Historical Context of Spain
Spain has played a crucial role in the maturation of art in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, a young Pablo Picasso developed a distinctively expressive approach to figuration in the post-Impressionist era, initially with his Blue then Rose periods, although he was to settle in Paris in 1904. Picasso was also the central founding member of the Cubist movement, a group in which he was joined by fellow Spaniard Juan Gris. Both Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were leading figures in the Surrealist movement, though they were also lived in France for large parts of their careers. Throughout the twentieth century the political and cultural landscape of Spain was ruled by the totalitarian autocracy of General Franco whose dictatorship ruled the country, in one form or another, from 1939 until 1975, at which time the monarchy was restored to Juan-Carlos I who then implemented considerable reform. The Franco regime was distinguished by its brutal anti-communist stance, and the departure of leading intellectual and cultural figures that chose not to live under an oppressive regime. The cultural life of the avant-garde suffered greatly, since liberal artistic movements are often known for their leftist leanings. Key modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo, and Manolo Valdes.