Research in Madrid

I have begun my research on Picasso´s Guernica at the library at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. I have visited Guernica twice already and gained the inspiration to commence my research here in Madrid.

My first stop was the Reina Sofia´s bookstore, where the latest publications pertaining to the museum´s holdings are available. I found a few useful resources.

First, the Reina Sofia´s education department released a brochure that summarizes Guernica´s history and sheds light on the Museum´s official persepctive on its interpretation. From what I gleaned from the brochure, that which spoke loudest was the idea that Guernica´s significance is something which is in a  constant state of change, like the world around it. Another idea that the Museum emphasizes is that Picasso never revealed an official meaning for the work. When asked, he said ¨el cuadro vive sólo a través de quien lo contempla¨ (¨the painting only lives through whoever contemplates it¨), meaning it will always be up for interpretation.

Another find from the bookstore was a compilation of publications with the title ¨De Gernika a Guernica.¨ Included is a short work by Bernardo Atxaga, a well-known basque writer, entitled ¨Marcas,¨an anonymous pamphlet describing the tragedy of Gernika with text and photography, and a copy of the program from the exhibition, ¨Picasso´s Guernica,¨ from 1937 which was organized in England by a British organization concerned with forming a relief effort for the Spanish Republicans. This collection of works has proved to be extremely interesting, especially the work by Atxaga, who shares his experience as a basque in analyzing the event of Guernica, its role in his own life, and its translation into a work of art. He concludes his work stating that through Picasso´s Guernica, the tragedy of Gernika is preserved and spread among new generations.

Now, at the library I am going through the catalog in search of resources to drive my research. My main goal is to find cultural and literary works which were inspired by Guernica and thus through these works extract the meaning of Picasso´s work in Post-civil war Spain.