Historical Context of Spain
The influence of Spain was substantial in developing the art of the twentieth century. Initially with his Blue then Rose phases, although he would eventually relocate to Paris in 1904, Picasso unfolded a truly expressive approach to figuration in the early 1900s, the era of post-Impressionism. Pablo Picasso is also considered as the most influential founding member of Cubism, a major art movement in which he would also be joined by Spanish artist Juan Gris. While they were established in France for the majority part of their respective artistic careers, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were both highly prominent figures in the Surrealist movement. The political and cultural setting of Spain in the twentieth century was governed by the totalitarian autocracy of General Franco, whose regime dominated the country from 1939 to 1975. His passing prompted a restoration of the monarchy to Juan-Carlos I, who consequently reformed the State. The Franco dictatorship, characterised by a fierce anti-communist position, led to the exodus of major intellectual and cultural figures, determined to escape this oppressive system. The artistic and cultural flourishing of the avant-garde were deeply stirred by this situation, as liberal artistic movements are frequently significative of leftist inclinations. Some critically acclaimed modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo and Manolo Valdes.