The exhibition "Skin fragment. Cela-Picasso, shared passions. Gabarron collection" will be open to the public until May 31, 2020 in the temporary exhibition hall of the Picasso Foundation at Plaza de la Merced nº 13, presenting the relationship of a story of friendship between two geniuses, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Camilo José Cela (1916-2002), between the greatest artist of the 20th century and the Nobel Prize for Literature, two peaks of Spanish culture. It will show documents and images that visually symbolize the affinities and passions shared by two friends and creators who came together in various collaborations and projects. This exhibition is framed in the exhibition concept that in 2019 hosted the result of the collaboration between Picasso and Iliazd.
Cela and Picasso shared the same non-conformist and provocative character. Moreover, Cela's Galician origin attracted the sympathy of Picasso, who had begun his studies of Fine Arts in the Galician city of La Coruña. When Cela became a cultural agitator through his magazine Papeles de Son Armadans, which he published in Palma de Mallorca, his idea of dedicating a special issue to Picasso led him to Cannes to establish contact with the Malaga-born artist. This exhibition bears witness to the friendship between the two creators and the result of their collaboration thanks to the Gabarron Foundation, which owns the legacy of the artist and which reflects the relationship between the two creators through documents, editions and works by Picasso.
It was Joan Miró, who had already been the subject of a monographic issue of the magazine, who facilitated the contact between Cela and Picasso. In a letter from Cannes on August 1, 1958, addressed to his wife, Charo Conde, Cela explained his excitement at meeting the Malaga-born artist: "Dearest Charo, it's 2 a.m. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 a.m., exhausted from the early morning hours and the trip, and now I have just woken up. Without being able to talk to anyone at all, the feeling of loneliness is total. I'm a bit demoralized. I called Jacqueline, after a tremendous effort to make myself understood, and was told "she's not in". With these words, full of concern, Camilo José Cela began the first of his letters to his wife. He had travelled there to arrange with Picasso, and his wife Jacqueline Roque, the publication of an issue of the magazine Papeles de Son Armadans dedicated to Picasso. The next day, he showed up at Picasso's house, just as he was sleeping and Jacqueline was absent, the attempts continued with an impatient and anxious Cela who would manage to meet Picasso that very day. The harmony between the two was immediate. On that initial visit, Picasso dedicated to Cela a drawing that would go on the cover of the magazine, published two years later. Over the course of 173 documents, of which we present a selection of 46, the friendship between Picasso and Cela that began with such bad omens is testified to. The result was a series of meetings in France between the artist and the writer, the publication of the special issue of Papeles de Son Armadans and a book of poems by Picasso plus two other illustrated books and a curious exhibition of Picasso's works in Mallorca.
Along with the April 1960 issue of Papeles de Son Armadans, documents are on display that bear witness to the preparatory work and reveal the key role played by Picasso's and Cela's wives, and the editions of Picasso's 1960 book of poems, Trozo de piel, entitled Picasso. Drawings and Writings, 1961, and Cela's book Gavilla de fábulas sin amor, 1962, mostly illustrated by Picasso. Together with these editorial collaborations, eight of the wax drawings that Picasso made for Cela on the day the Galician writer turned 45 on 11th May 1961 are exhibited. They are dedicated to Cela but also to his wife Charo Conde and his son Camilo José Cela Conde. A selection of Picasso's works (ceramics and engravings) also belonging to the Gabarrón collection serve to complete the panorama of that singular friendship between two exceptional creators.
13/02/2020.- Piece of skin. Cela-Picasso, shared passions. Gabarrón Collection opened today will be open to the public until May 31, 2020 in the temporary exhibition hall of the Picasso Foundation in Plaza de la Merced. The exhibition, which is being held in conjunction with the Gabarrón Foundation, which owns the artist's legacy, consists of a hundred documents, editions and works by Picasso (ceramics, waxes, lithographs and engravings) and summarizes the history of friendship between two geniuses and peaks of Spanish culture: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) and Camilo José Cela (1916-2002). This exhibition has the collaboration of the Obra Social "la Caixa".
The exhibition was presented this morning by the Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre; the Councillor for Culture, Noelia Losada; the Director of the Public Agency for the Management of the Birthplace of Pablo Ruiz Picasso and other Museum and Cultural Facilities, José María Luna; the curator of the exhibition, Javier Pérez Segura; and the founder of the Gabarrón Collection, Cristóbal Gabarrón Betegón. Also present at the presentation to the media were the delegate of the "la Caixa" Banking Foundation in Andalusia and Melilla, Juan Carlos Barroso; the director of the Business Area in Malaga of Caixabank, Ana Belén Morales; the director of the board of trustees of the Gabarrón Collection, Cristóbal Gabarrón Cabero; and Camilo José Cela Conde, son of the writer.
Cela travelled to Cannes on August 1, 1958 with the intention of meeting Picasso to propose a monograph on Papeles de Son Armadans, a cultural magazine published in Palma de Mallorca and directed by the writer. It was Miró, who already starred in an issue of this publication, who provided Picasso's contact with Cela. The writer moved to the French city and, despite the fact that the first attempts to get close to the Malaga-born painter were not fruitful, as soon as they met they instantly hit it off. Cela's Galician origin attracted the sympathy of Picasso, who studied Fine Arts in La Coruña. Moreover, both shared a non-conformist and provocative personality that transcended their own creations.
From that first contact, the collaborations were continuous. Testimony of these meetings and the work in common are the 173 documents that endorse their friendship and a series of meetings in France that took place during several years. This link is completed with the publication of the special issue of Papeles de Son Armadans, a book of poems by Picasso, two other illustrated copies and a curious exhibition of works by Picasso in Mallorca organised by Cela himself.
Piece of leather. Cela-Picasso, shared passions. Colección Gabarrón is a selection of 41 of the 173 documents that illustrate this friendship, in addition to the issue dedicated to Picasso of Papeles de Son Armadans, published in April 1960, documents on the preparatory work and which reveal the key role of Picasso's and Cela's wives, the editions of Picasso's book of poems, Piece of Skin (1960), and the copy Picasso. Drawings and Writings (1961) and Cela's book Gavilla de fábulas sin amor (1962), which includes illustrations by Picasso.
Together with the editorial collaborations, eight of the wax drawings that Picasso made for Cela on the day the Galician writer turned 45 are exhibited. They are dedicated to the writer, his wife Charo Conde and his son Camilo José Cela Conde. The exhibition is completed with a selection of Picasso's works (ceramics and engravings) belonging to the Gabarrón Collection that deepen the friendship that the two creators had for years.
Summary of the 101 works on display
- 51 Documents
- 13 Books
- 27 Works on paper
- 9 Ceramics
- 1 Fan