The Dining Room Is Yours

“Estampa Popular Sur” Artists against Franco 1958-1976 at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo
“Estampa Popular Sur” Artists against Franco 1958-1976 at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo

The woman behind the desk at our hotel, Alegría (“Happiness”), told us we would want to call a cab to get out to Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo. We had been there before several years ago and we just let that suggestion go. We knew it was a nice walk along the canal that comes off the Rio Guadalquivir, through the Triana neighborhood so we headed out there first thing this morning. We stopped for coffee three different times. The museum is located in the Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuevas Monastery, where Christopher Columbus’ remains were interred for thirty years. The monastery had middle life as a ceramics factory and it makes a stunning location for contemporary art.

The featured show was entitled “Estampa Popular Sur” Artists Against Franco 1958-1976. Franco had been in power for almost twenty years before the movement really gained steam and organized itself under the Estampa Popular banner. In the fifties and sixties it was mostly linoleum prints and by the early seventies silkscreen was the preferred medium. Some of the artists were in exile so they showed their work in their respective countries but the really brave dispersed their work under Franco’s nose.

It got me thinking again about why artists tend to align themselves with the left. We walked along the canal off the Rio Guadalquivir and stopped for something to eat in the Triana neighborhood. We walked in and the waiter told us “The restaurant is yours.” We had the house salad, ”Ensalada gascona,” hojas de temporada con queso de cabrales, manzana y nueces. We found raisins in there too.

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