Cantabrian sculptor Teodoro Calderon Gonzalez was born on September 3rd 1912 in Torrelavega (where a street and a monument have been dedicated to him) and died in Valladolid, February 21st 1955.
An artist whose work, shared out among various countries (Mexico, England, Germany & Belgium ), is attached to an awareness-raising realism which transmitted with inspired clarity the inescapable drama of a hard environment, that broken Spain which he had to live in(war cut short many dreams, conditions his life and drastically undermined his health).
In 1925, he started al school of Arts and Crafts of his hometown and his qualities as an artist flourished from a young age (at 14 he carved a bargueño desk which left all and sundry, friends and strangers alike, astonished, whose front reliefs recreated with natural grace and incipient acquired technique passages of the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus).
Soon his works were the object of awards in various exhibitions and began to spread. Contributing to this were the chronicles and articles that were appearing in newspapers and arts magazines of the time.
His career was cut short in 1936 with the outbreak of Civil War. Calderon lived it from the Republican side where his skills were circumstantially channeled as a cartographer and poster artist. When the battle was over, he returned to his home in Tanos, Torrelavega, where his presence was reported by a neighbour “La Tabacalera” in Santander, he was detained there for four years suffering continuous maltreatment and abuse at the hand of jailers (threatening and systematic beating) until the rest of his sentence was commuted to exile. One aspect of the vindictive barbarism of postwar Francoism was moral punishment.
Teodoro, applying the minimum distance permitted by the authorities, was able to choose theCastilian city of Valladolid, where, nevertheless, he had the obligation to appear every fifteen days before the local authorities. This “requirement” lasted until October 1947.
In his Castilian exile, Teodoro Calderon met Encarnacion, the woman of his life, married her and they had two sons, Teodoro and Angeline. In his workshop in the city of Pisuerga, his art was to soar from the social naturalism of his first stage, where his most emblematic work stands out, an impressive high relief entitled “PEOPLE OF THE UNDERWORLD”, to a marked Expressionism in from and gesture (“the sculptural set ‘TORMENTED’, originally molleded in clay, is his later work and one which best illustrates his moral stance towards art).
A hard winter suffered by the homeland of Zorrilla 53 years ago ended the life of a good man who knew how to dream without ceasing to look at what was around him.
Teodoro Calderon González , whose memory shall never fade in the minds and hearts of those who knew and loved him, more alive than ever in his artistic legacy , breathed his last at 42 years of age the frosty early morning on February 21st 1955.
In the plenary session on 18th April 1978, a group of citizens from Torrelavega decided to propose to Don Juan Ramon tirade (who was then presiding mayor) that a street be named Teodoro Calderon Street, located in Torrelavega. Being accepted and approved in the local municipal council plenary session, this is how Teodoro Calderon Street came to be named in honor of the great Torrelavega sculptor.
Plenary Act-Town Council Lg 342:12