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The Republican Pavilion of 1937

THE REPUBLICAN PAVILION OF 1937 IN CONTEXT

Juan Manuel Bonet, ex director del Museo Reina Sofía -Madrid

One of the greatest universal exhibitions of all time took place in 1937 in Paris under the Popular Front government, entitled Exposition Internationale des Arts et des Techniques appliquées à la Vie Moderne (International Exposition Dedicated to Art and Technology in Modern Life). There were buildings designed by great architects such as Jean-Charles Moreux, Le Corbusier, Henry Jacques Le Même, Robert Mallet-Stevens, Auguste Perret, Charlotte Perriand or Georges-Henri Pingusson, the Czech Jaromír Krejcar, the Finn Aalto, the Italian Marcello Piacentini or the Venezuelan Carlos Raúl Villanueva in the respective pavilions of their countries. It included great artists of the Paris School, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Raoul Dufy, Fernand Léger, the Martel brothers or Léopold Survage, and many of their colleagues. There were commissions from French workshops from 464 painters, 577 sculptors and 336 decorators. There were two great exhibitions on the origins and development of modern art. All this, including the role of the then Director General of Fine Arts, Georges Huisman, a strong advocate of modern art, as was André Dézarrois, is well documented, There is an ever greater awareness that the International Exhibition was an exceptional event. This was how it was viewed by photographers with the most diverse backgrounds and styles, such as Lucien Aigner, Henri Baranger, Brassaï, Albert Chevojon, Philiberte de Flaugergues, Gisèle Freund, Emeric Feher, Hugo Paul Herdeg, Hanns Hubmann, Pierre Jahan, Hannes Kilian, François Kollar, Willem van de Pol and Pierre Verger.

Almost all commentators that have looked into this event in retrospect have underlined the symbolic character of the confrontation or duel between two monumentalist pavilions, each reflecting one of the two totalitarianisms that faced each other in the Europe of the time: Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Stalin’s USSR. While the artistic contribution of the German pavilion (designed by the architect Albert Speer), starting with the eagle and the rest of Josef Thorak’s sculptures, was mediocre, reserving modernity for a Mercedes-Benz racing car or the films of Leni Riefenstahl, the Russian pavilion was in essence not so different. (Theirs was designed by the architect Boris Iofan, the winner against a great many rivals six years earlier of the contest to build the Palace of the Soviets in Moscow. This pompous project would never be built.) What was striking was that Vera Mukhina was a former constructivist who became a socialist realist with academic roots, and the author of the sculpture Worker and Kolkhoz Woman on top of the building. This however was not the case with the mural, also featuring collectivized peasants, by the much more talented Alexandr Deineka.

The contributions of the countries that opted for an international style should be noted, though we are not able to go into the details of each one. Besides Spain, which we will move on to shortly, and the host country, responsible for the Palais de Chaillot and Palais de Tokyo, and a long series of spectacular thematic pavilions (above all the Palace of Air, as well as the Railways, Discovery, Electricity and Light, the Union of Modern Artists, the Merchant Navy, Radio and Advertising pavilions) and other regional or colonial contributions (though in these last two sections, with some rare exceptions, convention and folklore predominated), there was Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the United States, Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Monaco—with its peculiar cactus garden—, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yugoslavia, and the Estonia-Latvia-Lithuania block in its joint Baltic pavilion. On the other hand Bulgaria, Egypt, Greece, Iraq, Peru, Siam and South Africa opted for markedly archaic approaches. There were modern pavilions from commercial companies such as Saint-Gobain or Byhrr.

