The Exhibition entitled “Rubén Darío: A history in paper fragments”, organized jointly by the Complutense University in Madrid (UCM) and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation in Development (AECID), with the collaboration of the Enrique Ochoa Foundation and the Reina Sofía Museum, shows publicly for the first time the series of drawings entitled “Internal Images” by the painter, artist and humanist Enrique Ochoa (1891 - 1978). In this way, the Exhibition about Rubén Darío commemorates the centenary of the poet’s death, celebrating his life and works in a comprehensive programme of activities, which will take place in the Historic Library of the UCM and the Library of the AECID.
The work in question is “Internal Images”, a series of 12 original drawings in pen and ink (each 42x49 cms) realized between 1914 and 1917 by Enrique Ochoa. These drawings are exhibited publicly for the first time in Madrid, together with an oil on canvas self-portrait of Ochoa painted in 1930.
According to José Estévez, President of the Enrique Ochoa Foundation, “the style of these drawings, which show great sensuality, corresponds to the modernism that Ochoa championed in this period, starting with his first exhibition in the capital in 1915. And his allegorical and poetical symbolism complements the illustrations that the painter made for Rubén Darío in the 22 volumes of his “Complete Works”.
The drawing have been selected from a larger collection of 40 pieces belonging to the Enrique Ochoa Foundation, that the author himself called “Internal Images”, dividing his themes into 2 sections: (A) Symbolic allegory of eternity and the cosmic theosophy proper to the Modernist cosmovision and (B) The portrayal of the painter’s bohemian life in his attic in Paris during those years.
Rubén Darío charged Enrique Ochoa with illustrating his “Complete Works”. In Madrid Ochoa frequented the circle of the great play-writer and modernist critic José Francés, who introduced him to the political coterie of Gomez de la Serna, Emilio Carrere, Lasso de la Vega, Hoyos y Vinent and Correa Calderón. This was to be his intimate circle in the Mardid of 1915 – 1917 as a hungry painter well-known by the press (La Espera and Blanco y Negro), flag-bearer of Modernism and Art Deco together with his friends the sculptor Juan Cristobal and Luis Bagaría, draughtsman for the daily newspaper El Sol.
The Enrique Ochoa Foundation, which is itself commemorating this year the 125th anniversary of the painter’s birth, is delighted to join in the memorial to the great Nicaraguan poet, journalist and diplomat Rubén Darío (1867 - 1916) during the centenary of his death at the age of 49.
Ochoa distinguished himself from his earliest beginnings as an exceptional portrait painter in the context of the first quarter of the 20th Century, distinguishing himself also by his masterful drawing technique as an illustrator of books or of the major reviews of the period, such as “Esfera”, “Nuevo Mundo”, “Mundo Latino”, “Estampa” or “Blanco y Negro”.
Considered as the father of literary Modernism in Spanish poetry of the 20th Century, Darío was the author of “Azul” [Blue] 1888, “Prosas Profanas” [Profane Prose] 1896 and “Cantas de vida y experanza” [Songs of life and hope] 1905, amongst other significant works. He was both a journalist and reporter, working in France, Italy and Spain, where he established a strong relationship with Juan Ramón Jiménez, Antonio Machado and Valle-Inclan.
It should be noted that Rubén Darío travelled in 1913 to Mallorca, where he stayed in Cartuja de [Charterhouse of] Valldemosa, as had Frederic Chopin and George Sand and that from 1940 to 1949 Ochoa retreated to Cell number 4 in the same place. It was in this mystical place that Ochoa created his “Musical Painting”, in which he created images inspired principally by the musical compositions of Chopin, but also by the Great Masters such as Beethoven, Debussy, Bach, Albéniz and Falla.