Last week i spend 2 days in Madrid and visited the Reina Sofia museum, because i wanted to show my son and his friend the “Guernica” painting by Picasso. The painting was shown for the first time in the spanish pavillion in 1937. The Republican government sought to garner international support by assembling modern works by sympathetic artists that express powerful and overt political outrage, including a large painting of an upraised fist by Joan Miro and unveiled on the ground floor was Picasso’s Guernica. But not only because of the art the building was important. Its architecture was certainly avant-garde for that time. Simple materials and influenced by le Corbusier the building itself was far ahead of its time.
The Spanish Pavillion in the Paris International Exhibition of T937 aimed at getting support from the international community in their detense of the Spanish Republic. The Government commissioned the Pavillion to the architects Josep Lluis Sert and Luis Lacasa, who designed a modern and low-cost building, with elements and materials From the traditional Spanish culture. It was consciously built as a modest and cosy space, featuring referents of a modern architecture inherited from Le Corbusier. A reasoned sample of art, culture and propaganda was shown in it, with an intention of bearing witness to the horrors of war while highlighting the optimism and ongoing productivity of the Government. The building housed the works of Alexander Calder, Josep Renau, Joan Miro, Julio Gonzalez, Alberto Sanchez and José Gutierrez-Solana amongst others. Yet, the most internationally acclaimed piece was Picasso’s Guernica, commissioned by the Government as a main artistic appeal.
The above text comes from the model kit of the Spanish pavillion 1937 which is now available at http://www.ftn-books.com