EXHIBITIONS / José Luis Castillejo and Modern Writing

03 August, 2018 - 02 September, 2018
Palacete del Embarcadero, Santander
Archivo Lafuente, con las colaboraciones de Henar Rivière y Juan González de Riancho

José Luis Castillejo (Seville, 1930–Houston, 2014) was an experimental writer or, as he liked to call himself, a modern writer. His work is essential to understanding the complex broadened field into which contemporary writing has morphed and its connection with other artistic fields such as painting.

The writing of Castillejo is exceptional, both from the point of view of his objectives, means and results and the way he has been received. His objectives can be summed up in his attempt to attain understanding and freedom, confronting a ‘human being’s most acute need: to search for answers, especially those related to the meaning of reality’. His medium was writing, understood as an independent art form capable of transcending reality through its inherent qualities (words, books, ink and signs, among others). The result is a highly original oeuvre: Castillejo was the only exponent of his own school who was directly connected with the most cutting-edge developments in art and thinking during his time, and played a key role in the progression of experimental writing in Spain.

In terms of the reception of the work of Castillejo, it has always been highly-regarded among specialists with a mythical aura. Nevertheless, up to now it was practically unknown, even for those who were familiar with his work: the proportion of books that ended up being published is minimal in comparison with the unpublished, which few had come into contact with until now.

This exhibition is part of the first retrospective dedicated to the artist and presents a large part of his oeuvre, spanning the nascent days of his career to, above all, his final years. By doing so, it demonstrates the great lengths that he went to in order to create ‘modern writing’, mirroring modern painting, at the dawn of postmodernity.


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