The day Warhol introduced modernity to Spain: “It was as if God visited us” | Culture | EUROtoday

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Fernando Vijande was already an necessary gallery proprietor and promoter of latest Spanish artwork when in 1980, in New York, he supplied Andy Warhol to exhibit and go to Madrid. He had the boldness to take action as a result of he had purchased not less than 4 work for his childhood good friend, the involuntary patron Josep Suñol. One introduced the vocation for philanthropy and the cash, and the opposite, the connections and pedigree. The mixture gave rise to new proposals and voices that had been evanescing within the Spain of the Transition by welcoming and selling artists corresponding to Luis Gordillo, Guillermo Pérez Villalta or Antoni Muntadas. However, the climax, probably the most symbolic second of that collaboration and of Spain's opening to worldwide artwork, was Warhol's arrival on the Vijande gallery in 1983. A social and cultural milestone that the exhibition now remembers Warhol/Enemy, cita and Madrid, open from this Friday till July 21 on the Lázaro Galdiano museum in Madrid.

“I always say that hunger combined with the desire to eat. Josep had money, and Fernando had contacts. Thanks to his sponsorship, Fernando was able to exhibit the works he wanted and acquired the experience to present to Warhol the proposal of visiting a country that was in full change and expansion. “There was then a joy, an explosiveness, a desire to take on the world,” remembers Rodrigo Vijande, son of Fernando and president of the Suñol Soler Collection. Photographs, objects, photobooks and works by Warhol himself recall within the exhibition that occasion that introduced collectively a whole lot of people that requested the pop artwork icon to signal their entry ticket (100 pesetas had been charged), their t-shirts, their casts or the bus ticket. “It was as if God visited us,” stated the singer of the Madrid scene Alaska, who was the mannequin for the creator of Campbell's Soup Can.

Five work by Warhol are a part of the exhibition, of which three (Mao, Ladies and Gentlemen, Warhol and the members of The Factory) had been acquired by Vijande for Suñol in 1976 in Turin. “We have to have a Warhol, it's the best there is now,” the patron requested. It was another order among the many many who he had been doing for his partner-friend within the final seven years. They had been colleagues since they had been youngsters and of their youth they traveled collectively, however then Vijande would transfer to Madrid and Suñol would keep in Barcelona. “They regained contact when Suñol ordered the construction of a very modern house, in the style of those built by the Miró Foundation, and he wanted to decorate it in a unique way. It coincided with the time when my father had just opened his first gallery, Vandrés, in Madrid in 1971, and who better than him to help decorate his new home. He did not have a vocation as a dealer at first, he wanted to decorate his home and he found that they shared tastes and thanks to that collaboration the Suñol-Soler foundation emerged,” recollects Vijande's son.

The press conference for the exhibition 'Guns, Knives, Crosses' in 1983, at the Vijande gallery.
The press convention for the exhibition 'Guns, Knives, Crosses' in 1983, on the Vijande gallery.Javier Porto

Between the galleries Vandrés (1971-1980), which started as an antiques retailer in collaboration with Gloria Kirby, and Vijande (1981-1987) there have been not less than a dozen National Fine Arts Prize winners, corresponding to Jaume Plensa, Juan Muñoz, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Carmen Calvo, José María Sicilia or Susana Solano. Vijande paid his artists a wage and Suñol acquired the very best items from every exhibition. The mixture additionally allowed different worldwide artists to exhibit in Spanish territory, corresponding to Bob Smith, and opted for the primary performances; That's the place Allan Kaprow's legendary efficiency befell. In 2017, the Suñol Foundation organized the exhibition Fernando Vijande Portrait: 1971-1987, with the work of 51 artists who had been empowered and represented by Catalan. “With this new exhibition we want to remember these two figures and see how Warhol is a very important link. It is the most important piece in the Suñol Soler collection and the peak of Fernando's gallery career, because bringing Warhol to Madrid and getting him to do an exhibition for you to this For your gallery it is something important that not everyone gets.”

The singer Alaska with the painting 'Mao' in the exhibition 'Warhol & Vijande,
The singer Alaska with the portray 'Mao' within the exhibition 'Warhol & Vijande,

Vijande had identified Warhol because the late sixties, when he made his routine visits to New York, thought of the capital of artwork at the moment. It was on the collective exhibition New Images from Spain in 1980, on the Guggenheim within the Big Apple, when the Spaniard proposed to the Pittsburgher to create in his gallery, a storage in Núñez de Balboa transformed right into a loft minimalist, pattern Pistol, Knives Crosses. The title responded to a collection of symbols associated to Warhol's imagery of the Hispanic territory: inquisition, Civil War and Catholicism. To obtain the arrival of the pop star, the gallery proprietor promised that every one the works could be offered or saved with him; His wager was answered by the 12,000 guests the exhibition obtained. “The press conference, photographed and broadcast a thousand times, is now an icon of the overwhelming transformation of Spain in the eighties, just after the election of Felipe González and before the referendum to be part of NATO,” says Rodrigo Vijande. Warhol additionally visited Toledo, Segovia, The Valley of the Fallen and El Escorial. He beloved the spiritual paraphernalia outlets, the fascist structure, the capes in Seseña and the buns on the Mallorca pastry store.

The video projection can be a part of the exhibition Mario Banana within the portico of Lázaro Galdiano. Along with these pictures during which the artist is seen drag Mario Montez peeling and licking a banana, there’s the collection Altered Images, a collection of portraits that Christopher Makos manufactured from a transvestite Warhol. For the creator of Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, Makos was the “most modern photographer in North America” and requested him to document his go to to the previous continent. Who was additionally a portraitist of Truman Capote, Liz Taylor, John Lennon and Mick Jagger, captured a Warhol with a wig, make-up and painted lips, just like the model of Mao that the plastic artist made. Makos was current on the opening of Warhol/Enemy, cita and Madrid, the place he recalled what his time in Spain meant: “It was a rustic in full effervescence with a brand new era of artists and that electrical spark that continues to light up my creativeness till now. Since that first journey, I fell in love with Spain. And to this present day, I take into account Spain as my second dwelling. This exhibition, organized by Fernando's son, Rodrigo Vijande, is a tribute to the permanence of artwork.”

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