Maruxa Seoane. An Approach to Mª Elvira Fernández López

Curators Juan de la Colina

Maruxa Seoane: achegamento a Mª Elvira Fernández López offers a look into the figure of María Elvira Fernández López (A Coruña, 24 January 1912 – 25 March 2003). Maruxa was Luis Seoane’s lifelong partner. She played a crucial role in his career and, after he passed in 1979, she dedicated her life to compiling his legacy and bringing it back to A Coruña. This process culminated in the creation of the Fundación Luis Seoane in A Coruña in 1996.

The exhibition has been curated by artist and art teacher Juan de la Colina. It was born from the wish to highlight and pay tribute to Maruxa Seoane’s character and, at the same time, to give her work the appreciation and visibility it deserves, as she was often seen merely as ‘the artist’s wife’. To do it, a selection of oil paintings, photographs, graphic art, documents, and some accounts from friends and family, help to portray a woman of her time, that willingly dedicated her life to Luis Seoane, with whom she shared the determination to be of service to Galician culture.

Luis and Maruxa had known each other since they were little kids, because they were cousins. Their relationship began in their teens, and lasted until the artist’s passing in 1979. When the Civil War started, Seoane went into exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The two got married by proxy and Maruxa followed him soon after. In Argentina, they used to frequent the company of Galician, Spanish, European and Latin American intellectuals. Maruxa kept Seoane’s finances and schedule organised, and dealt with the galleries, museums, and collectors. She would also take care of his art supplies, prepare the small and medium-format frames and prime the canvases. From 1942, she worked as a proofreader in all of his publishing projects. Her collaboration became essential and she took an active part in some of Seoane’s most important activities as a champion of Galician culture in exile. Such is the case of the Galicia Emigrante magazine, which they published out of their own home and for which she wrote small reviews and recipes –which were also featured in Correo Literario, another magazine–.

They had been involved in two projects in Galicia since 1964, Laboratorio de Formas do Castro and Sargadelos. From 1967 onwards they would switch between living in Galicia and in Buenos Aires. They finally bought a flat in A Coruña in 1969. They could see the Tower of Hercules from their house. The lighthouse had been the subject of one of Luis Seoane’s most renowned works, the illustrated book Homenaje a la Torre de Hércules.

When Seoane died unexpectedly in 1979, Maruxa set out to compiling his work in order to build a significant legacy in his homeland. Her efforts resulted in the creation of the Fundación Luis Seoane in 1996. It was temporarily located on Durán Loriga street in A Coruña. In 2003, three months after Maruxa had passed in March, the Foundation moved to its permanent location in what was formerly the Macanaz military building. The facilities, in A Coruña’s Old Town, were renovated by architects Juan Creus and Covadonga Carrasco.

The exhibition will include unknown or never-seen-before material connected to the figure of Maruxa Seoane, like letters, books and other documents, as well as paintings and drawings that Luis Seoane dedicated to her or that were inspired by her; and a documentary that the curator, Juan de la Colina, has made especially for the show.