The Eugenio Granell Foundation was created in Santiago de Compostela in 1995. Eugenio Granell is a surrealist painter who was born in A Coruña (1912-2001 Madrid), and spent his childhood and youth in Santiago de Compostela. Granell began his artistic life as a violinist. He became politically involved in Madrid while he was studying music at the Conservatory and joined the POUM political party. Granell began to paint in 1941 in the Dominican Republic where he lived after his exile at the end of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The artist frequently said that he had always been a surrealist: “I was born a surrealist, as a child I did architectural drawings and drew fantastic palaces and when I met the surrealists I knew I had already done all of that”. His identification with this movement was made soon after meeting André Breton, the author of the Surrealist Manifest (1924), in the Dominican Republic in 1941.
Eugenio Granell lived in Guatemala and Puerto Rico until 1956. In these countries he worked as a newspaperman and taught art. He moved to New York City in 1957 where he was professor of Spanish and Spanish Literature at Brooklyn College until he retired in 1985. He earned a PhD in Sociology from The New School for Social Research. His published thesis is Picasso’s Guernica. The End of a Spanish Era (1967). Granell and his wife Amparo moved to Madrid in 1985 when he retired as a professor.
The foundation owns works by the painter himself (oils, drawings, constructions, collages, found objects, photographs), works by other surrealist artists (Miró, Lam, Caballero, Copley, Rodríguez Luna, Esteban Francés, Duchamp, Steinberg, Césariny, Cruzeiro Seixas) masks and objects from different countries that the artist and his wife collected throughout their lives.
The purpose of the foundation is the study of Granell´s work, of Surrealism and all related arts. For this purpose temporary exhibits are organized in the museum throughout the year. Selected pieces from the collection are rotated and shown in various halls.
Besides art exhibits, the Foundation also offers theatre, workshops for students and diverse groups, chamber concerts, conferences, guided tours. With each exhibit the Foundation publishes a catalogue.
The Foundation also owns Granell’s vast personal library, letters and documents. The Foundation itself has a second growing library principally dedicated to surrealism and the art of the 20th and 21st Centuries.