In 1972, in the city of Pamplona, a number of artistic Encounters took place, which, when analysed with the perspective of the years that have passed, have taken on greater and greater importance. The Encounters were put forward with the objective that the audience should play a part in the artistic act without a particular “artistic creed” taking primacy over the rest, with the intention that the work shown should be a real mirror of the moment and without being limited to the western artistic tradition. In the declaration of intentions, reference was made furthermore to the pretension of not forgetting certain fundamental aspects of Basque culture and it was made clear that the organisation and conduct of the Encounters would be the responsibility of artists.
For more information on this landmark in Spanish art, let us refer you to the catalogue of the exhibition which, in the year 2010 and with the design of Gráfica Futura, took place at the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum in Madrid and at the Museum of Navarre in Pamplona, and whose curator was José Díaz Cuylas.
The images which are shown in this post belong to the catalogue itself of the Encounters; a piece of enormous interest as a result of the special features it has in various aspects. Published by ALEA, the design was the responsibility of the artist, José Luis Alexanco, one of the intellectual managers, together with Luis de Pablo, of this unique event. On entering the interior, the possible frustration of the designer can be felt intuitively as he attempts to show contents, using two-dimensional resources, which make a clear reference to the process and the sequence. The volume was bound using the milling technique so as to be able to include papers of different texture – offset and transparent -, most of which can be unfolded so as to serve as a resource to organise the pages, simple double pages and double pages in accordion fold, according to a process of composition of almost endless possibilities.
The treatment of the images reveals the trends and aesthetic currents of the time: photos with extreme contrast, heavy shading, the predominance of black transmitting the militant spirit that the artistic event itself maintained in a more or less hidden form: an initiative, against the grain of the pro-governmental forces, trying to create a civil tissue that is receptive to the modern, as expressed by José Díaz Cuylás.