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This text is a transcription of a series of interviews that Rita Eder conducted with a number of artists and intellectuals, all contemporaries of the painter Alberto Gironella [1929-1999], who debated the principal iconographic and literary elements present in his work; namely the “Hispanic” and “Iberian” elements. Those interviewed recall the galleries, publications and critics that favored the rise of the so-called artistic vanguard of the 1950s; a movement that encompasses Gironella’s work. They likewise speak of their defense of new artistic expressions that openly opposed the monopoly of the Escuela Mexican de Pintura [Mexican School of Painting]. With regard to Gironella’s contributions, they highlight his artistic experimentation with everyday objects, his critical commentary on the reality of life in both Mexico and Spain, and the universal aspiration of his painting.


Six contemporaries of Alberto Gironella participated in this series of interviews wherein they discussed the artist’s work as well as the cultural environment in Mexico during the 1950s. Those interviewed included three painters of the Ruptura generation: José Bartolí, Manuel Felguérez (1928-) and Vlady; three writers: José de la Colina, Salvador Elizondo (1932-2006) and Horacio López Suárez. It should be noted that as they either participated in or witnessed the events they recount, this testimony constitutes a first-hand account of Gironella’s production during the 1950s, as well as of the rise of the vanguard in Mexico during the midpoint of the twentieth century. Because of this, the value of the transcription not only resides in the memories and reflections it contains, but also in its documentary nature.

Alejandro Ugalde
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
Courtesy of Rita Eder and the Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas de la U.N.A.M.
Biblioteca Justino Fernández del Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México