Renau in exile

CollectionIVAM Centre Julio González

This exhibition attempts to reconstruct the various historical and creative contexts to which the poster designer, photomontage artist, muralist and writer Josep Renau was forced to adapt in the course of his fascinating life. The show principally investigates two of the least known historical periods within his artistic production, his periods of exile in Mexico and in Communist Berlin.

During his long exile, first in Mexico (1939-1958) and then in East Germany (1958-1982), his work as a poster artist, muralist and illustrator continued to earn him a great reputation, especially in the political and intellectual circles that promoted the idea of art as an instrument at the service of the social revolution.

Since the beginnings of the IVAM, Josep Renau has held a special significance for the institution not only because of his importance as a pioneer of the historic avant-garde movements in Valencia during the Second Republic, but also because in 1989 the IVAM received an extraordinary long-term loan of his works and other items from his personal archive and library. This collection has subsequently been enriched with two further contributions made by the artist’s Foundation in 1991 and 1994.