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Manuel Augusto García Viñolas

García Viñolas Donation. Mapfre Foundation Collections

He was born in Murcia in 1911. Tireless traveller, journalist, promoter of No-Do and general director of Cinematography during the Civil War, cultural attaché in Brazil and Portugal or art critic, are just some of the occupations of his long and interesting life. Manuel Augusto García Viñolas is also remembered for his friendship with García Lorca, Alberti, Gregorio Marañón, Dalí, Cela and Raúl Romero, among others. He died in Madrid on June 26, 2010, aged 99 years.

Vocational and curious collector, García Viñolas became interested in drawing when work on paper did not matter to almost anyone. The result of this great hobby is a magnificent collection composed of 160 drawings that, endowed as a whole with a strange coherence, cover an important part of twentieth-century Spanish art. In the year 2002, García Viñolas donated his collection of drawings to the Mapfre Foundation and, as a token of appreciation and in his tribute, the Foundation established in his name an important aid for the cataloguing and conservation of Ibero-American collections of drawings Donation Garcia Viñolas. collections in the Mapfre Foundation, made up of drawings by different artists, including Mariano Fortuny, Sorolla, Daniel Vázquez Díaz, Rafael Alberti, Raúl Romero and Luis Gordillo.

Going through the collection we discovere a series of notes and academies of the late nineteenth century, almost all signed, which together seem to announce, through its cosmopolitan and modern sense, but also traditional art, the figurative and luminous vocation of all the pieces of the collection. Most of the rest of the drawings are the work of contemporary artists of the collector with whom García Viñolas maintained personal relationships: Bores, José Caballero, Benjamín Palencia, Sáenz de Tejada, Genaro Lahuerta or Alberti are some of the names of the generation of the years 20 and 30 of the twentieth century that are part of this set. This closes, in a masterful way, with the drawings of Manuel Viola, Juan Barjola, Grau Saints or Carmen Laffon, among others.

On the occasion of the generous donation, two publications were published. On the one hand,  “Plural semblance of Manuel Augusto García Viñolas“, which brings together a series of previously published texts that seek to praise, from different points of view, the figure of the collector, and a catalogue that reproduces the totality of the collection donated by Viñolas and with the valuable collaboration of Delfín Rodríguez, as well as Veva Tussel and Iván López Munuera.

Friends, García y Romero, critic and painter, “his most important critic”, and his greatest mentor. They had a common passion: Art. He said of him “Exciting brush and pencil. Maybe Raúl is the best artist I have ever met “, and Romero -in friendship and affection- immortalized him in a series of charcoal that we now show you exclusively. Unpublished. In memory of both. Art!

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