The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
The subject of this article is the Spanish artist in exile, Aurelio Arteta, who died in a streetcar accident only a year after he arrived in Mexico. The writer of the short article is a compatriot who shared the experience of being exiled in Mexico. His text is focused on reconstructing the artist’s career in the years before the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). It highlights the values in his painting, its purity, and, at the same time, the artist’s freedom of thought. The article also makes reference to the fresco paintings executed by Arteta for Banco de Bilbao in Madrid with marine, industrial and urban motifs situated in the Basque Country. However, Arteta created his most important work through easel painting rather than murals.
The painter from Bilbao, Aurelio Arteta (1879 –1940), was only in Mexico for a very short time, and there is no way of knowing what influence Mexican art, particularly muralism, had on him. His motifs adhered to the costumbrismo [local customs] of his native land, although in Mexico he created exuberant portraits. He has been placed in the Realist trend, with a social bent, that existed in Spain just before the Civil War. The high quality of his forms and use of color call for a meticulous study of his career, both in Spain and in Mexico; this explains the importance of this article.The writer of the article was the journalist from Bilbao, Juan de la Encina (the pseudonym of Salvador R. Guzmán, 1890 – 1963), who had also settled in Mexico because of the Spanish Civil War.