Faces and Traces in the Identities of Francoist and Exiled Art

Acronym: RRIAFE

Ref. Project: Project I+D+i, PEGC, MICINN-AEI, Ref: PID2019-109271GB-I00

Funding Organitation: Convocatoria 2019. Proyectos de I+D+i - PGC Tipo B. Programa Estatal de Generación de Conocimiento y Fortalecimiento Científico y Tecnológico del Sistema de I+D+i. Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN) y Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI). Funding: 24.200,00 € + PhD Candidate

Institution: Departamento de Historia del Arte y Patrimonio (DHAP). Instituto de Historia (IH), Centro de Ciencia Humanas y Sociales (CCHS), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Date of execution: 3 years (01-06-2020 to 31-05-2023)

Tabs group


The development of twentieth-century Spanish art was traversed by different relationships between artists (as well as their production) and socio-political issues (as well as artistic renewals). These identities function as key filiations in order to understand cultural bonds, influences and impacts both inside and outside the country. Therefore, the main objective of the project is to follow and to analyze the aforementioned identities in relation to their ethical, ideological and aesthetic positions, considering the consequences of the outbreak of war in 1936. Such identities and positions were either integrated or displaced from then on, and it determined their acceptance or rejection from artistic debates.

The project intends to trace the identities and to face the diverse ideological and creative commitment of those artists, both under Franco’s dictatorship and in exile. The research plan starts from the study of historical precedents during Spanish II Republic and Spanish Civil War and continues until the new status quo created during the Transition to democracy. Attention will also be drawn to those moments of approach between distant positions and identities; a number of close-ups that begin in the fifties and reach their genuine expression with the so-called “bridge” controversy. All of which involves a deeper analysis of visual and material culture, along with the aesthetics of the period.

Research plan starts with the well-known conscience of the need to shed a light on those artistic identities in relation with their careers, inside or abroad. So, there will be three areas of interest: “inland identities”, “foreign identities” and “bridge identities”; being the first ones those related with artistic creation inside Spain; the second ones, those from abroad; and, finally, those that imply genuine approaching desires, returns, and captivating efforts.

Each one of these entails a wide research field and the retrieve of a great number of sources from book and newspaper libraries, archives and both private and public collections, inside and outside Spain. The academic field includes artistic manifestations such as architecture, photography, mass culture and performing arts. Thus the methodological approach will be also interdisciplinary and it will overlap with visual, material and memory studies, gender theory and historiographic, heritage and museum approaches. All this to construct an alternative narrative beyond the hegemonical discourse of Art History.