2. THE STORY OF THE PAVILION ITSELF
Aesthetically speaking, the Second Spanish Republic had never been so modern as at the time of the Exhibition, just two years from its final defeat. In the background, each with a very specific role, were Félix Alonso, the Spanish Ambassador Luis Araquistain, Max Aub, José Bergamín, Luis Buñuel, Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Esplá, José Gaos, Ventura Gassol, the Minister Jesús Hernández, Rofolfo Halffter, Juan Larrea, Agapito Marazuela, Gori Muñoz, and Ángel Ossorio y Gallardo, who became Araquistain’s successor in May 1937, and disagreed with President Azaña himself about the value of what was displayed in the pavilion. There was also Timoteo Pérez Rubio, José Prat, Wenceslao Roces, Rafael Sánchez Ventura, José María Ucelay, José Lino Vaamonde, Lucho Vargas and Hernando Viñes. Above all there was Josep Renau, an important figure in the Spanish Communist Party, and since September 1936 Director General of Fine Arts in Hernández’s ministry. As regards architects, there were Luis Lacasa, from Madrid, who was also a Communist, and the Catalan Josep Lluís Sert from GATCPAC (Catalan Architects and Technicians for the Progress of Contemporary Architecture), with whom the very young Antonio Bonet Castellana collaborated. Initially there were doubts over whether his colleague Manuel Sánchez Arcas should be chosen instead of Lacasa. There were also an array of absolutely unique artistic collaborators, naturally led by Picasso, accompanied by Alberto, Julio González, Joan Miró and Alexander Calder. All this was documented by numerous photographs, among which are those signed by Kollar. It is a pity, with this in mind, that the recent and otherwise excellent retrospective that was dedicated to the Hungarian-French photographer at the Jeu de Paume did not include a single one of these snapshots, though we find references to them in its catalogue.

Naturally, the centrepiece of the pavilion was Picasso’s monumental Guernica, inspired by the bombing of the city by the German Condor Legion on 26th April of that year. The bombing soon was soon reported by a number of foreign war correspondents, headed by George Steer of the London Times. The huge painting, of restrained dramatism and chromatism, is unanimously viewed today as the most important painting in twentieth century history. It is a shocking anti-war plea or cry and a symbol of universal scope. Rivers of ink have been used to write about it, and in the Spanish context Renau, Max Aub, Bergamín, Ramón Gaya and other intellectuals committed to the Republican cause placed it in the line of The Third of May 1808, The Disasters of War and other works by Goya from the time of the Peninsular War. It was painted by Picasso in the workshop of the Rue des Grands-Augustins, near the Seine, and the creation process was documented by his then partner Dora Maar in a famous series of photographs, part of which can be seen in the Reina Sofía Museum.

Guernica was installed on the ground floor next to the pavilion courtyard, where film shows by Buñuel were held, and concerts and dance performances, the programming in this case being directed by the folklorist and communist dulzaina player Agapito Marazuela, who was to spend part of the post-war period in prison, Elsewhere in the building the visitor was confronted with a shocking picture of the destruction of the city, another of the Assembly House and the Tree of Guernica in peacetime. Beside these two images was Paul Éluard’s poem “La victoire de Guernica”. We should remember that the Surrealists always championed Picasso’s work. In 1936 Éluard had participated in the events related to the Picasso retrospective organized by ADLAN (Friends of New Art) in Madrid and Barcelona, just before the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. After the closure of the Paris exhibition, the painting was then displayed in Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg and London as an icon of the struggle of Republican Spain, and deposited by the painter, in 1939, in the MoMA in New York. It would end up coming to Spain in 1981; in other words once democracy was restored. First installed at the Casón del Buen Retiro, it was then moved to the Reina Sofía Museum in 1992. It hangs there today surrounded by a series of preparatory drawings and some paintings from the same era directly related to Guernica. The most impressive works are the particularly expressive versions of Weeping Woman, and Horse Head. One of the most moving presentations of Guernica was the one that took place in Milan in 1953; the painter and graphic artist Attilio Rossi convinced Picasso, whom he visited at Vallauris, to loan it for the retrospective that was being organized. The decisive moment was when he showed him some photographs of the venue, the Sala delle Cariatidi in the Palazzo Reale, where the exhibition was to be held, a space that still bore the marks of the 1943 bombing raid. That presentation, the idea for which excited the painter, reinforces its nature as a symbol of the disasters of war, of all wars. Rossi, by the way, had to fight for the space not to be “smartened up”. In the end the hall’s devastated appearance was kept the same, for the emissary’s peace of mind, as photographs of the period show, for example, the one by the Swiss René Burri, in which we see that the painting was installed away from the wall, free-standing, and arranged diagonally (*).

