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Vice-Chancellor's Office for Culture

Josep Renau (1907-1982): Commitment and Culture

Josep Renau (1907-1982): Commitment and Culture

From 18 September to 06 January 2008.

Martínez Guerricabeitia room, Estudi General room, Thesaurus room. La Nau


From Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 to 13.30 and from 16 to 20 h.

Sunday, from 10 to 14 h.



Josep Renau is key to understanding the behaviour of 20th century Spanish culture. His biography as an artist responsible for cultural policy and, above all, as an intellectual committed to all aspects of the present that affect the design of the future, symbolises one of the axes of the bitter dialectics between purity and commitment that marked the evolution of contemporary culture.

His conception of art and culture as political agitation factors and even as essential tools for transforming the structures that underlie social relationships make him an alternative symbol, one that avoids mausoleums, as it remains with us, as the most active gene of those that fostered the Age of Reason.



He was a political activist, an intellectual committed beyond general principles, a tireless sharp polemicist, a graphic designer, a painter, a poster and photomontage artist, a mural painter... His de jure and de facto legacy includes a huge amount of excellent works worthy of being in a museum but, above all, of being actively reincorporated into people's conscience and imaginary.

The 100th anniversary of his birth is a perfect excuse to review and disseminate his figure and legacy ideologically, intellectually and aesthetically. This is the reason behind the 2007 anthological exhibition.




This exhibition has been organised and co-produced by Universitat de Valčncia and Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales, and curated by Jaime Brihuega, with more than 200 pieces of work including drawings, sketches, photomontages, and posters, in addition to abundant documentary and bibliographical materials (photographs, letters, journals, exhibition catalogues, books and other documents).

These exhibits are complemented by audiovisual materials including documentaries, music, and the large format projection of images of the murals painted by the artist in Mexico and Germany.



The exhibition is structured into four sections. In parallel, the exhibition discourse is articulated into four large sections adequately adapted to the premises:

1) The Republic era: between movement and commitment(1926-1931): Martínez Guerricabeitia hall

2) Spain in war (1936-1939): Thesaurus room

3) Crossing the ocean: the Mexican exile (1939-1958): Estudi General room

4) Images from beyond the wall: Renau in the German Democratic Republic (1958-1982): Centro Octubre

Each individual section combines original works with documentary and audiovisual materials, covering his works associated with architecture and urban planning or his intellectual texts. The exhibition will be presented at the Museu d'Art Contemporani (Madrid), from 17 January 2007 to 30 March 2008





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