The career of artist Abraham Lacalle (Almería, 1962) begins at the end of the Eighties, and to date he has had numerous collective and individual exhibitions, mainly in Madrid and New York. In his work constant - ironic and sarcastic - references to the most important art and literary movements that emerge throughout the 20th century can be strongly discerned.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía exhibition dedicated to Manuel Rivera (Granada, 1927 - Madrid, 1995), in the Benedictine Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, acknowledges the poetic dimensions of his metallic fabrics and the lyricism manifested in the mysterious geometry of light and colour. It can also be added to the exhibit dedicated to Rivera in 1997.
Born to a Spanish father and Mexican mother, Germán Gutiérrez Cueto (Mexico City 1893-1975) is one of the first modern sculptors on the American continent. This exhibition, held in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, features a series of individual exhibitions devoted to Mexican artists: Vicente Rojo, José Luis Cuevas and Francisco Toledo, among others.
Jorge Oteiza (Orio, 1908 - San Sebastián, 2003) is one of the most relevant Spanish artists of the 20th century with his highly personal work. Oteiza's sculptures examine the relationship between volume and space brought about by early avant-garde movements, particularly Constructivism, whilst also sharing a distinct penchant for abstraction, spirituality and humanism with other artists. His career begins in the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Madrid (The Madrid School of Arts and Crafts) where he produces and exhibits his first sculptures, influenced by Jacob Epstein, Dimitry Tsaplin and Alberto Sánchez. In 1935 he travels to Latin America, where he exhibits in various cities while also working as a teacher and carrying out research into Pre-Columbian sculpture. This period also sees him write some of the essays that are key to understanding his artistic output.
The paintings, drawings and photographs of José Manuel Ballester (Madrid, 1960) stand out for their unique interpretation of architectural space and light. Ballester begins his career with painting, paying particular attention to the techniques of Italian and Flemish art from the 15th and 18th centuries. In 1990 he starts to blend painting and photography in order to focus on architectural photography. The maturity of his artistic output has also seen him win the Premio Nacional de Grabado (National Etching Award) on three occasions.
Alfred Stieglitz (New York, United States, 1864-1946) captures in his photographs the vitality and energy of New York in the early twentieth century. This city, with its skyscrapers and its fast pace of life, looked, to many European artists, the very image of modernity. If, in the past, traveling to Europe was a rite of passage for American artists, New York would later become the destiny for European artists.
Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco (Jalapa, Mexico, 1962) is internationally recognised as a leading innovator of conceptual art. His work has been exhibited at the most important events of contemporary art over the last decade. Trained at the UNAM National School of Arts in Mexico City, Orozco lives between Paris, New York and Mexico where, since the early nineties, his work responds to different contexts, materials and situations in public spaces around the world. The artist reflects on movement and gravity through various objects, a ball of clay or a pendulum on a pool table. He expresses the actions of everyday life with common objects that are somehow being reviewed from an abstract point of view.
The exhibition Eco: arte contemporáneo mexicano shows the art scene in Mexico over the last fifteen years. Far from being the result of a representative selection of current Mexican art, the exhibition aims to expose the artistic discourse design that is present in Mexico beyond the exoticism shown so often by American and European centralism. The collection explores the echoes and subtle relationships established between the pieces that are sometimes critical, but always fascinating.
Painting is at the core of the artistic output of Victoria Civera (Puerto de Sagunto, 1955), that also includes a command of other artistic languages. She begins her work in the School of Fine Arts of San Carlos, in Valencia, where she collaborates with the artist Juan Uslé, experimenting with photography, photomontage and Happening art. Later she focuses on producing Neo-Expressionist style paintings as the Eighties see her visibly enlarge the scale of her works. Following a period dubbed Abstract Symbolism, she settles in New York in 1987 with her husband, Juan Uslé, who she occasionally works with on compositions that alternate between photography, photomontage and painting.
