Zacarías González is not a brand that appears in several art books or catalogues. It’s not an identity that appears for the title tags in numerous public galleries. It does appear linked to the name of any less than significant building in Calle Alcaron in Salamanca, the Casa-Museo Zacarías González.
Zacarías González was a performer. He seemed to be a teacher. He taught drawing. He came to be in 1923 and died in 2003. He lived almost all of his life in Salamanca, metropolis of his birth. He spent time in Madrid, some on national service in Navarra and, later in life, in the event the Castilian winter was felt more keenly, he headed south to Alicante. He was obviously a lifelong teacher of drawing and painted within his spare time. He does not appear to have travelled extensively.
In the Calle Alcaron gallery, a visitor can see nearly all of the artist’s life’s work, which divides itself across three broad periods, the representational, the abstract along with the re-discovery of an changed realism. Zacarías González is basically unknown in international art circles, hardly known even Spain and is a reputation that only aficionados in Salamanca would recognise. So why devote articles to him? The answer is simple. It’s the expertise of the experience that deserves publicity and wider appreciation.
In his biographical note within the gallery’s excellent catalogue, Louis Javier Moreno observes that for a lot of twentieth century artists, the life span is the art. In the case of Zacarías González, however, he insists this should be inverted to ensure that for this artist, the art was his life. These are pictures which can be intensely personal, enigmatic, intellectual, reflective, self-analytical, self-critical, refined, ascetic. They are also incredibly beautiful. At daft does this work try and shock, have noticeable individuality above communication, use overstatement to momentarily shock. Everything here simply communicates.
As a designer, Zacarías González appears to have visited several last century styles within the same analytical method in which an interested tourist might study a new place. He seems always to possess been learning, but his powers of assimilation were considerable. He notices stylistic detail, contextualizes it within his very own experience then, in lieu of copy its dictates, he uses this assimilated language to speak a personal world in visual form.
And so now, in three floors of the Casa-Museo from a modest house, we’re also presented with recognisable associations of early Picasso, cubism, di Chirico-like surrealism, Tapies-like enigmatic abstraction, classical forms that could have been painted for the plaster of Pompei, Klee and Rouault and in all likelihood quite a lot more. But these are certainly not copies. They aren’t imitations. They are personal works that inhabit a stylistic world and make use of the language of the world to share with you potential expression and so, via that learned assimilated language, state something profoundly personal, thereby quite different from the still identifiable influence.
The gallery’s website can easily be found by enetering the name as well as placement into a online search engine and many in the works it houses can be viewed there. Personal highlights included Cerrada hasta octubre, Fuga, Fuego fatuo, Charra, La tunecina, El viaje del Dios, Viejo, viejo Mondrian, La suite de Nueva Orleans, and lots of more.
One with the joys of operating Spain is to discuss the oft-expressed pride in local heroes, whether they are artists, writers, musicians, architects, or whatever. From the famous, for example Dali in Figueres or Chillida in San Sebastian or Sorolla in Madrid (which, obviously, was his residence, not his birthplace) to your less well-known internationally for instance the Galician painters in Ourense and Pontevedra, those with the Almería school, or Basque artists in Vittoria or Bilbao. Each town in each province generally seems to express a nice, understated pride in local achievement and, crucially, devote resources to celebrate that achievement with always understated, but real pride. There could possibly be queues of tourists in Figueres, but one often should seek out those galleries that display local work. One needs, by way of example, to book a meeting to visit the Chillida. Also within Salamanca, there’s an e-mail link around the Casa-Museo website that enables a stop by at be pre-arranged. One can’t just show up to visit for the Casa-Museo Zacarías González. But do not be deterred. The appointment is straightforward to obtain, as well as the rewards are memorable.
The visitor to Salamanca may have the cathedrals, the University, the palaces plus the stunningly beautiful old town for the list, let alone the art nouveau gallery. But do not allow the apparent obstacle of experiencing to arrange visiting this gallery deter you. Any stop by to Salamanca by a person with the slightest fascination with art ought to include a trip on the Casa-Museo Zacarías González. You will not be disappointed.