The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain

As a result of the health crisis, the museum will be open under special conditions, and this situation will remain in place until further notice.

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This exhibition, "The Laughter of Space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain", s San Telmo Museum’s tribute to Picasso’s "Guernica" on its 80th anniversary. A tribute made up of two realities which speak to us about the creative rocess, research and the mechanisms of creation, at the same time as showing us an impossibility, that of exhibiting certain pictorial aspects and developments due to the interpretation of the current intellectual property laws. The exhibition, therefore, is concerned with art, creation and the system in which t is articulated from the starting point of a powerful detonator, Picasso’s "Guernica".

  • From 25th November to 25th February 2018
  • Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-20:00.
  • Admission: 6 €
  • Curator: Dani Castillejo
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain
The laughter of the space (Guernica). José Ramón Amondarain


Earlier this year, on April 26th, it was the 80th anniversary of the bombardment of the town of Gernika, an event  that gave rise to the best-known work of the 20th century: Picasso’s Guernica, the Guernica that belongs to  everyone. This was the birth of an icon, of the most powerful and most deeply penetrative symbol as an artwork  in the visual subconscious of the history of the last century.


The catalogue of the exhibition

In memory of this fact, five years ago the San Sebastián author José Ramón Amondarain formulated a project which aimed to reveal Pablo Picasso’s work process, to bring forth knowledge  regarding the decisions he made when carrying out the work, to  iscover how he was able, in 33 days, to find solutions with  such freshness, expressive agility and reformist creativity in a  work which contains within itself the idea of catharsis, the same idea that Aristotle formulated more than two thousand years  ago in his Poetics: the transformation which takes place in human beings through the representation of tragedy. That investigation gave rise to a work called URGENCIA, an anagram of the word GUERNICA, in which, from the  experience of painting, eight intermediate stages of Guernica are approached from the starting point of the  reportage images made by Dora Maar, photographer and lover of the artist, in which time is frozen and different  phases of the making of  the painting are captured.

Today, those eight canvases are rolled up, at the entrance of this exhibition, giving substance to the impossibility of being shown, as we have said , due to incompatibility of  criteria in the application of the Law of Intellectual Property.

The Laughter of Space forms within itself one of the possible developments of this initial investigation. The works you are going to find allude to different attributes  arising from Amondarain’s deep knowledge of Picasso’s Guernica. They are abstractions that bear some relation to  aid work, but they are isolated. Questions such as the format, dimension, invisibility or camouflage; the  materiality of the painting and the purely procedural and formal aspects are the tools with which to explore the  encounter of this work with our personal contemporary imagination, with the added meaning that each one of us  brings to this painting.

Four large canvases with the same title, The Laughter of Space, give structure to almost a thousand elements between drawings, photographs and objects, all works made from different movements,  transformations and constructive logics, and which point out inner potentials of a transcendental work for universal history, Pablo Picasso’s Guernica.

Activities and guided tours

More detailed information about the activities (in spanish)

Moreover, guided tours are also available for groups by prior reservation: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / 943 48 15 61


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  • Ayuntamiento de Donostia-San Sebastián
  • Gobierno Vasco
  • Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa
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