Picasso’s contribution to the pavilion was completed by the exhibition of five of his sculptures: his Femme au vase or Dama oferente, of which there is a bronze copy in the Reina Sofía, and four of his female heads from the Boisgeloup series. One of the latter and the Dama oferente were exhibited in the exterior of the pavilion. That same year Picasso also contributed to the Republican cause with his set of prints: The Dream and Lie of Franco. Let us not forget that the previous year he had been appointed by Renau, in a symbolic gesture, as the director of the Prado Museum. Furthermore, that in the Paris show itself, he was present with thirty-two works in one of the great exhibitions organized by the French government, to which I referred almost at the beginning of this text, the first one dedicated to Les Maîtres de l’art indépendant, curated by Raymond Escholier for the Petit Palais. This would be decisive for the consolidation of the Spaniard as the central figure of the French scene, as the second one would be, Origines et développements de l’art indépendant étranger, curated by André Dezarrois for the Jeu de Paume, in which our painter was represented by twelve pieces.
Another veteran, Julio González, a friend of Picasso from his Symbolist Barcelona days at Els Quatre Gats, now also residing in Paris and having joined the Cubist movement, had guided him decisively in the field of wrought-iron sculpture. He was present outside the pavilion on the ramp, with one of his masterpieces, which today can be seen in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the impressive Montserrat Shouting. This is a symbol of universal pain; a sublime work that is more figurative and dramatic than usual; a personal way for its author to reconcile his Cubist heritage with the poetry of his Abstraction-Creation friends.

From the Surrealist movement, but also working with geometry infused with Organicism—which decisively influenced several members of the aforementioned Constructivist movement—, Joan Miró created in situ the monumental mural The Reaper, also known as The Catalan Peasant in Revolt, on the pavilion staircase. His work has not been preserved, despite being done on several freestanding panels, which would have allowed for this. Neither is there any known colour photograph of it, but Fernando Martín Martín, with the author’s blessing, managed to set up a virtual reconstruction.

1937 also saw his famous pochoir entitled Aidez l’Espagne in solidarity with the Republican cause. The rural background was always very important to him: years later he would remark, “I work like a gardener”. Two years before the start of the event, he had designed the cover of the issue about contemporary art of the high-class Barcelona magazine D’Ací i d’Allà, this issue being a joint initiative of two of his best friends, Josep-Lluís Sert, who headed GATCPAC, and Joan Prats, the founder of ADLAN. After the war, Sert would be the architect behind Miró’s studio in Palma, and several years later Miró Foundation in Barcelona.

Another of Miró’s great friends, the American Alexander Calder, who in 1930 had portrayed him in one of his linear effigies in wire and visited him at Mont-roig in 1932, where he had given a performance of his portable circus before an audience of peasants, also contributed to the pavilion with Mercury Fountain, placed in the vicinity of Guernica. A particularly moving piece has been preserved in the Reina Sofía Museum: a brooch that includes a Republican flag, made in 1947 by Calder for the art dealer Curt Valentin, on the occasion of his publishing Juan Larrea’s monograph on Guernica. Calder and Miró shared dealers: Aimé Maeght in Paris, and Pierre Matisse in New York. They also had many common friends, starting with Joan Prats, who had a millinery shop in Barcelona. Calder was to make a hat mobile for the shop window.

Outside the pavilion a totem pole towering twelve metres high and crowned with a star was erected, The Spanish People Have a Path that Leads to a Star by Alberto Sánchez Pérez. This represents the culmination of his Vallecas poetics –his brother-in-law and fellow artist Lacasa, co-author of the pavilion, “reads” it as a Castilian pathway–, and whose base was a grindstone from Segovia. The models, the first one in cedar wood, and the second in plaster, were created by the sculptor in the studio of the Chilean painter Lucho Vargas, and both are conserved in the Reina Sofía. In making the piece he was helped by a companion, Biberstein. Concerning the presence of the sculptor from Toledo in Paris that year, I recall something I heard from Roberto Matta, who was then a collaborator of Le Corbusier. Alberto, according to the Chilean Surrealist painter, was admiring the “Lion de Belfort” sculpture by Frédéric Bartholdi—the author of the Statue of Liberty—, which stands in the Place Denfert-Rochereau in commemoration of the resistance of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1. “That”, he said, “is more than a sculpture: it is a symbol.” This is what Alberto wanted his piece for the pavilion to be. A piece that earned him the admiration of Picasso, Neruda and so many others. Years later, Guillermo de Torre would say, most incisively, that the sculptor was mistaken in his choice of destination country for his exile, the Soviet Union. Here, some twenty years later, under the thaw of Khrushchev, he would be able to return to themes in his artwork he had left off in 1937. In Paris itself, it is clear from various witnesses that Alberto had vehemently disapproved of the style of the Russian pavilion.

