Waiting at the Shore chronicles the extraordinary life of the Spanish artist Luis Quintanilla, championed by Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Elliot Paul, and many other American and European writers and artists. In 1912, at the age of 18, he ran off to Montmartre where, under the influence of his fellow countryman Juan Gris, he began his artistic career as a Cubist. Returning to Madrid before the war he befriended prominent Spaniards, including Juan Negrin, the Premier during the Spanish Civil War. In April 1931 he and Negrin participated in the peaceful revolution which ousted the monarchy and installed the Second Spanish Republic. When civil war broke out Quintanilla helped lead troops on Madrids Montana Barracks, which saved the capital for the Republic. Because great painters, as Hemingway put it, are scarcer than good soldiers, the Spanish government [Negrin] ordered Quintanilla out of the army after the fascists were stopped outside Madrid. The artist completed 140 drawings of the various fronts of the war which were exhibited at New Yorks Museum of Modern Art, with a catalogue by Hemingway.
After the Republic lost the war Quintanilla was forced into an exile which lasted several decades. Living in New York and in Paris he strove to perfect his art, shunning the modernist vogues of the time. Although a celebrity when he first arrived in the United States he eventually fell into obscurity. This volume, which is heavily illustrated, brings him out of the shadows of neglect, and provides the compelling story of an artist who led not just an extraordinary life but left a legacy of paintings and drawings which, in both their skill and great imaginative variety, should be known to all art lovers.
Paul Quintanilla was for many years a librarian in the San Francisco Public Library, engaging with the reading public. He is now retired and living in New England. He has maintained a lifelong interest in the Spanish Civil War. He has also designed a website featuring his fathers work. All the illustrations in this book and many more can be found at www.lqart.org