To sum up de Chirico (Volos, Greece, 1888 – Rome, 1978), he is among the most important creators of the early avant-garde artistic movement. Everyone knows him as the father of metaphysical painting thanks to his compositions with a forced perspective where mannequins live alongside essential architectural elements such as palaces or chimneys, without a human in sight.
One of his first self-portraits (he created many) was called 'What shall I love if not the enigma?' And enigmas are just what you'll find in de Chirico exhibition at the CaixaForum. There's the audiovisual display that shows clips of interviews with the artist. In one of them, he talks about being a big defender of animal rights. 'But you eat fish', objects the interviewer. 'Yes', de Chirico responds, unfazed, 'because once they're dead, it's the best thing you can do for a fish.' And there's the 'Rosebud' of the exhibition – an exhibition that bascially shows re-readings of the mystic period (1910-1929) done after the Second World War, with the date often changed by the painter himself. In other words, the exhibition is of restored de Chirico paintings that have been restored by de Chirico himself. And so nobody's scandalized, you must bear in mind that this painter and writer was one of the pioneers of postmodernism.
He was as much misunderstood as his works were forged. And de Chirico, with his ego well fed, plunged himself into a baroque game of shadows, forced perspectives and self-references. What I regret, it has to be said, is that the powers that be at the CaixaForum, haven't better unravelled this rich, fruitful double enigma.