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Annotated works

GUEZALA, Antonio de

(Bilbao, 1889-1956)

The Revolving Door or Portrait of Begoña de la Sota

Oil on canvas

201 x 176 cm


Basque Artist II (20th Century - 21th Century)

N.° inv. DEP644

Deposited by the Provincial Council of Bizkaia after dation by BBK in 2003

GUEZALA, Antonio de on Online collection

This picture—of which another smaller version was also painted—represents an unusual incident in the Spanish art of the period between the two world wars and marks the high point of Guezala's career. In spite of the late date of its execution, when European art had already received the influence of the return to order, the artist experiments with shapes inspired by Futurism and resources derived from Cubism, with which he was already familiar through his work as a graphic designer.

The young lady entering Bilbao's Carlton Hotel to join a party organised by the Association of Basque Artists does not play a leading part in the picture, for the action is dictated by the revolving door and its movement. Preserving the constructional core of the drawing and without dematerialising shapes, the composition presents a tonal gradation in which the rhythms of the brushstrokes and the lines of force further the sense of movement. Guezala had always shown an interest in distortion and in the dynamic tension of shapes. Unlike the Basque painters of his generation, Guezala focused on urban and domestic subject matters, on the industrial landscape around the river Nervión, and on the geological formations and the complex layout of coastal villages.

A cultured man and a connoisseur of the artistic discourses of his day, inquisitive and dilettante, Guezala was noteworthy for the wide variety of styles he practiced as a painter, engraver, cabinetmaker, maker and collector of bookplates, graphic designer, set designer and theatrical-costume designer, stamp-collecting expert and heraldist. But above all, he devoted much of his unbounded energy as president of the Association of Basque Artists to stimulating the cultural life of the City, committed as he was to promoting Basque art and disseminating avant-garde trends in Bilbao.  [P.M.]

Selected bibliography:

Pilar Mur Pastor. Antonio de Guezala y Ayvrie, 1889-1956. [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 1991.

Pilar Mur Pastor. "Concha o el encanto de los tiempos modernos" en Urtekaria 1995 : asterlanak, albistak = Anuario 1995 : estudios, crónicas. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 1996.

XX. mendeko euskal pintura = Pintura vasca siglo XX. Donostia-San Sebastián : Kutxa Fundaziona = Fundación Kutxa, 1999.

Javier Viar Olloqui. Bilbao en el arte : de 1875 a 1936. Bilbao : Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa, 2000.

Emakumearen irudia : bestelako begiratu bat = La imagen de la mujer : otra mirada. [Cat. exp.]. Vitoria-Gasteiz : Arabako Foru Aldundia = Diputación Foral de Álava, 2003.

Imágenes de mujer en la plástica española del siglo XX. Zaragoza : Gobierno Aragonés; Instituto Aragonés de la mujer, 2003.

Pilar Mur. Guía Artistas Vascos. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2008 (1ª ed. 2008; ed. inglés), pp. 94- 95, n.º 45, ad vocem.

Novecentismo y Vanguardia, 1910-1936 : en la colección del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2009.

Pilar Mur. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), p.169, n.º 120, ad vocem.

Annotated works