April 14, 2021

The book ‘The Lujn Prez School’, collects the conceptual manifesto of Felo Monzn – La Provincia


The Department of Editions of the Ministry of Culture of the Cabildo Grancanario presents in the Columbus House, on January 29, at 8:00 p.m., the last volume published in his collection Pensar Canarias entitled The Luján Pérez School. The aforementioned work reviews by the hand of the art historian and current director of the House-León y Castillo Museum from Telde, Franck Gonzalez, the literary manifesto elaborated by Happy monsoon in August 1954 on the occasion of a conference he gave in El Canary Museum, in which he referred to the mentioned center considered as a space of reference creation of the first period of avant-garde art in the Canary Islands.

There is a circumstance that the edition of the aforementioned title is put into circulation coinciding with the closing of the anthological exhibition called Blind date with the Luján Pérez School with which the Cabildo of Gran Canaria, through Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM), has paid tribute to the famous Luján Pérez School on the occasion of its centenary. The exhibition has been considered as one of the most important realized so far on visual arts of the twentieth century in the Canary Islands.

The aforementioned work, seventh published in the aforementioned collection, offers over 80 pages abundant photos of the period in which Felo Monzón directed said school during his long career as responsible for it between 1957 and 1989. As González points out, the image that Luján Pérez School as a center of free art continues to keep the island society today, it is essentially based on the manifesto Felo Monzón defended in 1954 during the conference Modern Painting taught at the Canarian Museum.

As the historian and author of the introductory text of the book “Felo Monzón” would begin to frequent the School in 1925 – with barely fifteen years -, although it will not be until he finishes high school and leaves his future as a doctor -in 1928-, when he becomes in a regular of those walls. Around him will arrive, already in the new headquarters of the School in the street of San Marcos, between 1928 and 1934, what today we all recognize as the icons of the School: Placido Fleitas, Jesús Arencibia , José Jorge Oramas, Abraham Cárdenes, Emilio Padrón and Rafael Clares “.

González, who believes that all of them will play a decisive role in art in the Canary Islands during the Second Republic, contextualizes in his introduction the intentions of Monzón when giving his speech at The Canarian Museum, which he already considered that “the School had remained anchored in some noucentista, novorrealist and even postnestorian postulates that had played their role during the Second Republic. “

“If Felo wanted to safeguard the legacy of the School – and with him, his own – he had to” build “a story. A story that, necessarily, could not be the real story, that which happened during the dark years in which he was in a concentration camp. Nor the one he had been fighting against for the past four years, that of a School anchored in the past stranded in a tiny place of the Marino Football Club, in the basement of the Insular Stadium. With these wicker he will give his lecture The Luján Pérez School and Modern Art in 1958 “.

“One of the elements that makes this conference so unique in the history of art in the Canary Islands is that Felo publicly renounces what was then known as New Canary Plastic -which would later be known as Indigenismo– and embraces abstraction, “writes Gonzalez. For the historian Felo Monzón” founds a stream of reading that allows to perpetuate the identity image between the School and the vanguard on the one hand, and the School and the canariness on the other. With these premises, Felo cleanses the essence of the School to the expression of a search-free feeling. “In addition, the Monzón account had a factor that would guarantee the survival of the School to us: its ability to integrate new names into speech, like Antonio Padrón’s.

Monzón’s speech, according to González, is incorporated, after democracy, into the history of canonical art in exhibitions such as The Imagined Museum (CAAM, 1991). “A discourse that has continued to count over these last decades with a truly surprising validity.” In one way or another, much of the island’s creation of the last decades is conveyed through the School and Felo “that, In addition to becoming one of the few examples of theoretical artists of the first half of the twentieth century, it would become a leading cultural reference for several generations of Canarian artists.

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