The collective of photographers which operated under the name AFAL Group hailed from the publication AFAL, a magazine specialised in film and photography, published over a six-year period, from 1956 to 1963, and coordinated from Almería by José María Artero García (Almería, 1928–1991) and Carlos Pérez Siquier (Almería, 1930).
This exhibition explores Russian avant-garde art through the perspective of the Anti-art canons associated with the international Dada movement. The anti-academic work of Kazimir Malevich to eclipse classical art and the transrational language experiments (zaum) of Velimir Khlebnikov and Aleksei Kruchenykh are just some of the early contributions which substantiate the reasoning behind this show.
The Portuguese-born Brazilian artist Artur Barrio (Porto, 1945), winner of the Velázquez Prize for Plastic Arts in 2011, has been one the foremost figures of Action Art and conceptualisms in Latin America since he burst on to the Brazilian art scene in the late 1960s, at a time fraught with political tension and mounting repression under the military dictatorship. Interventions in public spaces and the search for a place of expression outside art institutions converge in this artist as a symbol of resistance to poeticise daily life, with the body of the artist the focal point of these actions in a critique of social coercion.
The sculptures and installations of Nairy Baghramian revise inherited forms and concepts as they address notions such as functionality, abstraction and feminism. With a clear reference to Art History and modern architecture, notably Minimalism and Surrealism, the artist calls into question the strain that exists between aspects such as function and ornament, industry and craft, among others. Her sculptures, made of steel, resin, silicone, and leather, often assume organic forms where visible protuberances and recesses in human physiology and subjectivity, as well as interior design and decorative objects, resound.
The photography of Marc Pataut (Paris, 1952) is structured around the formulation of research projects which address those political and human issues which often stand outside art institutions’ parameters.
The work of Beatriz González (Bucaramanga, 1938), widely regarded as one of the seminal artists from the Colombian art scene, occupies a unique place in the history of Latin American art — not only is she a pioneer of Pop Art, but also, almost without calculation, an incisive and coherent chronicler of recent Colombian history.
The exhibition Comics Revisited highlights the crossings of the comics genre and the visual arts. Born at the end of the nineteenth century after many historic precursors, it underwent various mutations with respect to its forms and publics. When Stéphane Mallarmé wrote that ‘everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book’, today it seems that everything, from the Bible to the most iconic literary masterpiece, ends up in a comic.
The exhibition Pessoa. All Art Is a Form of Literature takes its title from a quote by Álvaro de Campos, one of the most avant-garde heteronyms created by Fernando Pessoa (Lisbon, 1888–1935), and published in the influential Portuguese magazine presença.
Upon finishing his degree in Politics and African Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, William Kentridge (Johannesburg, 1955) moved to Paris for a year to study theatre and mime.
Esther Ferrer (San Sebastián, 1937), a pioneer and one of the foremost representatives of performance art in Spain, began participating in the activities of the Zaj group — with Walter Marchetti, Ramon Barce and Juan Hidalgo — in 1967.
George Herriman (New Orleans, 1880 – Los Angeles, 1944), regarded as one of the foremost American cartoonists, was part of a generation of pioneering artists who developed their work in the newspapers that started to feature comic strips at the turn of the twentieth century. Herriman’s work was hugely influential among a broad array of artists, including Willem de Kooning and Öyvind Fahlström, as well as intellectuals and writers such as E. E. Cummings, T. S. Eliot and Jack Kerouac
The work of Doris Salcedo (Bogotá, 1958) is deeply rooted in the social and political circumstances of her native Colombia, although she does occasionally address problems in other contexts — a case in point being the project she has devised for the Palacio de Cristal.