Pepe Morales

1933 – 2018


The painting constitutes the painter’s discourse, a discourse that hardly needs to be said, it is addressed to every spectator (of today, of tomorrow, of whenever: because every painter paints forever): The theme is, no more and no less, the content of the discourse.

It is clear that without technique or aesthetics, or without aesthetic technique, there is no work of art, but these are necessary conditions, not unique or sufficient. The aesthetic technique of any painter – or any writer – is merely a vehicle through which the plastic discourse becomes possible.

What Pepe Morales’ theme says to me is, above all, the level of reality in which he seems to be situated when he paints. It has nothing to do with empirical reality, but rather with that other area of reality that is the dream world, a world that demands, immediately, a symbolic reading… and that is inspired above all by the anguish that arises when one is forced to encounter what one does not want to see.

Carlos Castilla Del Pino

Biography of Pepe Morales
1933: Pepe Morales was born on December 25th in Palma del Río (Córdoba).
1936: After the outbreak of the Civil War, the family moves to Seville; shortly after, his mother dies as a result of a childbirth.
1944: He learns photography retouching at Rueda’s workshop in Seville.
1945: At the age of 12, he registers in the School of Arts and Crafts of Capuchins in Seville, attending this school until 1948.
1949: He enters the Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de Santa Isabel de Hungría and at night he attends the classes of the Escuela de Artes y Oficios.
1952: He founds the “Joven Escuela Sevillana” with other artists and participates in its first salon. He belongs to the group of poets and painters “Camilla del Guadalquivir”.
He was awarded the Royal Mastery Prize in the Autumn Exhibition, the Federico Torralba Prize of the School of Hispanic-American Studies of Seville and a landscape scholarship for La Rábida (Huelva).
1953:He obtains the title of professor of drawing; he is not interested in teaching and travels painting landscapes in the North of Spain.
He obtains the first prize in the Provincial Exhibition of the SEU in Seville. He is selected in the Exhibition II Biennial Hispano-American Caribbean Countries.
1954: He makes his first individual exhibition in the Municipal Hall of Cordoba about landscape themes.
He travels to Italy and France.
He is selected for the II Hispano-American Biennial in Barcelona.
He is integrated in the groups of young painters from Seville.
1956: He had his second individual exhibition at the La Rábida Club in Seville. The poet Manuel García Viñó presents the text of the exhibition.
1957: He travels and works in England for a year, where he holds two collective exhibitions with Spanish colleagues in Warrington and Altrinchan and exhibits his works at the doors of the Tate Gallery. In Berta Studio, where he works (advertising agency of a Catalan), he meets Spanish exiles; experience that means the beginning of his political and social awareness that will be a constant throughout his life.
In London he attends classes in natural drawing at the Saint Martin School of Art.
He begins his abstract experiences with materials such as papier-mâché, jewellery stones, fabrics, etc.
1958: Individual exhibition at the Ateneo Gallery in Seville where he exhibits his abstract experiences, this being the first exhibition of this trend held in Seville. The exhibition has a profound impact on the artistic world of Seville, which is not used to having this type of work hung in its art galleries. The critics are disoriented and, in most cases, “scandalized”.
He wins the honorary painting prize at the National Painting Exhibition in Gibraleón (Huelva).
1959: He decided to travel and live in Paris; he enrolled in engraving at the Ecole Superieure des Beaux Art.
He starts his experiences of works built with rusty sheets. With one of these works he obtains the II prize in the IV National Contest of Painting of Cordoba and the Infante Orleans de Borbón prize in Sanlucar de Barrameda. He is selected for the IV Hispano-American Biennial in Quito (Ecuador).
He takes part in the Biosca Prize Exhibition in Madrid.
He belongs to the Italic group in Seville.
1960: He married Concepción López Cañete in Seville and moved to Córdoba. He connected with the artists from Córdoba and took part in collective exhibitions.
1964: He took part in the Cordoba Salon with his sculpture-painting work.
1965 – 1969: He took part in several collective exhibitions (Labour University of Córdoba, Céspedes Gallery, etc.)
1970-1978: In view of the socio-political demands, he tries to contribute with his painting to social morality. He abandons abstraction and fully approaches a plastic formulation, symbiosis of realism, expressionism and surrealism, in which thematic contents play a fundamental role. He begins the so-called “black stage”
He exhibits his new works in individual exhibitions, at the Studio 52 Gallery in Cordoba, Madrid and Valencia and in various collections