In 2001, the reconstruction of the sculpture in front of the Reina Sofía was agreed by Alberto’s widow and son, Clara Sancha and Alcaén Sánchez, and myself. Everything had a family feel to it. We agreed to entrust it to a Valencian company and were advised by the now deceased painter Jorge Ballester, Renau’s nephew. The afternoon of the unveiling was especially moving, a ceremony attended by Jaime Brihuega alongside the aforementioned. Guernica was once again protected by the totem pole from the Toledan.

Speaking of the sculptures exhibited, we should recall the overall tribute, documented by the corresponding photography of Kollar, that the pavilion paid to the Socialist Emiliano Barral and the Communist Francisco Pérez Mateo, who both died in combat in 1936 in the defence of Madrid, in which, by the way, Alberto also took part, whose studio in Calle Joaquín María López had been destroyed by one of the first bombardments of the capital. Barral, classicist and epic, is remembered for his head of Antonio Machado or his monument to Pablo Iglesias, which would be destroyed by the Franco regime.

Pérez Mateo managed to accentuate greater purity, in a Magical Realism vein. He should also be remembered for his bust of Lenin, hidden in a field next to Avenida Reina Victoria after the Civil War, and still awaiting an excavation that will allow it to be exhumed. His Polar Bear, now in the Reina Sofía’s collection, was placed outside the pavilion, as documented by another of Kollar’s snapshots. Yet left hidden among the weeds it is rather hard to detect.

Another photograph by Kollar shows a shocking painting of a bombing by José Gutiérrez Solana, exhibited in the hall under the title Crying for their Loved Ones, and also featured his engraving, with the expressive title Collecting the Dead. The picture is now missing. The author of Black Spain was then in Paris, living in the no-man’s land that was the College of Spain in the Cité Universitaire. In 1938 he put on an individual exhibition at the Galerie de la Gazette des Beaux-Arts. The Paris years of the Cantabrian artist have been documented by his posthumous book Paris, published in 2008 by Andrés Trapiello for the Granada publishing house Comares. Previously this material had been used for the creation in 2002 of a box containing facsimiles of the five Paris Notebooks, in which he recorded his wanderings through the French capital. It was co-edited by the Botín Foundation and the Reina Sofía Museum, which had acquired the notebooks in 1999.

Temporarily, other pieces were on display on the second floor of the pavilion, mostly from mainland Spain: works by Aurelio Arteta and other Basques, and Manuel Ángeles Ortiz, Tonico Ballester, José Bardasano, Mariano Benlliure, Ricard Boix, Modesto Ciruelos, Enrique Climent, Tomás Ferrándiz, Horacio Ferrer, Pedro Flores, Ramón Gaya, Helios Gómez, Francisco Mateos, Pedro Mozos, Juan Navarro Ramón, Ginés Parra, Santiago Pelegrín, Jesús de Perceval, Servando del Pilar, Gregorio Prieto, Miguel Prieto, Antonio Rodríguez Luna, Cristóbal Ruiz, Arturo Souto, Daniel Vázquez Díaz and Eduardo Vicente, among others. Besides paintings, there was no shortage of a series of war posters, or lithographs, such as those by Ramón Puyol for the Altavoz del Frente group. This aesthetically and politically varied list includes various participants in the “travelling museum” of the Republic’s Educational Missions, several contributors to the journal Nueva Cultura, and various figures associated with the journal Hora de España. Looking to the future, there are several who would go into exile in Mexico, some future prisoners, and at least three future Francoists: Benlliure, Vázquez Díaz and Perceval. The most confusing case is that of Perceval, then resident in Valencia, whose art was committed to the Republican cause, but was later imprisoned when from his native Almeria reports of his right-wing militancy in the pre-war years emerged. After the war, this is where he would launch the Indaliano movement.

