A “first contact meeting” to “know the project first hand”. This is how sources from the Ministry of Education and Culture define the meeting held this Monday by the Minister Raquel Tamarit and Javier Parra, general secretary of the Communist Party of the Valencian Country (PCPV) who intends to give the unpublished mural by Josep Renau to the Generalitat Valenciana for free which has been carried out following the original design of the artist. “Possible options will be studied and assessed,” add the same sources. The meeting, cordial after the counselor’s apology on Twitter for having assured that Parra had not contacted his department despite the fact that the communist leader had sent him an email, has not specified anything. Neither dates nor possible locations. Both parties have agreed to meet again in September.
The artist Marta Hofmann: “I am amazed that Valencia is not proud of having a beautiful mural by Josep Renau”
Javier Parra has delivered a letter to the head of the regional department of Culture in which he launches the offer of the “free transfer” of Renau’s posthumous work so that it can be exhibited to the public in the artist’s hometown and in other municipalities Valencians who have shown interest in exhibiting it, in addition to the public institutions of Madrid and Barcelona who negotiate with the author to exhibit the piece, seven meters high and made up of 15 wooden boards.
“The work has been carried out in a workshop in the Ciudad Fallera of Valencia for two years without any type of subsidy or public aid, although it has been possible thanks to the collaboration of the Renau Foundation, which has facilitated access to the archive where it is preserved. all the documentation of the project, and to Marta Hofmann, a disciple of Renau, with whom he has had permanent contact during the development of the work”, reads the letter.
Precisely the artist Marta Hofmann showed her indignation in an interview with this newspaper due to the initial disinterest of the Valencian public institutions. “I am amazed that Valencia is not proud of having a beautiful mural by Josep Renau”, lamented the disciple of the renowned Valencian artist, in whose Berlin workshop she worked for more than a decade.
Javier Parra has framed the possible transfer of the posthumous work on the 40th anniversary of Renau’s death this October. Parra intends to “contribute to highlighting the work and figure of one of the most important artists of the 20th century and to do so in his hometown and in his land.” In addition, the political and artistic disciple of the poster artist regrets that “there is still much to be done to recognize Renau’s contribution to the history of art and culture.”
The communist leader recalls that there is no space in Valencia where Renau’s work can be seen “permanently”. “It is only a matter of will to be able to make this possible and this work serves as an example”, adds the writing in reference to the mural entitled The future worker of communism, commissioned from the artist in 1969 by the authorities of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) and later rejected. It was “one of his favorite jobs”, recalled the illustrator Marta Hofmann.
Thus, the author of the unpublished mural intends that the exhibition of the piece serve to promote the collaboration of public institutions and the Renau Foundation and “to value the figure of the brilliant Valencian artist.” In addition, Parra has taken advantage of the meeting to review “the difficulties in which thousands of artists and creators find themselves in the Valencian Country”. “The realization of this project is an example of it,” the letter emphasizes.
The lack of enthusiasm of the Valencian institutions with the unpublished mural contrasts with top-level cultural centers in Madrid and Barcelona that were quickly interested in exhibiting the piece despite the fact that Javier Parra’s initial intention was always for the mural to remain in Valencia, the city where Josep Renau was born in 1907. The mural, originally intended to decorate an electronics industry building in the Berlin district of Wuhlheide, is part of Renau’s work during the second stage of his exile in East Berlin, where he died in 1982.
The artist, one of the greatest exponents of the communist intelligentsia and the main architect of the evacuation of the Spanish art treasure from Franco’s bombing during the Civil War, left his legacy, guarded at the Valencian Institute of Modern Art (IVAM), to a foundation that bears his name. His disciple Javier Parra also expresses his desire that the posthumous work remain in Valencia. “I want to record my wish that at some point in the future the work could have a definitive location in a public space if any institution was interested and the space was adequate,” says the letter that has been delivered to the Minister Raquel Tamarit, of commitments. “In this case, Valencia would be the priority,” she adds.