Breve storia di una liberazione
La Spagna alla Biennale di Venezia dal 1979 al 1999
The essay offers a specific recollection of the participation of Spain at the Venice Biennale since 1976 to 1999. The starting date has a particular relevance both for historical and artistic reasons. 1976 coincides in fact with a democratic beginning for the Country, which has just witnessed Franco’s death. This meant the end of a long period of isolation and the recovery from years of repression and dictatorship. Through that time, artistically, Spain was not left behind, thanks to the strength of many artists who kept contact with other countries, always up to date on what was new. However, they had been forced to choose between being artist of the regime or stay hidden in an interior exile. With the Biennale edition of 1976, the special project, promoted by the institution and two of the most renowned art critics at the time, Valeriano Bozal and Tomàs Llorens, called España, Vanguardia artistica y realidad social. 1936-1976, tried to draw a critical and historical view on the Spanish artistic languages consumed and silenced by censorship. Through the 80s and the 90s Spain has experienced a renewed awareness of its internationally artistic role and that has reflected on the choices made for Venice Biennale. Although seeing the evolution of Spanish art in the last decades through the Biennale is limited and incomplete, it has an undeniable interest and relevance worth being investigated.