A key element in the pavilion’s scenery was the series of striking photomontages created by Renau especially for the occasion. By then he was a consummate master in that art, as can be seen, during the Second Republic, in his magazine Nueva Cultura, and his collaborations with Estudios. The graphic artist allowed visitors to view different realities: armed soldiers, fishermen and their boats, miners in Almadén, children’s hospitals, or orphans. There were peasants charged with working the land and which give rise to the exaltation of agrarian reform. This was a theme of at least two posters by Renau for the Ministry of Agriculture, one of which appeared on the walls of the pavilion, and on the pamphlet Nadie está autorizado para saquear campos y pueblos, the other, Una nueva era en el campo, designed jointly by him and Mauricio Amster. He also showed Educational Missions, documented by some of the photographs of José Val del Omar, one of the ‘signature’ photographers present. (Another was José Ortiz Echague, somewhat paradoxically since at that time he was active in the pro-Franco side and when he entered Madrid with the victorious army, he discovered that his house had been ransacked). Also the protection of artistic heritage, with specific reference to the transfer of masterpieces from the Prado to the ‘impregnable fortress’ of Torres de Serranos in Valencia following the bombing of the museum by Franco’s air force, as well as destruction of Ciudad Universitaria in Madrid. One of the photographs included was the Casa de Velázquez in ruins, an obvious wink to French visitors. Also there were quotes from Cervantes’ Don Quixote, a portrait of Manuel Azaña and another of Federico García Lorca, the murdered poet. There were references to Catalonia, with Ventura Gassol organizing the exhibition, and the Basque Country, with the painter Ucelay coordinating its content. Jordana Mendelsohn and other historians have scrutinized the enigma of Renau’s photomontages, and have stressed certain paradoxes, for example the fact that a few years before he had been very critical of the Educational Missions and Lorca’s Barraca theatre group. In the context of the Paris Exhibition, one must admit that Renau’s photomontages are aesthetically close to those undertaken by Charlotte Perriand and Fernand Léger in the Agriculture Pavilion.

In his old age, and as can be found in the digital libraries (“Picasso painted Guernica under guidance”, read the headline of Ucelay’s interview, by Joaquina Prades, published in El País on 21st October 1979), this otherwise significant painter was still ranting about Picasso’s Guernica. He blamed his friend Larrea for having advised Picasso. Instead he would have preferred a painting on the same subject matter, though by Arteta. He even came to propose him for the commission. All this reminds us that in 1937 there were also those who thought that the place of Guernica should have been taken by a painting from the second floor. The list of those pieces that have been mentioned in this regard includes the aforementioned Crying for their Loved Ones by Gutiérrez Solana, a painting of a similar theme such as Madrid 1937 by Horacio Ferrer, and Evacuees by Bardasano.

The decoration of the pavilion was done with deliberately simple architectural forms, with additions such as the emblematically Catalan marquee in the courtyard. The presence of crafts was very important, as well as several mannequins from the Museum of the Spanish People. All this was also the due to the influence of Renau, although there are also elements that are very characteristic of Sert, and wooden shelves designed and built by Alberto, a collaborator in the installation of that section. It was poetic, so architectural generation of 1925, so GATCPAC, so A.C., the march of the people, the white walls—the love felt by Sert and other architects for Ibiza—, the esparto—several photographs of the pavilion testify to the fact that the floor is covered with the classic rugs made from this material—, the bulrush chair—, which coexists alongside the functionalist armchair by the GATEPAC member Josep Torres Clavé, the nets and traps and other fishing gear, the earthenware and pottery, the cartwheel—the symbol already used by Benjamín Palencia for the emblem of La Barraca, and also present in the work of Alberto. All this indeed has to do with the things advocated by Sert and Miró in the pre-war years. These are elements that could be found in Sert’s interiors, starting with his own home in Barcelona, and Miró’s studios, which would be so well photographed by Gomis after the war. As for Renau, despite his controversy with Alberto himself in Nueva Cultura, his debt to the poetry of Vallecas was always clear. Leaving behind this controversy, during the war he greatly praised the work of Alberto as a set designer in Valencia for works of classical Spanish repertoire. In the pavilion however, not everything is an idyllic exaltation of the past or folk art. For example, one of the panels showing an image from the Mas Archive of a woman wearing traditional Salamanca dress, described as an ‘immemorial slave’, is contrasted by Renau with a militiawoman dressed in an overall.