Throughout her career, artist Elizabeth Aro (Buenos Aires, 1961) has participated in numerous collective and individual exhibitions around the world. Among the first of these, the most noteworthy include the one held in 2000 in the Instituto de América (Santa Fe, Granada), the exhibition in the Spazio Erasmus Brera (Milan, Italy), in 2002, and the one in the Centro Cultural de España (San José, Costa Rica), in 2003.
Daniel Vázquez Díaz (Nerva, 1882 - Madrid, 1969) is one of the key figures of the artistic culture that develops in Spain in mid-twentieth century. Vázquez Díaz was the direct master and reference for many of the artists who made up the avant-garde and the renewal movement of the Twenties and was the paradigmatic example of those who, between 1920 and 1970, fought for a compact alliance between modernity and tradition in Spanish art. Between the late 1910s and the early 1920s Vázquez Díaz was one of the artistic creators associated with the most radical early avant-garde movements in Spain. In the early twenties, along with Gabriel García Maroto and Aurelio Arteta he lays the groundwork for an alternative construction of a "modern social realism". "Neocubism", developed from this triple sharing of experiences, begins to be spread by Vázquez Díaz in 1924, and who, in 1925, signs the Iberian Artists Society manifesto. From that point onwards his painting was erected in the very centre of aesthetic gravity for this group of artists. An expert portrait and landscape artist, he painted portraits of the most well-known personalities of the time. In 1929, Vázquez Díaz paints his most famous work, the frescoes of the "Poem of Discovery" at the monastery of La Rabida. The Franco regime would often take these paintings as an example for the consolidation of a "national aesthetic", however this work is actually in harmony with the aesthetics of the Italian Novecento and the epic realism of the Hispanic social muralism. Vázquez Díaz’s painting continues to develop a streak of measured modernity after the war. Now his painting would exist with the phobias the Franco regime manifested towards the radical avant-gardes and from the Fifties he gives himself entirely to the role of mentor and guide of a new horizon of artistic regeneration.
This exhibition commemorates the Velázquez Visual Arts Prize awarded to Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, 1923-2012) in 2003 and is added to the exhibitions that the museum has dedicated to him in 1990 Antoni Tàpies. Extensiones de la realidad and in 2000, Tàpies en Silos. This time we present Tàpies’ work in ceramic, an artist best known for his pictorial role.
Artist Javier Pérez (Bilbao, 1968) trains in the Basque Country and in Paris and produces his first works in the early nineties, when he breaks into the art scene with a special twist on the trend from those days: the aesthetics of the body.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents a representative selection of art works from the collection of German publisher Benedikt Taschen that he has gathered over the past two decades. Such a private collection as this one allows for an overview of art at a historic moment from an unprecedented point of view, given the very nature of personal choice which the collector himself has conducted as a general artistic overview. Thus a more institutional and objective vision on art proper to the museum itself is extended upon showing the public other aspects that allows them to amplify their diversity.
Martin Kippenberger (Dortmund, Germany 1953 - Vienna, 1997) is one of the most unruly and significant German artists. He made a mark in the Eighties by challenging the most serious artistic conventions by using his devastating irony. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents hundreds of his works at the first solo exhibition of this artist in a Spanish museum.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía unveils the photographic work of architect José Manuel Aizpúrua (San Sebastian, 1902-1936). Despite his short life, Aizpurua is one of the most representative figures of Spanish architecture in the interwar period. A good example of his work is the building of the Real Club Náutico de San Sebastián (1928), considered one of the few good examples of the rationalist movement in Spain and which has been studied from its construction until the present.
Sergio Belinchón (Valencia, 1971) is the first photographer to have participated in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s exhibition project at the Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos. Belinchón is one of the most important young photographers on the Spanish art scene. After training at the School of Fine Arts in Valencia and studying on a scholarship at the School of Spain of in Paris, the artist has worked for the architect Santiago Calatrava and later received another scholarship from the Academy of Spain in Rome. Belinchón’s work has developed in successive series such as Metropolis around Paris or the series Roma. In Ciudades Efímeras, he approaches the chaotic development of the Spanish Levante coast, while in Desierto de Atacama constructions and other elements are the waste of a rural landscape uninhabited from a long time ago.
