Alberto Sánchez (Toledo, 1895 – Moscow, 1962) began as a plasterer’s apprentice alongside sculptor and decorator José Estranys. Without an elementary education he was unable to enroll at the Arts and Trades School in Madrid and instead studied with Rafael Barradas, who guided him toward a form of Neo-Cubism rooted in Cézanne. In 1927, along with Benjamín Palencia, he became part of the nucleus of the first Vallecas School of Painting. In the fall of 1933 he collaborated with Joaquín Torres García and designed the stage sets and costumes for Federico García Lorca’s itinerant theater company La Barraca.
In 1937 he participated in the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World’s Fair with a monolithic sculpture that was close to 11 meters tall and was placed at the pavilion’s entrance: The Spanish People Have a Path that Leads to a Star. In 1938, the Republican government sent him to Moscow to serve as a professor for Spanish refugee children. He spent World War II and the postwar period in the Soviet Union. After Stalin’s death in 1956 he returned to his activity as a sculptor with a series of stylized and lyrical works. He also collaborated on the set design of the film Don Quijote by Russian director Gregori Kozintsev, a referential figure in avant-garde film.