Support to the Gallery A|34 in Barcelona Founded by Paco Rebés and Setting-up two Exhibitions in 2020

Project location: Spain, Barcelona
Project start date: July 2020 - Project end date: February 2021
Project number: 2020-034
Beneficiary: Francisco Rebés Ordeig

Paco Rebés is a Catalan art-gallery owner whose name is, at the same time, closely linked to flamenco. Born in Barcelona in 1921, his interest in art began in childhood. At the end of the Spanish Civil War he entered university to study Chemistry, while also attending drawing and painting classes, with his friend Antoni Tàpies, at the art academy directed by Nolasc Valls. During those years, other friends included Joan Ponç, Joan Josep Tharrats, Joan Brossa, Josep Guinovart, Marcel Martí, Jordi Mercadé, Erwin Bechtold and Mariette Artigas.

In the 1940s, he began painting at the studio of Marcel Martí. At that time, he met two gypsy girls, La Chunga and La Pepa, who proposed modelling for the artists. Thanks to Paco Rebés –who discovered her talent and would become her manager– La Chunga became an important flamenco dancer and the muse of several writers like Blas de Otero, Rafael Alberti, José Manuel Caballero Bonald and León Felipe, and of painters such as Miró and Dalí. She was known for her barefoot style of flamenco and was described as "The Barefoot Dancer".

In 1956, when La Chunga took part in a Hollywood movie, Paco Rebés accompanied her, first to New York and then to Mexico, where he met and established firm relationships with many exiled Spanish artists and intellectuals: the poet León Felipe, the architect and specialist in flamenco Domingo José Samperio, the painter Rivero Gil and the writer Jaume Miravitlles. 

Paco Rebés returned to Barcelona in May 1958. In 1963, he collaborated on the production of Los Tarantos, a Spanish music-drama film, directed by Francisco Rovira Beleta. The movie was filmed in Barcelona and Paco, who had the job of finding actors, proposed hiring Carmen Amaya and Antonio Gades. The film was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, competing with Otto e Mezzo by Federico Fellini.

After the summer of 1963, Paco Rebés met Gades again and became his manager; as he was of other flamenco artists such as Paco de Lucía and Camarón de la Isla, with whom he travelled throughout Europe, America and Japan.

In the mid-sixties, the German promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau, who had spread gospel and blues through Europe, decided to make known the most authentic, less folkloric flamenco, with tours in Germany and other European countries. Between 1965 and 1970, they organized concerts of artists proposed by Paco: La Singla, Faíco, Toni el Pelao, Camarón de la lsla, El Lebrijano, Paco de Lucía, Enrique de Melchor, Paco Cepero, Marote, and La Tati, among others. They created the music label L + R to record several live concerts. The first, like the tour entitled Festival Flamenco Gitano, was a huge success (just reissued, in 2020, to celebrate the concert's fiftieth anniversary). The texts were commissioned by Paco from the poet Caballero Bonald.

In the first half of the seventies, while still organizing flamenco artists’ tours, Paco Rebés began to combine his work as a manager with that of art advisor to galleries and collectors.

In 1974, he opened a first, ephemeral gallery: the Casablanca Gallery, in New York’s SoHo. For three years in the mid-1980s, he directed the Galería Paco Rebés at the Antiquarian Centre of Barcelona. There, he exhibited the work of Torres-García, Gargallo, Palazuelo and drawings by Picasso from the Maya Picasso collection, among others.

In 2005, he inaugurated Galería A34, a space where he exhibits modern and contemporary art, alongside primitive and folk art and furniture.

Since the end of 2007, the gallery has held many varied exhibitions. Some have been dedicated to historic, consecrated artists such as Picasso and Miró, while others have shone attention on artists who are little known in Spain, such as Catalan photographer Joan Vilatobà or the Romanian Saul Steinberg.

A number of contemporary artists who exhibit at the gallery live and work in Catalonia: Antoni Llena, Estrada, and Ramiro Fernández Saus. Others are foreign artists, such as Robert Janz and Jeff Cowen from the United States, and Macaparana from Brazil. The list of those who have participated in group exhibitions is very broad.

The Paco Rebés project proposal aims to help Galería A34 overcome this moment of international crisis, both economic and social. This project received a grant from the Nando and Elsa Peretti Foundation to support two exhibitions, which will be organized in the last months of 2020 and early 2021.

Given the current situation, the schedule may vary. As for the inaugurations, we do not know if they can be done due to social distancing measures and the current capacity limits.

With these restrictions in mind, it has been decided not to organize solo exhibitions of active artists.

Gabinete (provisional title)
September – November 2020

The first voyages of exploration during the 16th century opened the door to a new world that stretched the imagination’s limits and knowledge.
Then, in the European Renaissance, emerged “cabinets of curiosities or cameras of wonders”, small collections of extraordinary objects that used to be organized into four categories: artificialia (antiques and works of art), naturalia (objects of mineral, vegetable world and animal), exotic (exotic plants and animals) and scientifica (scientific instruments).
These cabinets offered personal versions of the world that reflected the owners’s taste and personality.
The exhibition will present a selection of furniture, objects, books, photographs, sculptures, prints and drawings selected by Paco Rebés. 

Érase una vez... (provisional title)
December 2020 – February 2021

It is an exhibition expressly conceived for children with the intention of bringing art closer to them through historical and contemporary works.
Art education specialists agree that getting in touch with artworks is essential to sensitize and develop children’s love for art.
Paco Rebés remembers that when he was a child he went every week with his parents to visit exhibitions and he would like to recover that habit.
The exhibition will include furniture, toys, books, photographs, prints, drawings and videos.

The gallery staff, in addition to the attention to visitors and sales management, deals with the following tasks:

Artworks selection
Exhibition design
Loan management
Transport (whenever possible)
Adequacy of space
Installation and dismounting
Framing management

Francisco Rebés Ordeig
think global, act local
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