Vicente Blanco (Santiago de Compostela, 1974), featured artist in the field of videocreation, presents his latest work entitled Alguna vez pasa cuando estáis dormidos, specifically conceived for Espacio Uno. Since his first exhibition in 1995, Blanco participates in various projects, among which the collective exhibition Monocanal stands out, organised at the Museum in 2003.
Thirty-nine photographs from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía collection, produced during the Eighties and Nineties, are displayed at the exhibition Nueva Tecnología, Nueva Iconografía, Nueva Fotografía which is presented by the Juan March Foundation at the Museu d’Art Espanyol Contemporani in Palma and will afterwards exhibit at Museo de Arte Abstracto Español in Cuenca. A total of thirty-six artists are present due of the diversity coming from a single medium: photography.
Cecily Brown’s (London, 1969) paintings revisit some of the great moments of universal artistic tradition with references to and influences of well-known artists such as Francisco de Goya, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, and Francis Bacon. In this way, Brown shares with André Masson an interest in the ferocity of the sexual instinct and the tragedies inherent in nature as well as the representation of genitalia as natural ornaments. With an expressionistic appearance, they are pieces in which desire seems like something that is uncontrollable, or which has its own orders and laws. However, on other occasions Brown paints small animals or figures that appear to come from comics, where humour becomes the dominant tone. This mixture of pop with expressionism places the artist’s work in the realm of the fantastic. In Brown’s landscapes illusion disappears and there is no perspective: in them everything happens on the surface. It is a world made up of the history of painting, the indescribable engine of desire and artistic language itself, transformed into an authentic hedonist garden, in which images and brushstrokes merge without any hierarchical criteria. In the last ten years, Cecily Brown has exhibited her work at major galleries and museums in Europe and America.
The exhibition Huellas Dalinianas reflects Salvador Dalí’s (Figueras, 1904-1989) influence on the Spanish avant-garde, from 1929 until after the Civil War. This exhibition is part of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s programme celebrating the centenary of the birth of Catalan artist, which is accompanied by another almost simultaneous exhibition at the Museum, Dalí. cultura de masas.
In the early twentieth century art expresses a rejection of the rules on which Western mimetic representation had been built while also absorbing the techniques and themes that arose with the advances of the Industrial Revolution. These two trends are developed in parallel; they intertwined and influenced each other.
The fascination which Roy Lichtenstein (New York, USA, 1923-1997) felt during his whole life for the image is the focus of this retrospective exhibition on the artist. Lichtenstein was, along with Andy Warhol, the most prominent representative of Pop Art, he captivated the American art scene in the early sixties which grew out of, to a certain extent, a reaction against Abstract Expressionism.
Far from the conventional chronological order, the works in the exhibition Monocromos: de Malevich al presente are installed for this installation in series corresponding to colour environment. The dual-origin of monochrome art (the mystical and the specific) in its evolution during the twentieth century illustrates the division between the spiritual quest of a transcendental experience and the desire to emphasise the physical presence of the object as a concrete reality and not an illusion. The two opposite meanings -the specific object and mystical icon- blend into the first monochrome paintings of Kasimir Malevich, created on the eve of the Russian revolution.
Over fifty paintings by Julian Schnabel (New York, United States, 1951) make up the exhibition at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicated to this creative American. A Czech immigrant father and a mother from New York, in 1965 the Schnabel family moves to Brownsville (Texas, United States), a town near the Mexican border. His life as a teenager in this city is replete with violence, weapons and drugs, which strongly shapes the artist’s character and psychology. After studying Fine Arts at the University of Houston, Schnabel returns to New York in 1973 and studies a “critique and curator of museums” programme at the Whitney Museum. During 1976 he spends several months in Europe, visiting Italy and the work of Giotto, Fra Angelico and Caravaggio.
