EXHIBITIONS / TLALAATALA. José Luis Castillejo and Modern Writing

18 October, 2018 - 13 January, 2019
Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, CAAC
Manuel Olveira, Henar Rivière

José Luis Castillejo (Seville, 1930–Houston, 2014) was an experimental writer or, as he preferred to call himself, a modern writer; in any case, a key artist for understanding the complex broadened field into which contemporary writing has morphed and its connection with other artistic fields such as painting. If there is one word that defines the work of Castillejo it would be exceptionality. His art was exceptional, both from the point of view of the objectives he pursued and the means he employed. His results were also exceptional, as is the way in which he is currently received.

His objectives can be summed up in his attempt to attain understanding and freedom, confronting a human being’s most acute need: to search for answers, especially those related to the meaning of reality. His medium was writing, understood as an independent art form capable of transcending reality through its inherent qualities (words, books, ink and signs, among others). The result is a highly original oeuvre: Castillejo was the only exponent of his own school who was directly connected with the most cutting-edge developments in art and thinking at the time, and played a key role in the progression of experimental writing in Spain.

This first retrospective dedicated to the artist presents his oeuvre from the early stages of his career as a member of the group Zaj to his later years. The objective is two-fold: to reconsider a response to his work and to prepare the way for a historical assessment of it. Such an¬ appraisal is an essential contribution to the history—as yet only partially written—of experimental writing, and of other associated artistic practices in Spain.

The exhibition is accompanied by a book bearing the same name, which contains an extensive illustrated catalogue of works and essays by various authors (Ediciones La Bahía, 2018) and by a facsimile of The Book of Letters (2010).


Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, CAAC
See catalogue


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