Luis Seoane – Murals

Curators Silvia Longueira, Carmela Montero

Luis Seoane’s murals are an essential part of his work. This is due not only to their artistic value and the beauty of the pieces that the artist created on private and public buildings over two decades, but also because of the fundamental role that muralism had on the evolution of his work. They are not particularly well known among the public due to their location –the majority of them are in Buenos Aires– but Seoane’s murals finally come to life in this exhibition. They are 62 sketches that stand out thanks to the uniqueness of their format and to their documentary value, as many of them bear notes from the artist regarding colour, size and design; 75 photographs portraying the artist while working on his pieces and the end result of the paintings; and 44 pictures that show the current state of some of them.

In the late forties, Luis Seoane set off on a double-track path that took him to work towards the renovation of Galician art and its inclusion in the European avant-garde, all while maintaining its cultural and historical roots; and at the same time, to insist on the notion of the integration of the arts, something that was ever present throughout his career. Seoane believed that the practice of art, from the beginning up until the Middle Ages, was a symbiosis of architecture, sculpture, painting and the rest of the arts, which broke apart during the Renaissance and turned into different disciplines up to the 20th century, when the integration of the arts was picked up again by movements like the Bauhaus or De Stijl, and by artists like Fernand Léger, El Lissitzky, Robert Delaunay or Joaquín Torres-García, as a way to transform society as a whole. Seoane’s research on the experiences of these artists, as well as the great Mexican muralists like Siqueiros or Rivera were crucial in how he approached his murals. The practice of muralism allowed him to expand his knowledge and use it in all of his other work. The experimentation with new materials and with those that had fallen in disuse, and the application of different solutions thanks to the study of space and colour had an influence on all his work, especially after the sixties when abstraction makes an appearance in his pieces.