The project Desapariciones (Disappearances)by Aballí (Barcelona, 1958) sets out from the literary and film work of the Frenchman Georges Perec (1936-1982), particularly the novel La disparition (1969), whereby Perec performs constrained writing as he leaves out the letter “e” from the text. Aballí takes this element to reflect upon the referential and the subversion of the conventions that cause a work of art to be considered in a particular way.
Black Mountain College was an art school located in the south-west of North Carolina, United States and had its doors open between 1933 and 1956; some of the most iconic names on the American art scene at that time attended. Its liberal educational system encompassed different artistic disciplines which were taught based on experimentation. Students were divided into "Junior" who worked in small groups and "Senior", who agreed to a system of individualised tutoring. There were no loans or notes; the only assessment was an exam the student requested when they thought they were ready.
Carmen Calvo (Valencia, 1950) begins to stand out on the Spanish art scene during the Seventies. The influences of Pop Art, received largely through its Valencian version embodied by Rafael Solbes and Manolo Valdés, members of Equipo Crónica, are part of her beginnings.
Pablo Picasso (Malaga 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973) made around two thousand, two hundred prints, from eighteen years old until 1972, one year before his death. His great talent and creativity generates one of the most extensive and varied artistic productions of the twentieth century. Within the range of exhibitions on Picasso at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, some of them include his print productions, such as Picasso Grabador, held in 1993 and Picasso: las grandes series, which is held in 2001.
To mark Antoni Gaudí’s (Reus, 1852 - Barcelona, 1926) 150th anniversary the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona are recreating in this extensive exhibition the universe of the central figure in Catalan Modernism and architect of international prestige. This exhibition is a journey through the influences, history, creative works and impact of Gaudí's work on a wide outlook built through more than four hundred works ranging from the early nineteenth century until the mid-twentieth century.
This exhibition compiles a selection of forty-six Spanish artists belonging to the Telefónica España Collection of Contemporary and Avant-garde Art, loaned to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in 1997. The artists present in the exhibit work with Abstraction from 1950 to 2000 and are linked to both Informalism and geometry. The El Paso, Parpalló and Pórtico groups, Basque sculptors, and “Spaniards in New York” predominate the development of quality abstraction that, by and large, is prevalent in second half of the 20th century in Spain.
Jacinto Salvado (Mont-Roig del Camp, 1892 - Le Castellet, 1983) is one of the Spanish painters who participated in the avant-garde movements attached to the School of Paris, however, his poor relationship with Spanish artists in the Parisian capital has caused an undeserved historiographical absence. The value of his work in the context of the trends of renewal among the European avant-garde has now been revised for this exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía exhibiting some of the most emblematic pieces of his career.
Jean Nouvel (Fumel, France, 1945) is one of the most renowned architects worldwide. He is the winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 2008 which he shares with other contemporary experts in the field of architecture such as Canadian Frank Gehry, the Briton Norman Foster, the Spaniard Rafael Moneo, the Italian Renzo Piano and the Japanese Tadao Ando among many others. Nouvel began working for architects Claude Parent and Paul Virilio until he decided to start his own firm.
Cristino de Vera (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1931) began his career in Spain in the Fifties. He first exhibits his work at a group exhibition at the Xagra Gallery in Madrid in 1952, a solo exhibition does not come until 1957 when he exhibits his latest work in Sala Alfil.
Señores de la danza (Lords of the Dance) is a video installation adapted onto two screens for this exhibition. Two films are shown in a loop, and after a succession of images in the form of a prelude two characters appear wearing helmets, dressed only in a swimming costume and painted gold.
Edward Ruscha’s (Omaha, United States, 1937) work is an obligatory reference when addressing the art scene of the Sixties on the United States West Coast. Influenced by the aesthetics and intentions of Pop Art, Ruscha follows the path woven by artists such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol. It was specifically the intention that was exhibited in their works -that they knew what they were going to paint before painting it- that made Ruscha interested in the work of these other artists.
Elliott Erwitt (Paris, 1928) is one of the great photographers belonging to the legendary Magnum agency founded by David Saymour, George Rodger, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa in 1947. His optimistic view on life and sense of humour reflected widely in his numerous productions distance him from the work of other photographers at the agency. His main objective is not to denounce social injustice, but it seems that Erwitt is more interested in revealing a paradoxical human nature through the contrast of situations and sarcasm.
Francisco Pérez Mateo (Barcelona, 1903 - Madrid, 1936) is the only sculptor, known until now, whose work you can attach to the new realism or the new objectivity and one of the few who develops a sporting-themed sculpture. These features together with the fact that most of his work is missing and that his artistic career was cut short by an early death, fighting at the Carabanchel Bajo front on the 6th or 7th of November 1936, make Pérez Mateo a unique sculptor.
Bhupen Khakhar (Bombay, 1934 - Baroda, India, 2003) is one of the most internationally renowned Indian artists and the central figure in the School of Baroda. His first solo exhibition was in 1965 at a gallery in his hometown. He continued to exhibit in Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin and New Delhi among other cities where his paintings received well-deserved recognition. He also produces literary work where the distinctive narrative so characteristic of his paintings stands out.
Ramón Gomez de la Serna (Madrid, 1988 - Buenos Aires, 1963) is one of the artists who introduce the avant-garde to Spain. At the same time he is a pioneer of a trend characterised by humour, which the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía pays tribute to in Los humoristas del 27. This exhibition is held a few months before this one, which presents the character of this prolific writer, inventor of the universal greguerías.
