(Secret conversation) - from the portfolio Front-Stalag 122 by Manuel Cano de Castro

(Secret conversation) - from the portfolio Front-Stalag 122 by Manuel Cano de Castro

(Secret conversation) - from the portfolio Front-Stalag 122

Manuel Cano de Castro

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.
Title

(Secret conversation) - from the portfolio Front-Stalag 122

 
Artist
Year
1944  
Technique
lithograph 
Image Size
10 7/8 x 8 1/2" image size 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
22 of 58  
Annotations
pencil dated and editioned 
Reference
 
Paper
ivory laid 
State
published 
Publisher
Casa Grafica, Costa Rica 
Inventory ID
24317 
Price
$250.00 
Description

From a portfolio of lithographs Castro created in 1944 illustrating his experience in a deportation and internment camp during World War II. From 1942 to early 1944 Castro was imprisoned in Camp B - also known as "Camp Americaine" - in the Royallieu-Compiegne in German-occupied Northern France. It was the only entirely-Nazi operated camp in the country. Castro, who was a Spanish resident but who had been born in Costa Rica, had connections through distant family to a Costa Rican lawyer at the Sorbonne, who was able to have Castro extradited to Costa Rica for the duration of the war. Castro created Front-Stalag 122, a portfolio of twelve images of his time in the camp, on August 19, 1944, a few months after his return to his birthland.

Castro's portfolio is thought to be the first lithographic portfolio created in Costa Rica; it was certainly the first to be published by La Casa Grafica. Said Castro of the work: "I had to reconstruct from memory the scenes of life in the concentration camp because the originals were taken from me by the Germans when I left. When you have had strong emotions, you just have to work from memory. I have insisted on extracting from the life of Compi├Ęgne how much sadness it had, avoiding the anecdote." - Cano de Castro, American Repertoire, 1944.

Interestingly, despite his paternal connection to the Central American country, and despite his unique life and international reputation, the portfolio was not celebrated among Costa Ricans; in fact, no historical documentation or mention of Castro seemed to exist there at all until very recently. According to an article in La Nacion written by Maria E. Guardia Yglesias (July 24, 2021), global wars had not made much of a mark on the people of Costa Rica at that point, and Castro's dark and troubling art, therefor, was not especially understood or welcome.

On March 24, 2022, the opening of the exhibition "Manuel Cano de Castro: Rediscovering a Master of Lithography" took place in Costa Rica at the Museo de Arte Costarricanse.

 
Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email artannex@aol.com to purchase this item.