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.
In this article Ceferino Palencia, the Spanish art critic and painter living in exile in Mexico, sketches a brief biography of Roberto Fernández Balbuena, portraying him as a well-known architect and painter with a clearly defined vision. He explains how the two disciplines complement each other in his work and keep him immune to influences other than those that emanate from his Spanish roots. Palencia suggests that the painter-architect could be described as a “Spanishist artist” since he is very traditional in his sources (like the Baroque Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán) and in his colors (whites, greys, ochers, blues). However, whether as a result of the time spent in Mexico or because the Spanish Civil War brought him into exile, he is able to capture the light and work with a new palette of colors as he distills and decants his ideological ideas into his work, in full control of his aesthetic idea.
Roberto Fernández Balbuena (1891–1966) held several official posts in Spain in connection with his dual artistic roles as a painter and an architect, both before the outbreak of the civil war and later when he was living in exile. Balbuena did not, however, specialize in any particular area. He liked to experiment with designs of various new pictorial creations, which was why he was considered both a complex and a simplistic painter. He used color expertly, which injected a very special form of power into his drawing style.