The message of Picasso’s Guernica

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Spanish Civil War and the 30th anniversary of the military dictatorship in Argentina, the Samuel J. Zacks Art Gallery in Stong College is presenting its new exhibit titled, Presencia Tangible Presence. The exhibit is based on Pablo Picasso’s war mural Guernica and features digitally designed posters with text and photo based with descriptions about how Picasso created the mural.

Members of the York community are invited to an opening celebration for this unusual exhibit. The event will feature readings and presentations from Hispanic-Canadian creative artists. It will take place in the Samuel J. Zacks Art Gallery, Room 109, Stong College on the Keele campus, on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 4:30 to 6:30pm.

Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso, inspired by Picasso’s horror at the Nazi German bombing of Guernica, Spain, on April 26, 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The air raid destroyed the city, killing an estimated 1600 people and injuring many more.

The huge mural was produced under a commission by the Spanish Republican government to decorate the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris International Exposition (the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris). Today, Guernica symbolizes the destructive impact of all war.

Presencia Tangible Presence is sponsored by the Embassy of Spain in Canada; the Consulate General of Spain in Toronto; Zacks Gallery in Stong College, York University; the Department of Hispanic Studies, Glendon College; and the Cultural Celebration of the Spanish Language (Celebración Cultural Del Idioma Español/CCIE) at Glendon.

The exhibition will run from Oct. 9 to 27. For more information contact Zacks Gallery at ext. 33055 or e-mail