The Intrarealism art movement - What is it?



Within the Spanish visual arts tradition of the 20th century, Guirado stands out as one of the few artists whose characteristic work stems from the concepts of Intrarealism. Intrarealism, a term that was coined by the ambassador, writer, Spanish pacifist and Professor at Oxford  University, Salvador de Madariaga in 1965.

The term Intrarealism was coined in a critique that art historian of theSalvador de Madariaga wrote about Vallmitjana’s exhibition entitled, ‘Hallucinating and Hallucinated Spain’ which was held at the O’Hana Gallery on Oct.-Nov. 1965. At this point in time Juan Antonio Guirado lived in Sydney, Australia but Manuel Quintanilla, who wrote a monograph about Guirado and used the term, Intrarealism to describe his work was aware of Vallmitjana’s 1965 exhibition.  It is an art movement that is very particular to its time in history, with the beatnek revolution of searching for truth beyond what is surface. It was a time of questions and radical free thinking and experimentation. Part of the experimentation was of course with drugs including marajanna and LSD which was believed to open the THIRD EYE.



Like Surrealism, Intrarealism is a reality that is expressed through hallucinations, the subconscious and oneiric states (dreams). However, whilst Surrealism has drawn delirious images from this, images which are irreconcilable with reality, Intrarealism seeks to draw images that are ‘real’. “Much more real than the reality of the mundane which is affected by social conventions, atavisms, tradition, reservations etc.” The objective of all Intrarealists is to find and convey a deeper reality. This would be the basis for an artistic movement that would not only encompass visual art, but also includes the world of prose and poetry. The manifesto was printed in the catalogue of an intrarealist exhibition that was held at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. 


Artists that belonged to this group of intrarealists initially led by Abel Vallmitjana were; G. Bassi, Armand Cardona Torrandell, R.P. Cordukes, I. Cubells, Novello Finotti, Silvano Girardello, G.L. Mellini, C.Mensa, August Puig, the collector and famous Spanish judge Cesario Rodriguez Aguilera ( whose foundation at the University of Jaén owns a work by J A Guirado) , G. Rossi, O. Staccioli, R. Tortelli, Abel Vallmitjana, I. Vivarelli  and  Norman David Narotzky (Brooklyn Museum, MOMA, Whitney Museum). It should be noted that these Intrarealist artists  were not only painters but sculptors and filmmakers (in Vallmitjana’s letter to Madariaga he mentions that Federico Fellini was also part of this initial Intrarealist group



Between Intrarealism and the Baroque - by Laura  Revuelta - Art Critic, Curator & Editor in Chief ABC Culture, Spain



Man and the world: Guirado underlined this time and again. This was the key to his work and the link that tied him to the Intrarealist movement to begin with, a movement that was born in Spain but spread over the entire Mediterranean under the premise of absolute liberty of action for those who were attracted to its principles and intellectual ambitions. Intrarealism, unlike Surrealism, did not expel those who were disobedient, those who did not worship the father. Almost a decade after Guirado went to Australia and began his international journey, the first exhibition dedicated to this movement [Intrarealism] took place at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence (1967). “In the history of the art of our time there are moments in which there is a need to express something new, and to express it in a different way,” wrote Cesáreo Rodríguez in the catalogue of this first exhibit. “There was a feeling of restlessness, of desire, but a crystallization into concrete expressive forms was lacking.  The creating artist was in charge of taking the first steps down the new path which, at the same time, or slightly later, the critic or the intellectual will point at and name, using the term that will acquire a character and permanence of its own. If this happened with Impressionism, Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism, and with so many other significant movements, an analogous process was to be expected for Intrarealism. The fact that this movement uttered its first words in Spain, that it was named there, that an important group of artists and an important number of critics, poets, writers and intellectuals identified with the purpose of this new movement should not seem at all strange— taking into consideration its purposes and Spain’s current and historical reality.” The text goes on by giving names and highlighting Salvador de Madariaga, whose writings introduced the term “Intrarealist.”