Alicia Penalba (1913-1982)


Hommage à César Vallejo




266 x 58 x 38 cm

Edition of 4 + 1 E/A

Foundry: Susse Fondeur, Paris


Alicia Penalba, Malba, Buenos Aires, Argentina, cat. n° 9A


This bronze sculpture was conceived by Alicia Penalba in 1955 and cast in an edition of 4 + 1 E/A by Susse Fondeurs, Paris.

César Vallejo (1892-1938) was a Peruvian poet, writer, and journalist. Vallejo is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in Latin American and world literature, known for his innovative use of language and his exploration of themes like social injustice, human suffering, and existential angst. Vallejo was born into a lower-middle-class family and faced economic challenges throughout his life. He attended the National University of Trujillo and later pursued studies in literature at the University of San Marcos in Lima, the oldest university in the Americas. Vallejo's poetry is characterized by its unique style, which blends modernist and avant-garde techniques with deeply emotional and socially conscious themes. His use of language and syntax often challenged traditional norms, resulting in a distinct poetic voice that resonated with readers. Some of his most famous works include the poetry collections "Trilce" (1922) and "Los Heraldos Negros" (1918), as well as the plays "La piedra cansada" (1931) and "Colacho hermanos" (1934). "Trilce" is particularly notable for its experimental language and complex themes. Vallejo faced political persecution in Peru due to his leftist views and was imprisoned multiple times. He spent a significant portion of his life in Europe, particularly in Paris. He died in Paris on April 15, 1938, at the age of 46, due to a combination of health issues and poverty. Vallejo's legacy is enduring and influential. He is often considered a precursor to the Latin American literary boom of the mid-20th century, which produced writers like Gabriel García Márquez, Julio Cortázar, and Mario Vargas Llosa. His works continue to be studied, analyzed, and celebrated for their linguistic innovation and exploration of human suffering. César Vallejo's contributions to poetry and literature have secured his place as a significant figure in the cultural history of Latin America and the world. His ability to blend personal emotions with broader social and existential concerns makes his work relevant and impactful to this day.


Palm Springs Museum, California, United States
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France


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