Text and Image, a Perfect Symbiosis

José García Tella Through His Personal Archive

27 October 2023 - 9 February 2024 /
Nouvel Building, Library and Documentation Centre, Space D

Free ticket

The cultural history of Republican exile lacks an adequate space for the multi-faceted José García Tella (Madrid, 1906 – Paris, 1983), a self-taught artist who remained in obscurity after his trajectory became blurred during French diaspora. The adroitness he was able to develop throughout his life as a photographer, film-maker, dramatist, art critic and painter underscores his capacity for social analysis to build his own discourse, formed from his own experience.      

The impact of the Spanish Civil War and the distance, nostalgia and dejection of the exile awakened in García Tella a sense of belonging to his country of origin and a constant evocation that are visible in his artistic production. Text and image dovetail seamlessly in his work, and he drew from both tools to transmit a direct and sincere message, stripped of any decorum and with a yearning to perpetually show the reality of the time.      

In exile, his participation in the Manifeste d’intellectuels espagnols réfugiés en France (1939) with other Republican exiles and his later work as a theatre critic and promotor in diaspora shows his evident commitment to Spanish culture.

This documentary exhibition looks to place value on the figure of García Tella, foregrounding the multi-faceted nature of his work. The photographs, drawings, newspapers and documents conserved in his personal archive make it possible to reconstruct the different events and vicissitudes he experienced throughout his life, as well as the evolution of his practice and the myriad spheres and disciplines from which he approached his work.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Reina Sofía

Monday to Friday, from 9am to 9pm


Inmaculada Real López


Documentary Exhibitions, Library and Documentation Centre


Charles and Sylvie Tella

Additional material:

Exhibition information sheet: Text and Image, a Perfect Symbiosis. José García Tella Through His Personal Archive

Free ticket