Kiwon Park’s (Cheong-ju, North Korea, 1964) work is intrinsically related to a concept of space naturally rooted in Eastern thought. His great interest is in empty space, defined by the floor, ceiling, walls and light. A space that he uses as sculptural material and which he intends to make more alive and emphasise. In his work he transforms existing spaces into new illusory and abstract spaces, modifying formal elements, such as the texture, surface, colour and sense of volume. His installations become sculptures in themselves.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is dedicating this exhibition to Juan Soriano (Guadalajara, Mexico, 1920 - Mexico City, 2006), on the occasion of the 2005 Velazquez Prize. This exhibition was preceded by Juan Soriano. Retrospective. 1937-1997 which the Museum dedicated to him in 1997.
The Albers matrimony formed part of the Bauhaus school. Following the closure of the school in 1933 because of Nazi harassment, Josef Albers (Bottrop, Germany 1888 - New Haven, United States, 1976) was one of the first Bauhaus teachers to emigrate to the United States. Known for his writings on the theories of colour he continues teaching, inseparable from his artistic activity, in prestigious institutions such as the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. Meanwhile, Anni Albers (Berlin, 1899 - Connecticut, United States, 1994) is one of the leading textile artists of the twentieth century, after training in the textile workshop at the Bauhaus, where she enjoyed the tutelage of teachers such as Paul Klee. This exhibition explores a very specific aspect of the Albers production, with works that narrate their devotion to pre-Hispanic cultures in Latin America as well as the enormous influence that the fourteen trips to Mexico, Cuba, Peru and Chile between 1934 and 1967, had over the work and life of the couple.
This exhibition is an overview to understand how the recording, transmission and reproduction technology of sound and images born in 1950, and technically different from cinema, became artistic media. It examines the influence of technology and mass culture in social and artistic changes in an era of cultural acceleration and proliferation of ideas. In this way 1968 marks a before and after, as that was the year when a relatively affordable portable television appeared on the market, opening up the media to a vast new group of people.
Howard Hodgkin (London, 1932), is one of the most active British artists on the international scene. Hodgkin describes his work as "paintings depicting emotional situations", where he tries to recreate the intensity of the experience. The artist works with his memory, revealing and concealing issues through overlapping layers of bright colours and distinctive markings, a process that can take several years.
Ixone Sádaba’s (Bilbao, 1977) work starts off the new programme of exhibitions at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, entitled "Producciones". This programme is designed to develop projects specifically produced for the museum and carried out by artists whose career is beginning to come together, with the aim of stimulating and enhancing current creative activity.
Nature is Miguel Ángel Blanco’s (Madrid, 1958) field of work. His most important artistic and vital project, Biblioteca del bosque, begins in 1985 and consists of box-books containing, and sealed with glass, natural elements -botanical minerals, animals, entomologies- preceded by a few pages introducing us to these materials through drawings, prints or photographs. Box-books are, for the artist, microcosms, new landscapes that express nature in all its phenomenology and in all its geographical and symbolic extension.
Gordon Matta-Clark’s (New York, United States, 1943-1978) work has an expressive multidimensionality and a formal complexity in a New York dominated by the reductionism of Minimal and Conceptual Art. The artist develops his art production in the art of action, the objectification of space shared by sculpture and architecture, and especially in redefining the idea of landscape as an interactive place where the social, historical, ideological and natural coexist. Matta-Clark shows that it is possible to fuse matter, form, perception and idea into urban landscape. After a period spent studying architecture, he led the way as a visual artist, becoming one of the most important conceptual artists of the second half of the twentieth century.
Artist Manuel Valdés Blanco, known as Manolo Valdés (Valencia, 1942), boasts a long career that gets underway at the beginning of the Sixties. From 1964 onwards his work develops as a member of Equipo Crónica, to which the then Centro de Arte Reina Sofía dedicates an exhibition in 1989. The group, influenced by Pop Art, defines the Spanish Art of that period and represents a critique and lucid consideration of the relationship between art and society. After 1981, Valdés embarks on a fruitful solo career. Twenty-five years on, and for the first time in Spain, the Museo Reina Sofía presents a complete retrospective of this phase in his artistic output.
