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"Imatge & Poesia. Les poètiques de la modernitat", on view at the Biblioteca de Catalunya

Thursday, October 5, 2023

The show, which last year could be seen at Casa Masó, explores the relationship between poetry and art in Catalonia from the end of the 19th century to the Republic

This exhibition explores the dialogue between image and poetry in the context of the evolution of contemporary Catalan poetry from the eighties of the 19th century, with the irruption of the symbolist revolution, until the end of the Spanish Civil War, with the ruptures of 1939. This broad chronological arc aims to place the development that follows the Catalan literary and cultural sphere in the context of European modernism (modernity) and show how the movements that have so far served us to explain the period (Renaixença, Modernisme, Noucentisme, avant-gardes) correspond to the internal dynamics of a national literary field in the process of construction and definition.

These are the years in which Catalonia redefines itself as a nation within modern Spain through the construction of a collective imaginary that starts from Catalan culture and language in the context of the crisis of the Europe of empires and the configuration of the Europe of nations. Opting for a language model, for a certain literary tradition or even for a specific aesthetic are not individual decisions, but acquire a collective and, ultimately, political meaning. In this process, the relationship between poetry and image, a paradigmatic and recurrent theme from the classic Ut pictura poesis ("As painting, so is poetry"), is all the more significant because of the close collaboration that poets maintain with artists, musicians, illustrators, typographers, printers and publishers as being part of one or different cultural projects and, after all, of diverse – and sometimes opposing – conceptions of country.

From Santiago Rusiñol and Miquel Utrillo to Rosa Leveroni and Alfons Maseras, the exhibition invites you to take a journey from the ideal of art for art's sake to the defense of poetry as a containment wall against fascism and desperate cry In Europe facing the imminence of the end of the adventure of modernity.

Exhibition and catalog produced by the Biblioteca de Catalunya and the Rafael Masó Foundation. Curated by Margarida Casacuberta and Aitor Quiney, it can be visited in the exhibition hall of the Biblioteca de Catalunya from October 10 to December 20, 2023. From Tuesday to Friday from 11 am to 3 pm and from 5 pm to 8 pm. Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. Exhibition website