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Ángeles Santos: A short brush with the avant-garde

  • Her important work is all from 1928 to 1930, even though she lived to the age of 102

This is a profile of an artist whose work is currently on show at the 'We are completely free. Women artists and surrealism' exhibition at the Picasso Museum in Malaga. Read more about it here.

She was born in Port-Bou in Catalonia in 1911. At the age of 14, at boarding school in Seville, she discovered a passion for drawing. Soon afterwards, she moved with her family to Valladolid.

“It is interesting that many of these women's lives were marked by constant travelling and moving,” says José Lebrero. In 1928 and 1929 she held exhibitions at the Ateneo in Valladolid, and in 1929 she was invited to the Autumn Salon in Madrid, where she exhibited three pictures. One, 'Un mundo', which is today part of the Reina Sofía Art Museum collection, caused a sensation, so much so that in 1930, aged 19, a room was dedicated exclusively to her.

In the 1930s she exhibited in Copenhagen, Paris and even Pittsburgh. In 1936, she married painter Emilio Grau Sala, who had to go into exile. “And then it all stopped. Her important work is all from 1928 to 1930, even though she lived to the age of 102. Sometimes the modern, the avant-garde, only lasts for a short while,” explains José.