The Consortium Centro Federico García Lorca and the Federico García Lorca Foundation have organized the exhibition A Creative Friendship. Benjamín Palencia and Federico García Lorca, curated by Enrique Andrés Ruiz and Guillermo de Osma. and produced by Consortium Federico García in partnership with CaixaBank.
Federico García Lorca’s lifetime (1898-1936) is interwoven with those of many visual artists, from his fellow Andalusian Manuel Ángeles Ortíz to Salvador Dalí. At the beginning of the 1920s he established a strong and fruitful friendship with the painter Benjamín Palencia (1894-1980). This exhibition bears witness to the close connection between them during the era when Art Nouveau was emerging, and grants us a greater awareness of Federico’s relationship with the avant-garde.
Palencia himself, closely linked to the Residencia de Estudiantes, dealt with many of the painters and poets of the Generation of 27. It was probably there that he met Lorca in 1924. His close friendship with the poets began with his early connection with Juan Ramón Jiménez. Throughout the 30s, the influence of Surrealism and popular art on both of them is fascinating.
Together with Alberto Sánchez, Maruja Mallo and other artists, Palencia developed an aesthetic vision that was both avant-garde and local: the School of Vallecas. At around the same time, the theatre troupe La Barraca, founded by Federico, began on its various tours of Spain. Palencia would act as its visual designer, creating the set and costume designs for the performance of La vida es sueño [Life is a Dream]. This exhibition includes a curious section devoted to the sketches that Palencia created inspired by the ceramics of Numancia, an area that La Barraca visited during their first tour.