Eva Lootz (Vienna, 1940) has developed her artistic career in Spain since the Seventies. In her beginnings the use of materials such as canvas, felt, wax, paraffin and other humble materials led her practice to the field of sculpture, drawing and installation. Her pieces have a strong poetic and symbolic load, a defining characteristic of her personal style.
The artist Luis Feito (Madrid, 1929) is a pioneer of abstraction in the early Fifties, a time when he is member of the group El Paso and lays the foundations of his work. Following exhibitions held previously by Antonio Saura, Gerardo Rueda, Lucio Muñoz, Rafael Canogar and Antoni Tàpies, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents another extensive and critical tour of Spanish art in the second half of the twentieth century. This major retrospective of Feito gathers ninety-four canvasses and a hundred works on paper in eight chronological blocks, which gives visitors an overview of the contribution by the artist from Madrid.
This exhibition comes from a group of exhibitions collected under the title Arte para un siglo, a selection of Spanish art from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía that has travelled through more than a dozen Autonomous regions in Spain. This project, organised by the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks, is divided into three exhibitions whose chronological limits are marked by artistic or historical changes determined by Spanish art in the twentieth century.
Unlike other sculptors, Isamu Noguchi (Los Angeles, United States, 1904 - New York, United States, 1988) has not revolutionised sculpture from itself, but has extended its field to include architecture and design in his own development. In disagreement with the concept that discriminates art from functionality, the sculptor with an American mother and Japanese father turns his creative efforts towards applying sculptural design principles to the point of considering both disciplines as interchangeable.
Miquel Barceló (Felanitx, 1957) is one of the most internationally renowned Spanish painters. His participation in the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1981 and in Kassel Documenta VII the following year marks the beginning of an artistic path which rapidly consolidates during this decade, especially when he is awarded the Premio Nacional de Artes Plásticas en 1986. Barceló starts from the Art Brut and Action Painting of artists like Jackson Pollock and finds himself under the influence of Spaniards like Antoni Tàpies and Joan Miró or foreigners such as Lucio Fontana and Mark Rothko. However, Barceló defines a unique style rooted in the organic: terrestrial textures and marine inspiration from his homeland.
The Archivos de la Literatura Latinoamericana collection is a literary dissemination project on the masters of Latin American literature. More than fifty titles in Spanish, Portuguese, but also in French and English Caribbean review the panorama of literature on the American continent. The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía celebrates this exhibition, which overlaps with the general repertoire of Archivos, where all published titles are displayed and the great diversity of Latin American literature can be admired as a whole. The first author to become part of the Archivos is the Guatemalan Miguel Ángel Asturias; he is also the writer who has published the most books in this collection, a total of nine works.
Nan Goldin (Washington DC, 1953) is one of the most renowned contemporary photographers internationally. Her work forms the centrepiece of many large exhibitions, for instance the one entitled I'll Be Your Mirror held in the Whitney Museum in New York, confirmation of her work as a reference point in the current art scene.
The photographic work of Jessica Craig-Martin (Hanover, USA, 1963) represents an iconographic portrayal of high society, mainly American, based on and identified by the expression and exhibition of luxury.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and the Sociedad Estatal de Conmemoraciones Culturales present in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin this exhibition of sixteen artists belonging to the emerging Spanish art scene. The exhibited works mostly come from the Museo Reina Sofía collection and include some pieces made specifically for this occasion, as is the case of installations by Jesús Palomino and Alberto Peral.
La pasión por el libro: una aventura editorial brings together the last twenty years of publications from the publisher Círculo de Lectores, books which link their pages to prestigious writers, translators, editors and illustrators.
Burt Barr’s (New York, USA, 1938) video art uses film and television as a means of inspiration. The modern spectator is accustomed to narratives, film and television resources. They are able to recognise and interpret ellipses, transitions, assembly chains, subjective shots, etc. and manage to understand the message the director wants to convey while arriving at their own conclusions. Barr uses the same tools that we are used to to create his videos. Through very intense images and minimalism for the final effect, the American artist has achieved a highly recognisable style.
Pedro Laín Entralgo’s statment, "There is a Generación del 27, the one of poets, and another Generación del 27, those of the "reformers” -the creators rather- of contemporary humour" is a reflection that frames this exhibition on those artists who devoted their creative efforts to what Ramón Gómez de la Serna -intellectual father of this generation and protagonist of an exhibition dedicated to him at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía- calls "humourism".
Óscar Alejandro Agustín Schulz Solari (Buenos Aires, 1887 - Tigre, Argentina, 1963) known as Xul Solar, is a precursor to the avant-garde in his native country and an emblematic figure in the Argentine cultural development during the Twenties and Thirties.
Between 1909 and 1918 figurative sculpture becomes a constructive syntax, which denies perspective and a unique point of view. Cubism, characterised by a deep reflection on the values of flat plane and volumes, makes the leap into three-dimensional objects. Pablo Picasso’s 1909 piece, Cabeza de mujer (Fernande) is considered the first Cubist sculpture, and introduces a new style of work that many other artists follow. Its appearance is due to the spirit of a new order, which was already present in painting. For Picasso, this sculpture is a further innovation, in addition to those from his early production. However, other artists develop their work after this piece, as did Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Alexander Archipenko, Henri Laurens, Jacques Lipchitz and Umberto Boccioni, which gives way to new sculptural forms in cubist patterns.