The work Guernica(1937) by Pablo Picasso (Málaga 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973) arrives in Spain in 1981 from The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the place where it had been housed since 1939. Few events mark such a watershed in Spain's political transition; thus Picasso's wish that the canvas - commissioned in the middle of the Civil War by the Government of the Republic for the Spanish Pavilion in the Universal Exhibition in Paris, 1937 - be returned to Spanish soil once the country recovered political freedom was fulfilled.
Lucio Muñoz (Madrid, 1929-1998) is one of the key exponents of Spanish Informalism in the second half of the 20th century. After studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of SanFernando in Madrid he continues his education in Paris, where he comes into contact with Informalist painters such as Jean Dubuffet, Jean Fautrier, Wols (Wolfgang Schulze) and Antoni Tàpies. Subsequently, he focuses Abstraction, an approach he is to maintain throughout his career.
Internationally renowned artist Eve Sussman (London, 1961) lives and works in New York. Throughout her intense career she has produced numerous installations, employing filmic materials and often turning to “Cinéma vérité”. Her interest in observing people has led her to work with CCTV cameras, as for instance in the Istanbul Biennial in 1997.
Kimsooja (Daegu, South Korea, 1957) is one of the most renowned Korean artists on the international art scene. Since 1998 she has lived and worked in New York, and her work, including installations, photographs, performance and video, has been extensively exhibited in Asia, the USA and Europe. She explores themes such Nomadism, the relationship between the self and other, the roles of women in the world and the importance of human beings in a chatoic world - their solitude and transience.
The exhibition dedicated to Alberto Burri (Città di Castello, Italy, 1915 - Nice, France, 1995) brings together an extensive selection of paintings produced between 1949 - Burri gains prominence in the international contemporary art scene at the beginning of the Fifties - and 1994, reflecting the coherence and continuity Burri maintained throughout his career, which falls under the material Informalism movement. After earning a degree in medicine in 1940 and working as an official medic in World War Two, his unit is captured in Tunisia and sent to a concentration camp in Texas, where he begins to paint in 1945. Upon his return to Italy he settles in Rome, but also travels to Paris and New York, where he participates in various exhibitions. His involvement in the collective exhibition Younger European Artists in the Guggenheim museum in 1953 means his work gains international attention and recognition, further bolstered by his participation at the 1959 São Paulo Biennial and being awarded the Critic's Prize at the 1960 Venice Biennial.
To begin with, Juan Carlos Savater's (San Sebastián, 1953) painting progresses towards a romantic and symbolic vision. This search for the sublime and transcendence, mostly represented through landscape, endures throughout his career. In 1987 he exhibits his work in the collective exhibition Naturalezas Españolas (Spanish Nature), displayed at the time in the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and he is also chosen to participate in the 19th São Paulo Biennial. His participation in the large exhibition Dinamiques et Interrogations (Arc, Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1987) means his work gains a higher national and international profile and he exhibits his paintings among the new offerings in one of the most important exhibitions in emerging art (Venice Biennial) as well as in the exhibition Los años ochenta, artista espagnoli Contemporanei (Milan, 1988), among numerous other exhibitions.
The exhibition La visión impura (Impure Vision) presents a selection of works recently acquired by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and does so using the title to highlight the fact that the art produced in the latter part of the 20th century undermines any notion of purely visual art.
During the last quarter of the 20th century, the work of Adolfo Schlosser (Leitersdorf, Austria, 1939 - Madrid, 2004) becomes highly important to the Spanish art scene. Although born in Austria, Schlosser settles in Spain in the mid-sixties, where he lives until his death. He is fully involved in a generation that represents a shift in plastic arts in Spain, with his contribution to the wave of new approaches in the field of sculpture particularly relevant - he receives official recognition from the Premio Nacional de Artes plásticas (National Prize for the Plastic Arts) in 1991.
Harun Farocki (Nový Jičín, Czech Republic, 1944) studied in the German Film and Television Academy, Berlin (DFFB) but was expelled in 1968 for political reasons. An essayist and filmmaker, Farocki has also produced screenplays for various films and television productions and his work has been exhibited in diverse international retrospectives and gained recognition through a number of awards.