List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum

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  • Liubov Popova. Painterly Architectonic (Still Life: Instruments), 1915. Oil on canvas. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
    18 december, 1991 - 17 february, 1992

    There was constant desire to develop a new and absolute artistic language throughout the different art movements of the early twentieth century, especially those which end up linked to political projects. The principles of universality and overcoming mimetic art which these avant-garde trends are governed by, suppose an experimental review of the actual artistic components. In the Russian art scene of the first quarter of the century Liubov Popova (Ivanovskoe, Russia, 1889 - Moscow, 1924) stands out because of her dedication to the pursuit of an artistic vocabulary that would respond to the principles of Constructivism from the pictorial scene. She understood that pictorial construction was a precursor to real three-dimensional construction. The exhibition aims to highlight Popova as an artist-painter and not as an artist-engineer, posture and attitude that most of her peers adopt, according to the new ideal of post-revolutionary Soviet society. Despite this, as noted Magdalena Davroski, curator of the exhibition: "components of her concept of "construction" are essentially the traditional tools of every artist, but she interprets them as real materials."

  • Vista de sala de la exposición. Confrontaciones. Arte último británico y español, 1991
    11 december, 1991 - 18 february, 1992

    The term that lends its name to this exhibition is used to bring the work of sixteen British and Spanish artists together in one unique space, selected for this third instalment of Confrontaciones (Comparisons). The aim is the positive and open comparison in art practices, conducted in different geographical locations by authors from the same generation. On one side, the specifics of the recent artistic past in each country (in Spain's case, the eighties is defined for the most part by pictorial practice) are reflected in this collection of work whereby artists share different aspects, attitudes and processes that are used to depict a critical dimension in their pieces. As vindicated by the selected works on display, and asserted by the art critic Félix Guisasola, at the beginning of this decade: “A trend towards objectualisation (sculpture, installation, objects) substantiates a development in the approach of art genres and bears witness to a change in the prominence of the artist (from expressionist gestures and attitudes to the autobiography or total concealment of the artist behind the opacity of the works).”

  • Exhibition view. Robert Therrien, 1991
    27 november, 1991 - 24 february, 1992

    This exhibition, made up of over sixty works by Robert Therrien (Chicago, 1947), opens the possibility of a more in-depth look at the artistic discourse of a young North American artist whose work has only recently started to receive international recognition, despite his career beginning at the end of the sixties. Therrien's art can be found, voluntarily, somewhere between painting and sculpture, blurring the boundaries of art practices; it recognises the simplicity of process, of formal references and the resulting work. Yet the artist eludes any classification and does not ascribe to current waves of contemporary art such as Post-minimalism.

  • 7 october, 1991 - 2 december, 1991

    The work of Nicolas de Staël (Saint Petersbourg, Russia, 1913/1914 - Antibes, France, 1955) typifies another possible route for post-war art - the pleasure of painting. In France after the Second World War painting is not only confined to vindicating its role as a medium for representing the experience of horror and human barbarity, as demonstrated by Alfred Otto Wols, Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, whose works mark a destructive reaction in contrast to European artistic and cultural traditions. de Staël goes beyond the division of war by tracing his own genealogy in avant-garde figures such as César Domela, Hans Arp, Henri Laurens and, primarily, Georges Braque and his compatriot, André Lanskoy. His painting cannot be defined as abstract, but drifts more between the experience and exploration of reality and is able to formulate a new figuration by arriving at the essence of forms through analysis. Over the space of ten years, de Staël's career starts with an initial admiration of the leading figures in the history of European painting (Tiziano Vecellio, El Greco, Jacopo Bellini, Andrea Mantegna, Jan Vermeer, Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Eugène Delacroix), and ends with the persistent questioning of the foundations of modern painting via Paul Cézanne and Vincent Van Gogh.

  • Salvador Dalí. Visage du Grand Masturbateur (Face of the Great Masturbator), 1929. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    1 october, 1991 - 2 december, 1991

    The surrealist movement, definitely visible and theoretically debated with the publication of the Manifeste du Surréalisme (1924), written by André Breton (Tinchebray, France, 1896 - Paris, 1966) is a cosmology organised by and about Breton himself. His revolutionary pretensions, which are visible in all his publications, expositions and determinations, are understood as the will of general subversion (through action) in all areas of daily life, starting from poetry and art and moving to ethics, religion and politics. Thus, Surrealism is not only an artistic and literary expression, but a stance against the traditional values of culture and the bourgeois society and against realism in art. He supports the idea of an inner model in all creative acts, of otherness, absolute automatism (applied to poetic and artistic practice) as well as the adoption of meta-artistic methods that come from psychoanalysis, such as hypnosis, which allow the release of human consciousness and a return to a primitive and primordial state of thought.

