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"El Paso emerged out of real need; conscious that common actions would be heard more than individual actions. The group was founded in February 1957, with the publication of a manifesto that, among other things, defended the moral necessity of action inside the country, and reported on the crisis in the visual arts in Spain caused by the lack of museums, collectors and the absence of responsible art criticism, the separation of the different artistic activities as well as the artificial solution of artistic immigration. [...] The actions of the El Paso group would carry on as long as the conditions mentioned above would continue to exist in the country.
El Paso worked intensely, both individually and collectively. Conferences were organised, informative bulletins were distributed for free, and we collaborated with writers, musicians, and architects. Important international exhibitions were organised, and there was collaboration with the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo. El Paso convinced the curator of the International Biennale, Luis Gonzalez Robles, to dedicate the Spanish Pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 1958, to this new school of informal abstraction; El Paso of Madrid, the Barcelona group and other artists that without being integrated in a particular group were as significant as Chillida, Lucio Muñoz or Guinovart. Spain had absolute success, Chillida was awarded the 1st Prize and Tàpies was awarded another important prize, and there was attention from the entire world to a group of artist's until then almost unknown. A series of artists were discovered, artists with a very personal voice, a very particular voice, a very Spanish voice. From this moment on every museum was looking for works by these artists, galleries and critics wanted to exhibit and talked about their works, and every collector wanted to have a work by the young Spaniards. As an example of the interest that was generated, in 1960, visiting New York I could see three important exhibitions of our works at the same time, in the Guggenheim, MoMA and in the Pierre Matisse Gallery. In Spain things start to change radically, and in the wake of this attention to Spanish art, new galleries and collectors appear.
Our art started as an answer to the needs of that time, with the will to transform the art world and make it dynamic, with an art that was at the same time a protest - violent, daring and mystical. A movement of self- affirmation, breaking away from formal structures and sterile certainties. Our informal art was to connect with the most profound roots of feeling and being Spanish, present in the paintings of all times: Zurbarán, Velázquez, and Goya..." (R. Canogar, at the conference, El Paso y Las Vanguardias, Instituto Cervantes, London 9 December 1998).