The Museo Reina Sofía presents the third episode in the rehang of its Collection with the unveiling of new rooms centred on artistic contributions made between 1939 and 1964 within autocratic Spain and in other international enclaves. From different perspectives, in excess of 300 works are displayed, in addition to a rich array of bibliographic and archival documentation, the majority exhibited in the Museo for the first time.
The image of Republican exile, of thousands of Spaniards walking northwards on the roadside, is the most quintessential image of exile and one which manages to transcend the national sphere. It refers at once to a historical juncture and an experience: diaspora, pivotal not only for Spain and the twentieth century, but also for the contemporary twenty-first century, marked by the global migration crisis. Republican exile is one of the pivots articulating the new reading of the Collection and invokes a rethink of the concept of nation and ideas of territory and belonging. For many artists, exile would become an opportunity to question all categories of thought, contributing to culture’s more radical experiences and discourse. In incorporating the pathways of leading figures in this uprooting, for instance Maruja Mallo in Argentina and Josep Renau, Remedios Varo and Max Aub in Mexico, as well as their works and initiatives, the recent history of Spain enables us to attain a map that is broader, more complex and, above all, more racially mixed.