung, Wilfredo Lam, Joan Miró, Pablo Neruda
and Antoni Tàpies, among many others. This collection was recently acquired by the Fundació Vila Casas and is presented for the first time in its entirety, placed in the context of the events that motivated it that are part of the history of Picasso
and Barcelona.

Curated by Nadia Hernández.