Sergi Aguilar (Barcelona, 1946) is a leading Spanish sculptor from the last few generations. His creations, rooted in Minimalism, marked a milestone for Spanish sculpture during the transition years. Bought up in a family with a strong tradition of arts and crafts, a trip to Paris in 1965 brought him into contact with the work of Brancusi, Julio González and the Russian Constructivists. This experience orientates him towards sculpture, to which he gives himself up to completely in 1972.
Javier Campano (Madrid 1950) teaches himself photography and begins professionally in 1975. His beginnings are linked to the magazine Nueva Lente, a publication that sought to break with the previous vision of clear and documentary photography, to approach a more conceptual one. Both the magazine and the school Photocentro, were the seed from which a new generation of photographers in Madrid sprouted, including, apart from Campano, Alberto García-Alix and Ouka Leele, with marked stylistic differences between them, but with a common interest to portray nearby worlds. In this way this group of photographers reflects on all the figures and scenes in the open Madrid they lived, in a close, friendly and creative relationship with other artists, writers, filmmakers and musicians.
The projects presented by Isidro Blasco (Madrid, 1962) at Espacio Uno in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, are based on photographs from rooms in which he has lived or worked. The artist creates a process of reflection or intimate conversation with the empty architectural space. From this exhibition an installation emerges which reflects the energy and dynamics of the site.
Francisco Leiro (Cambados, 1951) belongs to the group of twentieth-century artists who staged a turning point in Spanish art during the early eighties. The euphoria that surrounded the birth of the young Spanish democracy manifested in art in the shape of a plural explosion that included artists such as Ferrán García Sevilla, Juan Muñoz, Manolo Quejido, Susana Solano, Juan Uslé and Miquel Barceló.
Although Blanca Muñoz’s (Madrid, 1963) work has changed much over the last years of the twentieth century, the idea of astral projection is still relevant in her metal structures. In this exhibition distributed between Espacio Uno and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía’s Sabatini Gardens, Muñoz presents three sculptures whose titles refer to astronomical objects. In the same way as many other artists of the twentieth century, Muñoz is fascinated by astrophysics and the organisation of forms in empty space. So much so, that her interest in cosmological theories led her to join the Madrid Astronomical Association. These theories have a decisive influence on her work.
José Gutiérrez Solana’s (Madrid, 1886-1945) artistic and literary tasks result in a deep knowledge of Spain, of its style and landscapes, its customs, its lights and shadows. Contemporary of generations of 98, 14 and 27, Solana is considered by the members of this last generation as a vital part of its development, the artist was one of the pillars of the Pombo tertulia (literary gathering) at the café in Madrid of the same name. This gathering was immortalised by Solana himself in one of his masterpieces, kept at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (link to piece).
To his distinguished career as an architect Juan Navarro Baldeweg (Santander, 1939) adds an important activity as painter and sculptor which goes back to the late fifties. His numerous prizes and distinctions in the field of architecture -among which the Heinrich Tessenow Gold Medal awarded in 1998 stands out- is in addition to an equally accredited record as an artist which saw him win the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas in 1990.
Despite his short career (four years) Nicholas de Lekuona (Ordizia, 1913 - Frúniz, 1937) is known for a prolific artistic production to which the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates this exhibition.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is the first museum to dedicate an exhibition to the work of Pierre Le-Tan (Paris, 1950), son of a Parisian mother and of the Indochinese painter Le-Pho Nam, who moves to Europe to see the work of the Flemish and Renaissance painters and who would eventually settle in Paris. In this way, in the drawings by Pierre Le-Tan, the Western world is seen through oriental coloured glasses with a refinement that sometimes contains a plot and a desolation that goes beyond the landscape. A great illustrator, the works of Le-Tan have been published in the last thirty years in numerous publications such as: The New Yorker, Vogue Decoration and The world of interiors, as well as in numerous literary texts, both his own and from other writers.
La Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (SECC) (The State Society for Cultural Commemorations) in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, honours Spanish fashion through a major exhibition dedicated to one of its references, Manuel Pertegaz (Olba, 1918). The exhibition coincides with the sixty-second anniversary of the first Pertegaz Couture House, Barcelona (1942). The exhibition includes seventy-five suits presenting creations by the designer especially from the Fifties to the mid-seventies, when Pertegaz and Cristóbal Balenciaga are the benchmark for fashion in Spain.
The exhibition Galería Cadaqués (1973-1997) is part of the series of exhibitions dedicated to historical art galleries -the last one was dedicated to showing the Archivo de la Galería Juana Mordó in 2001- and is organised by the Documentation Centre of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. The Cadaqués gallery was founded in 1973 by architect Lanfranco Bombelli and specialised in graphic work. For its foundation, Bombelli used his close relationship with artists linked to Concrete Art, especially Max Bill, whom he knew from his student years in Zurich and with whom he had worked as an architect.
Disciple of Hilla and Bernd Becher, Axel Hütte (Essen, Germany, 1951) is part of the generation of photographers who emerged from the Düsseldorf school. Together with colleagues such as Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer, the artist presents a body of work that defines the general outline of German "New Photography".
Contributions by André Masson (Balagny sur Thérain, France, 1896 - Paris, 1987) to the art of his time constitute the main axis of the exhibition: André Masson (1896-1987). The exhibition is the first retrospective dedicated to the author in the last twenty years. It highlights, in addition to a special emphasis on the artist's painting, the links of his work to the literary world and his own role as a writer as well as his deep relationship with Spain.
Hannah Höch (Gotha, Germany, 1889 - Berlin, 1978), artist of multiple registers to the European avant-garde and pioneer of photomontage, is the protagonist of this exhibition which reviews the work of this key figure from Dadaism. This painter, textile designer and writer, studies at various academies and at the hand of Raoul Hausmann enters into the Dadaist circles from that time.
The artist Maria Papadimitriou (Athens, 1957) focuses her work on social and human relationships through interactive installations which combine different media: video, painting, installation, photography and performance. Standing out among her work is her participation in the 2001 and 2002 Manifesta 4 in Frankfurt and the XXV Biennial in São Paulo as the representative of Greece, with her photographs of the T.A.M.A (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All) project, located in a run-down area of Athens, a transit for nomadic Gypsies coming from Romania. It is a collective, interactive work involving these populations, where the artist offers a series of constructions that the nomads complete however they wish with their own aesthetic sense, by way of integration and improvement in their quality of life.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales (State Society for Cultural Commemorations) are joining together to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Spanish Constitution with an exhibition dedicated to the new generation of Spanish museums of modern and contemporary art. This exhibition provides an overview of experimental changes in Spain in terms of cultural infrastructure since 1978, the year when the Spanish Constitution was adopted. For this exhibition, twenty-five museums have been chosen and are represented by models of their buildings, pieces from their collections and information about their mission and exhibition programmes.
Calder: La gravedad y la gracia, is the first retrospective exhibition that the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates to Alexander Calder (Lawnton, Pennsylvania, United States, 1898 - New York, United States, 1976). Painter, printmaker, but above all sculptor, Calder’s priority interest is the kinetic potential of art and he experiments with various materials for his pieces. The artist captures movement in a series of structures that offer radical alternatives to the languages of Abstraction and existing concepts on sculpture which, in turn, have a profound impact on the history of art in the twentieth century.
Juan Gris, pseudonym of José Victoriano González, (Madrid, 1887 - Boulogne-sur-Seine, France, 1927) is one of the most representative Spanish artists of the twentieth century. The present exhibition shows an important facet of his most unknown work which was an essential part in his later career as a painter. Accordingly, a hundred drawings made between 1904 and 1912, mainly illustrating the initial periods of the artist's production, are exhibited together with the ninety publications that they were drawn for. Along with them, other unpublished drawings, as well as general documents related to the facet of Gris as press illustrator are also exhibited.