Two moderns and a tourist destination

The El Abanico complex, by Manuel de la Peña, seen by Fachico in 1965. / C7

Exposition. The Art Gallery of the Rector's Office of the ULPGC hosts from today until June 23 the photographic and architectural exhibition 'Fachico and De la Peña, modern convergences'

Victoriano Suarez Alamo

To create yourself you can have a modern or classic vision. It is about betting on experimentation and the latest trends or following the paths already trodden and generally safer that generate a more general approval.
The architect Manuel de la Peña he opted for modernity and the most innovative and transgressive trends that prevailed in his time to begin to shape the first tourist constructions
of the South of Gran Canaria. To capture his creations he had a look as modern or more than his, that of
Francisco Rojas 'Fachico'.

That fruitful connection between the architect and the self-taught photographer with the soul of an artist now comes to life thanks to the exhibition
'Fachico and De la Peña, modern convergences'which from this afternoon, starting at 7:00 p.m., and until June 23, occupies the Art Gallery of the rectorate of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

This exhibition, which will stop at the
Martín Chirino Art and Thought Foundationis curated by the
Axiom association. Artistic mediation laboratory, joins the acts planned to value the figure and creations of this architect from Madrid. "He came to the island to connect with modernity and to use tourism for experimentation and progress," he defends
Gemma Medina, who will curate it, shows it together with Odesa Campos.

The origins

In addition to highlighting the talent of Fachico and De la Peña, this exhibition, which has the support of Fedac and the ULPGC School of Architecture and the Official College of Architects of Gran Canaria, has the value of historical discovery, especially for the new generations.
«It brings us closer to the South of the island before and during the tourist boom of the 1960s»highlights Cristina Roca, vice-rector for Culture, Sports and Social Activation of the ULPGC Campuses.

Fachico and De la Peña came into contact at the initiative of the latter.
«He suggested that he take photos of his buildings and then that he become part of his studio, which was multidisciplinary. De la Peña wanted a critical look, where the image would be essential for tourism. He opted for modern architecture as an object of consumption and desire”, comments the curator Gemma Medina.

This perspective of the architect fit
like a glove to the figure of Fachico, because he was a photographer who "dominated the advertising language and that is the dream of any architect", according to Medina.

After photographing with style and artistic vision the
Town of San FernandoFachico put De la Peña in his pocket and the joint work lasted for
more than a decade.

two milestones

Two milestones cemented that connection. On the one hand, the International Ideas Contest
Maspalomas Canary Coast promoted by
Alexander of the Castle and organized by Manuel de la Peña, who was decisive in the transformation of that immense natural space that, with greater or lesser success, depending on the case, has become the tourism and economic engine that we know today.

Some images that are exhibited in the sample. /


The exhibition includes photographs taken by Fachico of buildings such as the
Buenavista Apartments, Hotel Foliasthe Ecumenical Temple, the towns of San Fernando and Fanabé, the apartments
New Sweden and the SnailsEl Abanico in Playa del Inglés or Costa Canaria in San Agustín.

«Some of the original constructions of Manuel de la Peña
no longer exist and others are totally modified”, clarifies the curator who underlines the value of her proposals. «He was the paradigm of the modern architect in his time», she points out about who cared about
"landscape" and drank from the same currents as colleagues of the prestige of
Richard Neutra and Mies van der Rohe, among others.


The second milestone was the De la Peña studio folder, designed by
Enric Satue in 1972 to describe the production of this company and whose images bore Fachico's signature. «What differentiates his photography is his aesthetic vision, the result of his connection with the avant-garde groups of the moment, among which were
César Manrique, Manolo Millares, Martín Chirino or Pepe Dámaso », clarifies Gemma Medina.

One of the sections of the exhibition includes images of Fachico or taken by him that appear in his archive and that show his close relationship with the most advanced creators of the time on the islands. And it is that 'Fachico and De la Peña, modern convergences' also keeps a space to situate the visitor in the way of working of this photographer, whose archive has some
243,000 images.

Inside a showcase is his
Leica camera and various lenses that he used, the photographic magazines that he read and that helped him to accentuate his artistic and creative way of capturing the world around him, as well as some of the
contacts with whom he worked after passing through the developing room.

Along with the most significant constructions of that South that was beginning to open up to mass tourism, the exhibition also includes Fachico's photographs of constructions designed by De la Peña in other Gran Canaria enclaves, such as the
Royal Nautical Club, the Arucas Mountain Inn, the Kindergarten or the Arinaga hostel.

This Friday, May 20 and June 3 will be held
Guided visits for the sample, always after 6:00 p.m.

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