The exhibition, Masterpieces from the Guggenheim collection. From Picasso to Pollock manages to combine two unusual events: bringing together over one hundred and twenty masterpieces from the history of art in the first half of the twentieth century and bringing out the personalities of the two major collectors, on whom the foundations of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York were made. Thus, this exhibition presents the history of art interwoven between works of art and the story of a collection made up mainly by the legacies of Solomon R. Guggenheim (Philadelphia, 1861-New York, 1949) and his niece Peggy Guggenheim (New York, 1898-Padua, Italy, 1979), to which other funds and acquisitions made over the history of the institution have been added.
Image in movement biennial ’90 exhibits a selection of works made between 1988 and 1990 whose common denominator is the use of video, film, television or computer, both as a support, and as a medium. The exhibition brings together a wide and varied set of works that are involved in some way with the term "image in movement" in its most extensive sense.
Organised into three main areas (drawing, painting and sculpture) related to Alberto Giacometti's productions (Borgonovo, Switzerland, 1901 - Chur, Switzerland, 1966), the Alberto Giacometti exhibition is the first retrospective exhibition of this artist in Spain. This exhibition was proposed in order to contextualise his work and highlight his attachments and positioning from events and names that mark his artistic and life career, which not only impacted on his work but also allowed him to move outside of the tightly defined limits in art. For this reason the reciprocity between his artistic biography and his work, among which includes literature (notes, writings on his work and dairies), is focused on. On the other hand, and in addition to the previous premise, the exhibition develops a line of reading material that seeks to highlight the idea of the artist’s trade present in Giacometti, where drawing as a fundamental means stands out.
The purpose of this retrospective exhibition is to contextualise Antoni Tàpies' (Barcelona, 1923-2012) vast productions of sculptures and objects throughout his career, insisting on the unity and insolubility of all his work. For this, all works have been collected that were produced between 1946 and 1990 and which have as a common denominator the assemblage (assembly) as a process and technique, something which serves to support the three objectives of the exhibition, in the words of Gloria Moure, curator of the exhibition: "It highlights the radical, the compactness and the contemporaneity of Tàpies' work."
In the context of critical readings from art history, Memory of the future. Italian art from early avant-garde to post-war shows the approach to the first sixty years of twentieth century Italian art, under the premise that its continual renewal is rooted in tradition. The exhibition does not consider memory and the future as interchangeable terms, comparable or opposed, but defends the idea that modern Italian art arises from their mutual contamination and friction. Thus, Memory of the future breaks the chronologically linear art history story and allows more recent artistic and cultural memories to play a more active role. In this feedback of Italian art, the art of the future is assumed to be a tradition which is yet to be completed.
This Antonio Saura (Huesca, 1930 - Cuenca, 1998) exhibition, organised by the Musée Rath and Museum of Art and History in Geneva, is held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the presentation of Museo del Prado collections in Geneva in 1939.
This exhibition is one of the most extensive on Latin American art seen to date in Spain. At the Palacio de Velázquez over four hundred works have been displayed showcasing the artistic wealth in Latin American regions starting from the Wars of Independence against Spain (c. 1800-1821) until 1980.
La Asociación de Amigos del Reina Sofía was established in 1987 as the result of a group of entrepreneurs coming together to create a collection. The acquisitions of pieces is done as an individual initiative, but the character of the collection is public, it cooperates with institutions and is made available to as many citizens as possible.
Miquel Navarro (Mislata, 1945) is one of the predominant figures in what is known as “New Spanish Sculpture”. He begins his career in the Sixties with a pictorial style that he himself classifies as Expressionist and in 1974 he creates his first Ciudad (City), a collection of modular, repetitive and geometric forms grouped together in compositions that simulate urban networks and create cityscapes that are spatially positioned like a sculptural installation.
The Irish-born American painter Sean Scully (Dublin, 1945) starts to work with Abstraction at the beginning of the Seventies. He becomes interested in the humanisation of painting in opposition to formalist parameters; according to Scully his work can be summed up in the move “from the object line to the subject line”. The directions, represented by horizontal and vertical lines and the tensions they create, are at the heart of his production. This new geometrical approach, which moves away from the idea of purity and appropriates errors, reflects the troublesome relationship between the individual and the collective and opens up a new field of reflection, previously unknown to abstract painting.
The aesthetic approaches of the Equipo Crónica (Chronicle Team) (1964-1981) evoke the visual atmosphere of an era. The group materialises as one of the most coherent ideas from the figurative movement, which, at the beginning of the Sixties, attempts to leave informalist Spanish painting behind.
The Centro de Arte Reina Sofía has been chosen by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bonemisza as the venue for displaying one of his latest acquisitions: the painting Mata Mua (Autrefois) by Paul Gauguin(Paris, 1848 - Atuona, French Polynesia 1903).
A selection of the best works from the Beyeler Collection is presented for the first time in public. The exhibition in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía brings together previous exhibits devoted to private collections, for instance the Panza di Biumo, Nasher, Sonnabend and Phillips collections.
