For several years Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva and the Catalan sculptor Apel.les Fenosa had adjacent ateliers in Montparnasse in Paris. The friendship between the three artists was a natural result of their day to day relationship brought about from their similar interests and the friends they had in common. There was a mutual admiration and as proof of this admiration Vieira collected Fenosa's sculptures which are nowadays at the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Given the close friendship between these three artists, the Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation decided to, and for the first time, bring the work of Apel.les Fenosa to Portugal.
The ties between Vieira, Arpad and Apel.les Fenosa were extremely strong, and so was Picasso's influence on this Catalan sculptor's work, which made him his greatest driving force. Picasso helped him set up exhibitions, bought works from him and introduced him to his friends, such as Max Jacob, Jean Cocteau, Tristan Tzara, Paul and Nusch Eluard.
Fenosa said "I owe him everything", "He brought me to life"; to which Picasso replied "Fenosa is my son from an unknown mother".
The exhibition, opening on October 15, the commissioner of which is Josep Miquel Garcia, director of the Apel.les Fenosa Foundation, shall display 77 pieces from museums and private collections, such as the Picasso museums in Paris and Barcelona, the Getty Research Institute in California, the Scallo Verlag including pieces belonging to the Picasso family, the Brassai family, Bidermanas, Georges Hugnet and Tristan Tzara.
Among these works are portraits of friends who frequented the restaurant Le Catalan, such as Cocteau, Paul and Nusch Eluard, Georges Hugnet, André Dubois and also Dora Maar which recall Paris under Nazi occupation.
Picasso was always attentive to Spanish and Catalan artists who were in exile in Paris, but Fenosa was given special attention: the friendship between them dates back to the twenties when Picasso exhibited Fenosa's sculptures in his atelier, as can be seen in most of the unpublished photographs taken by Alexander Liberman, Brassai, Gjon Mili or Edward Quinn who are also on show at this exhibition..
The exhibition also includes the unpublished correspondence between Fenosa and Picasso deposited in the Paris Picasso Museum, as well as the chronology of this friendship.
Organised by the Apel.les Fenosa Foundation with the collaboration of the Catalonia-Portugal Foundation, COPEC, the Deputation of Tarragona and the Spanish Ministry of Culture.