Jose Carlos Rodriguez
Padrón (A Coruña) .- The history of friendship between Camilo José Cela and Pablo Picasso is engraved in each of the objects, texts and drawings that were dedicated and that can be seen in the exhibition “Picasso Alive. The Picasso legacy of Camilo José Cela”, which the Galician Nobel Prize Foundation inaugurated this Tuesday in Padrón.
More than 40 pieces reveal the intense relationship between the two geniuses -one of art, the other of literature- and the cultural exchange that took place between them at the end of the 50s and that lasted until the death of the painter from Malaga. .
It was July 31, 1958 when Camilo José Cela traveled to Cannes (France) bound for the villa “La Californie”, without an appointment, in order to see Picasso.
Encouraged by Joan Miró, also a painter, Cela wanted to propose a tribute project to Picasso in the magazine “Papeles de Son Armadans”, which the Galician directed in Palma de Mallorca.
Although her first attempts to contact Picasso were unsuccessful, it was ultimately David Douglas Duncan, Picasso’s official photographer, who helped Cela set up an appointment with the painter, which took place on August 1.
From that encounter, between painter and writer, a large number of collaborations arose, favored both by Cela’s pictorial facet and by Picasso’s interest in poetry.
The smiling face that appears on the cover of that extraordinary issue of “Papeles de Son Armadans” was the seal of a friendship that would last several more years. Also the bottle of “Machaquito” anise that they drank that August 1 and that, at the end, Picasso dedicated to Cela as a souvenir.
Coming solely from the funds of the Camilo José Cela Foundation, the exhibition traces the friendship between the two artists through more than 40 pieces including drawings, engravings, texts, photographs and various objects that both gave each other for years.
On one of his visits to “La Californie”, Cela proposed to Picasso the idea of creating a story around the painter’s drawings. However, the roles were reversed.
Poems by the painter illustrated by the writer that lead to the publication of “Poemas y escritos” in 1960, followed by “Sheaf of fables without love” in 1962, this time without reversing the roles.
Curated by Lourdes Regueiro, coordinator of cultural activities of the Camilo José Cela Foundation, together with Iván Rodríguez, the exhibition of texts and drawings and that exchange between these two geniuses of art and literature can be visited from today until the 31st of May, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death.
Picasso and A Coruña
During the inauguration, the Minister of Culture, Education, Vocational Training and Universities, Román Rodríguez, pointed out that Pablo Picasso is “one of the greatest creators in the history of Spain in the 20th century” and that, in addition, he had a certain “Galician” character ” due not only to his relationship with Cela but also to his relationship with the city of A Coruña.
According to the minister, both Cela and Picasso were “two geniuses” and also “very Galician”: “Cela for obvious reasons, but Picasso, who was born in Malaga, was tremendously Galician because he lived part of his childhood in A Coruña”, Rodríguez explained.
In fact, the city of Hercules will open its own exhibition on Picasso on March 23, entitled “Picasso, white I don’t remember blue”, which will claim the painter’s Galician imprint in the city’s Museum of Fine Arts through a selection of 120 pieces. EFE