In this exhibition sixty-two works by Ferran García Sevilla (Palma de Mallorca, 1949) are presented under the title La torre de papel (The Tower of Paper). His artistic career gets underway in the Sixties with his initial work being linked to Conceptual Art; it later moves into the pictorial sphere at the beginning of the Eighties.
Ulrich Rückriem (Düsseldorf, Germany, 1938) begins working as a sculptor in the Sixties after an intensive education in a stonemasons workshop where he learns the profession and stone cutting techniques - filing, splitting, smoothing and polishing. His experience in this craft forms the base from which he begins to formulate his own sculptures.
Dada and Constructivism, two art movements characterised by having emerged at critical moments in history: World War I and the Russian Revolution. Nevertheless, despite these similarities, they have often been considered by historians as counter-posed given that the first focuses on intuitive thought and the transrational while Constructivism delves into objective beauty and pure forms.
The body of work by Philip Guston (Montreal, Canada, 1913 - New York, USA, 1980) is on display in Europe for the first time, although his later work was previously exhibited in Whitechapel in London. Following the initial waves of surrealist and metaphysical language, Guston becomes one of the preeminent figures of Abstract Expressionism in the Fifties.
This exhibition recaptures the artistic atmosphere of Berlin, considered one of the hubs of modern art during the first three decades of the century, between 1900 and 1933. The exhibition displays not only works produced in the city by Berlin artists, but also others that have appeared via other exhibitions or channels.
Richard Artschwager (Washington, 1923 - Albany, 2013) has dedicated his output to exploring the construction of meaning in works of art. By challenging conventional painting and sculpture, and operating outside stylistic classification, Artschwager's artistic output is primarily made up of: furniture sculptures made from wood and Formica as an imitation of wood as well as pictures painted on industrial material called celotex and sculptural forms painted or covered in rubber that he calls “blps”.
Disappointed by the reaction to his work and in an act that questions the mechanisms of access to contemporary art, in 1970 John Baldessari (National City, USA, 1931) burns his pictorial work, produced between 1953 and 1966, giving rise to the Cremation Project. From then on the American artist uses words and photography as his mediums of expression, considering them ideal for an easy and direct public reception.
Russia is the first country to begin importing works by Henri Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis, France, 1869 - Nice, France, 1954). Following the significant success of his paintings at the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1905, the works of the young artist begin to reach Russia, although the collector Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin - who also purchases works by Claude Monet, Paul Gauguin and other young avant-garde artists such as Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck and Kees Van Dongen - becomes interested in Matisse's work even before his first exhibition is held in 1904 at the Parisian gallery Vollard.
Duncan Phillips, the grandson of a steel magnate and son of a businessman, shows an interest in art from an early age, which is encouraged by his family via a modest annual fund dedicated exclusively to acquiring works of art. The sudden death of his father and brother causes him to honour them by publicly exhibiting acquired works in one area of their mansion. Duncan Phillips acquires around three hundred paintings and adds them to the two dozen or so works already in his possession to open the Phillips Memorial Gallery in 1921, thus turning the collection into the first modern art museum in the USA.
The premature death of Werner Bischof (Zurich, Switzerland, 1916 - Trujillo, Peru, 1954), at the age of just thirty eight, after his jeep falls off a cliff with two other passengers in the Andes Mountains, cuts a promising career short that had already shown signs of great potential during its eighteen years of development.
Them symbolic and ceremonial nature of the medal means that it is the form chosen by the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (The Royal Mint of Spain) to commemorate the bicentenary of Carlos III, whose reign was a particularly productive period for Spanish numismatics. Emblematic pieces minted in the Royal Mints around the Peninsula and overseas have been arriving; however, it is the field of medals that marks a more prominent period, as, in contrast to the rigidity of coins, medals embody the spirit of Illustration and reflect the creative freedom of engraving artists.
Rufino Tamayo (Oaxaca, Mexico, 1899 - Mexico City, 1991) is one of the preeminent figures in twentieth-century pictorial movements in Mexico. A tireless worker and incessant traveller, Tamayo's influences from a wide range of cultures is reflected in his paintings and makes them universal in the process. Furthermore, his artistic oeuvre also encompasses movements such as Impressionism, Cubism, Futurism and metaphysical painting.
Christian Boltanski (Paris, 1944) defines himself as a painter, though from 1967 onwards he stops working on purely pictorial material and instead focuses on creating varied technical pieces in which content plays a key role. In some ways he considers his pictorial strategy through other mediums, but still retains his fictional and figurative approach.
In 1919 the Staatliches Bauhaus in Weimar (State Bauhaus in Weimar) is established through the merge of the Weimar Academy of Fine Art and the Grand Ducal School of Arts and Crafts. It is founded by Walter Gropius, who applies his simultaneous experiences from the art schools and also has illustrious precedents such as the Deutscher Werkbund German association. In April 1919 its first manifesto is published, and the following year Bauhaus has more than one hundred and thirty pupils under its roof, equal in the number of men and women.
