Sabela Garcia Cuesta
Historical Context of Spain
The influence of Spain was significant in establishing the art of the twentieth century. Initially with his Blue then Rose phases, although he would eventually settle in to Paris in 1904, Picasso revealed a truly expressive approach to figuration in the early 1900s, the era of post-Impressionism. Pablo Picasso is also thought to be 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 settled in France for the most 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 controlled 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 departure of major intellectual and cultural figures, determined to escape this oppressive system. The artistic and cultural flourishing of the avant-garde were deeply affected by this situation, as liberal artistic movements are frequently associated with leftist inclinations. Some highly influential modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo and Manolo Valdes.