Inside the Celebrating Picasso 1973–2023 programme, and in one unique session, Guernica: el último exiliado (Guernica: The Last Exile) is screened, a documentary film centred on the iconic mural’s arrival in Spain seven months after the coup d’état attempt in 1981. The work, a symbol of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War and the attacks by fascist aircrafts on civilians, landed at Barajas Airport following a complex political operation devised in absolute secrecy. The witnesses and leading figures of that historic moment recount, for the first time, details around a journey which concluded the political process of the Transition to democracy and saw Spain recover one of Picasso’s most relevant works.
The screening gets under way with a presentation by Guillermo Logar, director of the short film, and concludes with a conversation with Álvaro Martínez Novillo, in charge of the negotiations, and Genoveva Tusell, a specialist in the process. Both share their accounts and experiences of that time, which are also reflected in the documentary.
Guillermo Logar (Madrid, 1987) is a screenwriter, playwright and director who is specialised in audiovisual adaptations of journalistic and literary works, and also develops documentaries and works of fiction based on real events. From 2018 to 2023 he worked, as a screenwriter and documentary-maker, on developing different film projects on Spain’s Transition to democracy, in addition to directing the documentaries El Año Decisivo and Guernica: el último exiliado, which both premiered in 2022. He has also produced feature films like The Other Kids (2016) and Indestructible. El alma de la salsa (2017).
Álvaro Martínez-Novillo (Madrid, 1948) is a historian and art critic whose research focuses on the conservation of historical heritage and the dissemination of contemporary art. From 1979 to 1982, he served as Deputy Director of Fine Arts and, with Javier Tusell, was one of the leading figures in the negotiations conducted by the Spanish Government to bring Guernica back to Spain.
Genoveva Tusell (Madrid, 1975) is a professor in the Department of Art History at Spain’s National University of Distance Education (UNED) who holds a PhD in Art History. Her research explores Francoism, the relationships between art and politics and the international impact of artists in the 1950s and 1960s. She has also conducted different studies on Picasso and Francoism, in addition to the arrival of Guernica to Spain. These investigations have resulted in books such as El “Guernica” recobrado. Picasso, el franquismo y la llegada de la obra a España (Cátedra, 2017).
Guernica: el último exiliado
Spain, 2022, colour, original version in Spanish with English subtitles, 19’
- Guillermo Logar
- The R. Mutt Society, with funding from Spain’s Ministry of Culture and the European Union
- Director of photography:
- Irene García-Martínez
- Juan Manuel Gamazo
- Fernando Aliaga
- Pelayo Rey
- Executive production:
- Fernanda Valencia and Guillermo Logar