José María Sicilia (Madrid, 1954) is one of the most preeminent representatives of Spanish painting in the Eighties. He embarks upon his artistic career in the San Fernando Fine Arts School in Madrid and then subsequently moves to Paris, in 1980, where he meets two other equally important Spanish artists of the time, Miquel Barceló and Miguel Ángel Campano, along with José Manuel Broto and Ferrán García Sevilla.
The photography of Joel-Peter Witkin (New York, 1939) does not go by unnoticed since his core themes of sex, pain and death are explored with great intensity and sordidness. Teeming with pornographic nudity and references to Art History, for the artist his work is a medium through which he sees and re-enacts fantasies not found in everyday life.
Contemporary sculpture is characterised by a variety of unprecedented styles, themes and mediums. The Nasher Collection is one of the most representative and complete private sculpture collections in the twentieth century that faithfully reflects this diversity. The pieces, amassed by Raymond Nasher since the Sixties, are spread out in Dallas between his house and NorthPark, an office complex and shopping centre created by Nasher himself.
During the first half of the Seventies, a series of American artists develop a set of aesthetic approaches that aim to free art from its function of representation - associated with figurative tradition - as well as its ideological content. Thus, with the use of related volumes, materials and mediums that identify a work of art solely with itself, Minimalism is born.
When Marcel Odenbach (Cologne, Germany, 1953) begins to exhibit his work in West Germany in the Seventies the art scene is dominated by American art, apart from the work of a handful of artists such as Joseph Beuys. Yet the work of Odenbach is based on different principles and has more experimental leanings with its use performance and audiovisual materials.
One of the most salient characteristics of the work of Antoni Muntadas (Barcelona, 1942) is the use of mass media content for art purposes. The broad vision of his work, as well as the diversity of visible interests and mediums, is portrayed in this Muntadas exhibition in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. Four works spanning from 1978 to 1987 are reconstructed in the exhibition halls in addition to five video pieces and two compositions created solely within the context of the exhibition: the installation Situación and the catalogue piece Híbridos.
Carl Andre (Quincy, USA, 1935) is one of the key figures of Minimal Art, developed at the beginning of the Sixties in the USA. The artist has fashioned his own highly recognisable style, taking the literal nature of the materials to the extreme in the development of his sculptures as his work pays heed to the fundamental principles of the movement.
The exhibition El siglo de Picasso (A Century of Picasso)brings together works from the Spanish avant-garde produced among thirty-four artists between 1910 and 1970, the majority from overseas collections. The exhibit is part of the exhibition programme Five Centuries of Spanish Art, whose journey begins in Paris. It is divided into five chapters linked to important historical events and also includes two detours to take in other significant historical phenomena.
The eighteen painters and sculptors comprising ACTA 88 bear witness to the general panorama of plastic arts in Madrid at a particular moment in time. This exhibition enables the artistic output and circumstances surrounding the epoch to be recorded, representing a kind of cross-section of the most up-to-date creativity in Spain.
Naturalezas españolas (Spanish Nature) is an historical review of the most significant art movements in Spain spanning four decades and analysed from the monographic perspective of nature. The common thread of the exhibition is divided into the following sections: “Facing Nature”, “With Nature”, “On Nature”, “Beyond Nature”, five propositions representing the five different models between art and nature.
Presented in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Ileana and Michael Sonnabend's collection is an important testimony to twenty-five years of artistic activity in the United States and Europe. Many of the works in this collection are key to understanding the art of our times; it encompasses many of the predominant art movements, such as Pop Art, Minimal Art, Arte Povera, Antiform, Conceptual Art, American and German Expressionism, Neo-minimalism, Neo-conceptualism and multimedia practices.
José María Sert (Barcelona, 1874-1945), one of the great Spanish muralists, was one of the most sought-after and controversial artists of his time. Descendant of the Catalan Renaixença (Renaissance) and trained in Modernism, he crafts his pictorial style on the peripheries of the stylistic trends of the time, applying aspects of Orientalism, clear Baroque influences and a kind of Goya-esque Expressionism, as well as a potent imagination, to create and adapt themes based on a grandiloquent narrative.
Joan Miró (Barcelona, 1893 - Palma de Mallorca, 1983), one of the most important artists in the history of twentieth century Spanish art, is represented with over four hundred works from the State Collection of Spain. Due to the promulgation of the Cultural Heritage Law in Spain in 1985, the State has been able to incorporate a large number of the Catalan artist's works into its collection that were previously absent. Besides the works donated by the artist's widow, Doña Pilar Juncosa, or by Joan Miró himself or his heirs, the State has incorporated the remaining works assembled in their collection through: direct acquisitions, payments by means of inheritance rights or Income Tax, all of which can be added to donations by Margerite and Aimé Maeght and the Maeght gallery in Barcelona. In total: forty paintings, seventeen drawings, forty-three sculptures, over three hundred etchings and eighteen artist books.
Along with the rest of Europe, the beginnings of video art in Spain are determined by the approach of plastic arts to this new medium, as the possibility of innovation within its aesthetic explorations gets underway.