Abstract: The Encuentros de Pamplona of 1972 was the most important exhibit of avant-garde and experimental art that had ever taken place during Franco’s dictatorship. Some of the world’s most prominent artists, including John Cage, went to Spain to participate in this event. This article offers a reflection on the use of avant-garde and experimental art from the 1950s to the early 1970s in Spain. In the beginning, abstract art was accepted by Franco’s regime as a way of exporting a "liberal" and "modern" image of the dictatorship in art exhibitions. Yet the ambivalent nature of abstract experimental art made it possible to take these works as a silent protest against the regime. However, in the early 70s, a younger generation would shift their approach to experimental art forms, yet not reject them altogether: distanced by an attitude of cynicism toward the ability of film to bring about political change, they would appropriate and extend the avant-garde through parody and pastiche, thus marking the "fin de fiesta" of experimental art in Spain.
Hispanic Review – University of Pennsylvania Press