  • Jorge Rueda. Pepino (Cucumber), 1975. Photography. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    19 september, 1991 - 22 december, 1991

    The exhibition Cuatro direcciones. Fotografía contemporánea española. 1970-1990 contains a dual purpose. For one, it provides an overview of the names that have made up the history and practice of Spanish photography over the last twenty years, and secondly, it takes the first step towards creating a documented base which will be useful in the future for expanding its study and knowledge. The curator of the exhibition, Manuel Santos, has had the support of an international committee of experts in the selection of the photographers. Four areas or lines of work have been established for the presentation, they address the conceptual and stylistic differences of the fifty artists that are participating in the exhibition. These are: 1) "Reflection and concept", which shows the use of conceptual ideas and imagery of surrealist heritage, 2) "Dream and suggestion", where the authors develop concepts of insight and emotion, 3) "Documentary tradition" which comes from the natural order of life, focusing on social, cultural and political aspects and which sometimes refers to photojournalism and documentary photography, 4) "Means processes", in which the artists explore and push photographic means and materials to their limits, allowing them to develop a new image language.

  • Julian Schnabel. Epitafio (L.S.J.T) (Panel tumba V), 1989. Sculpture. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    16 september, 1991 - 31 october, 1991

    The Palacio de Velázquez is the venue for the exhibition organised by Grupo 16 in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. El Salón de los 16 is an initiative by the editorial group to promote the dissemination of Contemporary Art. In its first editions this annual conference focuses on bringing together the work of new generations of artists from Madrid though, as time moves on, the El Salón de los 16 broadens its plan to incorporate the whole of Spain. This, the eleventh exhibition, displays foreign artists' work alongside preeminent figures in Spanish art in what is considered an overview of the best exhibitions from 1990-1991.

  • Pablo Picasso. Mujer en azul, 1901. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    5 september - 10 november, 1991

    The exhibition Picasso, Miró, Dalí and the Origins of Contemporary Art in Spain, 1900-1936 seeks to articulate Spanish artistic production (in several and well-known cases produced outside Spain) based on the concept of "Art Nouveau". Eugenio Carmona, curator of this exhibition gives an instrumental value to this concept and explains it as a principle that underlies much of the art that is performed during the first decades of the twentieth century. In this type of art there is evidence of a desire for a renewal of artistic languages, the paradigm of which is identified by the Spanish artists in contemporary European trends. From this perspective, the exhibition proposes a debate with Spanish art in tune with the names and aesthetic and theoretical avant-garde ideas, gathered under the umbrella of Modernism, while at the same time embedded in them. In this way, Spanish artists that have as reference the various "-isms" (Cubism, Futurism, Ultraism (Ultraísmo), Surrealism and Realism) participate in the international dimension of avant-garde art. Still, as the curator points out, "Art Nouveau" was not the only option Spanish art had in the period between 1900 and 1936.

  • 18 june, 1991 - 21 august, 1991

    This exhibition devoted to the painter Joaquín Torres-García (Montevideo, 1874-1949) aims to present his work chronologically throughout his career and identify his logic according to his theoretical and aesthetic discourse. The objective is to highlight how the principles of tradition, construction and universality are the constants on which the work of Uruguayan are based throughout his artistic journey, which extends for the whole of the first half of the twentieth century. The words of Tomas Llorens, curator of the exhibition, referring to Torres-Garcia’s work summarises the purpose of the exhibition: "[his work] is inseparable from the sharpness and coherence of the views he defended as an artist."

