Portfolio of Twelve lithographs
Pere Créixams was a Catalan artist known for his depictions of the Spanish Civil War. Créixams, inspired by artistic revolution, created a set of twelve black and white lithographs that tell a story of war and familial bonding. The set of prints are small in nature, but carry with them an intimacy that helps shape an emotional and impactful story for the viewer. The ambiguity of these images allows for numerous interpretations. However, it is safe to say that the primary theme of the collection is that all people are being negatively affected by the war. Everyone experienced loss, seperation, and absence of family.
While the prints address the everyday lives of the Catalonian children, they also carry with them the emotion and desires of the men who are fighting for them. One of the prints depicts a soldier sitting with his family on a sofa. A question is asked “I si no tornes?” (And if you never come back?) To which the soldier responds while looking directly at the viewer, “Un esdeuenidor millor val la vida” (A better future is well worth a life). By facing forward, he appears to be speaking to the viewer, drawing them into the story the image is telling. His answer also reveals the soldier's conviction in establishing and protecting a new, prosperous future for his children, a noble and selfless task. Parents and older siblings are willing to sacrifice their lives for the potential of a better future for the next generation.
Not to our surprise, many of the pictures in this collection appear to depict the true sacrifices families had to make in order to give their kids the best life they deserved. Although the men were the only ones going off to war, we find it important to address what the women in that time period went through. Women had the responsibility of raising children alone once the fathers departed for war. This particular lithograph shows a family standing together proudly and unified saying their last few goodbyes before they part ways. The father is a soldier preparing for war while the mother holds on to the two infants. The words beneath the picture “Tenim dos infants” (we have two children) and “Per ells venceram” (we shall win for them). As the parents say these words we can’t help but feel the presence of the entire Spanish nation being portrayed
through this single family.
Mujeres de la Guerra Civil Española
(Women of the Spanish Civil War), ca. 1940
These two prints demonstrate the role of women during the Spanish Civil War, their reaction, and the roles into which they are thrust. We also see the lost innocence among children.
Qué Haces tú para Evitar Esto? (What are you doing to prevent this?), 1937
Published by the Ministerio de Propaganda, Spain
“¿Qué haces tú para evitar esto?” was created to stir sympathy from the citizens of Madrid, which was under attack from Nationalist forces for much of the war. The photo, taken by Mariano Rawicz in 1936, was created to motivate civilians to do their part to protect their loved ones and leave the city.
Escola Nova is an image from 1937 propaganda postcards, that shows a young boy and girl, studying their classwork together. The two children seem content, safe, driven towards success, and full of opportunity and peace.
Escuela Nueva Unificada
(A new school, a free people), 1936