A Significant Archive of Published Works Honoring the Uruguayan Poet, 1959-1975
by L'Ecole-Mouvement Parrilla Esterisme
Eighteen books and six periodicals, comprising a significant archive of publications issued by the Esterist movement in Levens, France and elsewhere. Largely devotional in nature, the works praise Uruguayan poet Jose Parrilla as a god-like figure capable of bestowing spiritual enlightenment to his followers. Representative of the Esterists' later mystical period, the collection sheds light on Parrilla's transformation from an avant-garde artist influenced by Joaquin Torres-Garcia's Constructivism in the 1940s and 1950s into an isolated guru figure in the Alpes-Maritimes region of France in the 1960s and 1970s. Sizes and formats vary. Items in fine or near-fine condition. 1959-1975. Known to his disciples as "P." Jose Parrilla (1918-1994) rose to prominence as a controversial erotic and surrealist poet in his native Montevideo in the early 1940s, where, along with his wife, Alma Castillo and friend Raul Javiel Cabrera, a.k.a. Cabrerita (both painters), he drew inspiration from Joaquin Torres-Garcia's Asocacion de Arte Constructivo. Around 1944 he founded the Esterist movement and popular artistic collective comprised of writers, sculptors, and artists, named for his poem that repeats the name Ester over 700 times in 200 lines. In 1948, Parrilla, Castillo and Cabrerita moved to Valladolid, Spain, where they spread the ideas of Esterism and were instrumental in the creation of "Pascual Leteros," an avant-garde art movement including Publio Wifrido Otero, Gerardo Pintado, Primitivo Cano, Lorenzo Freschilla and Teodoro Calderon. The Letreros defied both the local art establishment and Franco's authoritarian state with their outlandishly staged performance-lectures and gallery exhibitions. After conflicts with authorities in Valladolid they moved to Barcelona in the early 1950s. Parrilla split from the group to hone the "philosophy" of Esterism, privileging an "anonymous, collective folk art" over individual production. After further controversy, Parrilla and his followers (including Cano and Fernande Dalezio, who edited and published much of the Esterist print material) moved to the South of France in 1958, where they established a commune devoted to his teachings. (Inventory #: 48285)
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