  • Exhibition view. La Escuela del Sur. El taller Torres-García y su legado, 1991
    18 june, 1991 - 12 august, 1991

    The constructive universalism project, foundations to Joaquín Torres-García’s (Montevideo, 1874-1949) artistic and theoretical productions reaches its peak when the artist returns from Paris to his hometown in 1934 and the following year organises the Constructive Art Association (1935-1939), preceding the Torres-Garcia Workshop (1943-1962). El Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía joins both ideas with these two extensive exhibitions: Torres-Garcia’s career and his artistic legacy, the latter exhibited under the title La Escuela del Sur. El taller de Torres-García y su legado. Established in Montevideo, Torres-Garcia implements the idea of organising a workshop which converges, showing his artistic equality, aesthetic and theoretical, principles of pre-Columbian art with those of avant-garde abstract art, the development of which he had been instrumental in as a member of the group Cercle et Carré.

  • Gustavo Torner. Ocre-Chatarra oxidada, 1961-62. Painting. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    28 may, 1991 - 28 july, 1991

    The retrospective exhibition dedicated to Gustavo Torner (Cuenca, 1925) aims to highlight the multifaceted character of one of the most outstanding Spanish artists living in the second half of the twentieth century. Torner joins the group called Cuenca, which emerges in the fifties and is close to artists from the group El Paso, he exemplifies the possibility of an art that will never abandon references to the real world as a reason and rationale, from a seemingly abstract visual vocabulary. The compiled works include the various registers and techniques used by Torner: painting, sculpture, collage, drawing, monotypes and bibliophile collections, added to which are fourteen video projections over some of his work.

  • Martín Chirino. Homenaje a Malevich, 1986-1987, Sculpture. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, Madrid
    10 may, 1991 - 21 july, 1991

    The exhibition of sculptural works by Martín Chirino (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1925) provides an overview of a career that began in the fifties and reaches today; it proposes a dual recognition of the Chirino persona. On one hand, as heir to the Spanish sculptural avant-garde of the first half of the twentieth century, following that initiated by Julio González and Pablo Gargallo, in addition to his particular interest in the Canarian Aboriginal culture (Guanche). On the other, for his outstanding role in the renewal of artistic languages used post-war, through his participation in the group El Paso, of which he was a founding member, in 1957. This group marked the emergence of an art rooted in Spanish tradition, while at the same time critical of the social and political situation; this also led to the internationalisation of the authors and their works.

  • 7 may, 1991 - 10 june, 1991

    The exhibition devoted to the graphic work of writer and painter Pierre Klossowski (Paris, 1905-2001) presents a selection of drawings made between 1953 and 1990 to the Spanish public. These chronological boundaries frame a unique production on the European scene and among his contemporaries.

  • 12 march, 1991 - 22 april, 1991

    The exhibition dedicated to Gilles Aillaud (Paris, 1928-2005) consists of nearly fifty paintings which allow for a complete view into the work of one of the leading representatives of the pictorial trend called critical figuration that emerged in Paris around 1963. For the exhibition's curator, Christian Derouet, his style of painting is one that wants to "find a proper expression of what is real again, without nostalgia for the past." The two principles upon which he bases his work and his aesthetic discourse are the recovery of real painting, to which he confers a transitive value (that is to say, the painting has to be something), and the radical denial of neo-avant-garde rhetoric of modernity. Although Aillaud decides to devote himself to painting late in life, in around 1963, he never abandons his other occupations: playwriting and set design. In this regard, it is important to note the personal, artistic and professional links he maintains with Eduardo Arroyo and Antonio Recalcati, with whom he worked several times in the staging of various texts signed by him.

  • Exhibition view. Nacho Criado. Pieces of water and glass, 1991
    6 march, 1991 - 1 may, 1991

    In this exhibition at the Crystal Palace, Nacho Criado (Mengíbar, 1943 - Madrid, 2010) submitted eight new projects under the theme Pieces of water and glass, where the pieces merge with the materiality of architecture and the enclave of the building, in front of a small lake in Retiro Park. In this way, glass is the common element in all the presented pieces, which he emphasises as visual antimatter (in the Duchampesque sense of the term) and in which he also explores their sensual, symbolic and especially metaphorical loads. The pieces that make up the exhibition have been chosen especially for the exhibition but - as indicated by the exhibition curator, Simon Marchan - it must be noted that there are certain recurrences in them "as they reflect a dilated time, almost untimely, to creations that reject nomadism and ooze manifestations of the present." In that way, within an artistic career influenced by his forays into Land Art, Conceptual Art, Arte Povera and even the Minimal, without categorically ascribing to any of them, Nacho Criado uses glass to set up games of transparency and reflection, and for this he also alludes to and envokes, explicitly or implicitly, water.

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