The Art Museum of Girona revives "Feresa de silenci. The artists of the magazine Feminal (1907-1917)"

The Art Museum of Girona revives "Feresa de silenci. The artists of the magazine Feminal (1907-1917)"
bonart girona - 24/10/22

The Art Museum of Girona presents, until February 26, the exhibition Feresa de silenci. The artists of Feminal magazine (1907-1917). The verse that gives the exhibition its title, "amb feresa de silenci", is taken from a poem by Dolors Monserdà (1845-1919), writer and one of the first Catalan social activists and feminists. The poem, titled The Star, goes on to say that "a whole world full of mystery, rises from a world that sleeps." This is the ultimate intention of the exhibition presented by the Museum: to awaken the mysterious - so unknown - world of women artists of the early 20th century, to overcome the fear of silence and to encourage present and future speakers to gradually recover the names, the faces, works and trajectories of so many artists silenced over time.

Feminal was the first magazine directed and written by women that saw the light of day in Catalonia. Monthly, it was published in Barcelona as a supplement to La Illustration Catalana , from 1907 to 1917. It was promoted by women from the bourgeois and Catholic spheres and was inspired by some similar magazines that, under the influence of suffrage, were published in the big European cities. In almost all issues of the magazine, the plastic arts used to be present, either with articles dedicated to exhibitions of artists of the moment, or with monographic reports on some of them.

Over the course of its decade of history, Feminal published up to 74 artists, most of them painters, but sculptors, poster artists, illustrators and, to a lesser extent, bookplate artists, enamellers or photographers were also mentioned. Of these, 24 were foreign and the rest Catalan. Something is known about about fifty of them (a brief biographical note, some images, some works), and only 13 of them have been dedicated to a study or exhibition. For almost a fortnight, apart from his name and what is said about him in Feminal, his life and work are unknown. One hundred and twenty-five years after the last issue of the Feminal magazine, the silence about the artists and their work continues to haunt.

The exhibition aims to introduce women artists who worked and/or exhibited in Catalonia at the beginning of the 20th century and assess their works within their context and analyze the conditions of female artistic practice, reflect on historical memory , the oblivion and recognition of women artists and, above all, opening up future avenues of research.

Feresa de silenci brings back around twenty artists, with works from national and international museums and private collections. In many cases, only one, two or three works of artists of whom we may never know anything more are brought to light and exhibited. The importance, however, lies in showing that, despite all the obstacles, each of them knew how to create their space of freedom to develop their artistic aspirations. Feminal was one of these spaces, in which they helped each other and found the strengths and supports that society did not yet offer them.


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