We ought to recall that on sale in the pavilion bookshop, among other publications of Republican propaganda, and specially edited for the occasion, was a pamphlet in homage to García Lorca, in which his friend Jean Cassou wrote about him and included the famous elegy to Lorca by Antonio Machado. The detailed account of the organization of the bookshop, with many exact details about daily life inside the pavilion, is one of the great contributions of the memories of Carmen Antón, wife of painter and illustrator Gori Muñoz: Visto al pasar, published in 2002 by Ediciós do Castro. There is also a French translation (Paris, L’Harmattan, 2009) by Carmen Bernand, the couple’s daughter. Carmen Antón, who had been part of the Federación Universitaria Escolar and La Barraca, as well as an elite athlete— thus embodying a kind of portrait-robot of a modern Spanish woman of her generation—, gives many precise details about the organization of the pavilion and its library, where she worked. It was in that context that the author met her future husband, with whom she was exiled in Buenos Aires. Recall moreover, that García Lorca’s work was now beginning to be published posthumously. In Paris that year, his poems were included in journals such as Cahiers GLM or Verve, and the following year Éluard and Louis Parrot translated his Ode to Salvador Dalí for GLM. Other French cultural magazines that were actively pro-Republican were Commune, and the very Picasso and Miró focussed Cahiers d’Art.
Finally, remember the presence at the International Exhibition, with a panel titled Saint Teresa Presents to Our Lord Jesus Christ the Spanish Martyrs of 1937, by another Spaniard in Paris, José María Sert, pro-Franco and the uncle of one of the two architects of the Republican pavilion. The scene: the Spanish Chapel of the Pontifical Catholic Pavilion, designed by Paul Tournon, author of several important “déco” churches, including Casablanca Cathedral (1930) and Notre Dame des Missions in the 1931 Paris Colonial Exhibition.

Paris was very important for the propaganda of the Republican cause. We must bear this in mind when thinking of the heavily attended tribute that was held between 16th and 18th July at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin to the Second Congress of Anti-Fascists Intellectuals, which had just taken place in Valencia and Madrid. Hence the Congress returned to its hometown, since the first one had been held in Paris in 1935. We must also remember that activities organized by the Embassy of the Republican Government initiated a response by the insurgents’ very active, shall we say ‘counter-embassy’. One of their principal visible activities—there were many other unseen ones—was the publication of the journal Occident, paid for by Francesc Cambó and mainly coordinated by Joan Estelrich.

3. MUSIC FOR AN EXHIBITION
As background music to the 1937 Exhibition: a CD that while I finish these lines I listen to with the same pleasure as always. It contains a series of compositions for the piano recorded in 1988 by Bennet Lerner and written especially for the Exhibition by the French composers Georges Auric, Marcel Delannoy, Jacques Ibert, Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Henri Sauguet, Florent Schmitt and Germaine Tailleferre, and brought together in an album (À l’exposition) by Salabert, advised by Marguerite Long. Alongside this Lerner recorded the content of another album released by a rival editor, Eschig: Parc d’Attractions: Paris 1937, and which includes our Ernesto Halffter (L’Espagnolade) and Frederic Mompou (Souvenirs de l’Exposition); the Hungarian Tibor Harsanyi; the Swiss Arthur Honegger; the Czech Bohuslav Martinu; the Romanian Marcel Mihalovici; the Italian Vittorio Rieti; the Pole Alexandre Tansman; and the Russian Alexandre Tchérépine. He was the one who had this second initiative, though according to him, Marguerite Long also frequented these places anew. All the pieces—including, as can be deduced from their respective titles, those of our two composers—are a world away from the frenzy of the Spanish Civil War or Paris itself, from the clamour of a Guernica that inspired a piano piece written by the Communist German composer Paul Dessau, then exiled in Paris, and who years later would be one of the important figures in the cultural nomenklatura of the GDR, which was precisely Renau’s second country of exile, after Mexico.

Paris, June 2016

(*) My thanks to Arturo Lorenzo, director of the Cervantes Institute in Milan, and to the cultural coordinator, Carmen Canillas del Rey, who recently organized for me a meeting with Pablo Rossi, Attilio Rossi’s son, to whom I am indebted for this story. It is documented in the exhibition catalogue Attilio Rossi: Guernica and the Hispano-American View, held in 2007 in that Cervantes Institute.

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