La Asociación de Amigos del Reina Sofía was established in 1987 as the result of a group of entrepreneurs coming together to create a collection. The acquisitions of pieces is done as an individual initiative, but the character of the collection is public, it cooperates with institutions and is made available to as many citizens as possible.
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).”
This exhibition, the third project that aims to exhibit the Collection at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía under artists and themes, highlights the fact that one of the defining features of Spanish artistic production during the Eighties and Nineties is plurality. In addition, the artists’ works and careers that are represented reveal the gradual integration and participation of them into international artistic and aesthetic debates. The exhibition is restricted to two areas of domestic production: painting and sculpture, as well as considering the shift from this to installation art.
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is collaborating with the Mexican Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes -as they did in 1996 for the ¿Buñuel! The Eye of the Centuryexhibition- to present at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City a selection of paintings, sculptures and drawings by the major Spanish artists of the twentieth century. This exhibition is a reflection of Spanish avant-garde key historical figures as well as the most celebrated artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Also present in the exhibition are the creations of artists who have achieved great relevance in the current scene. In this way, the Mexican public is invited to construct a global vision of the Spanish art scene over the last hundred years through this exhibition divided into three chapters.
The hundred-year-old Zachêta Gallery in Warsaw, Poland, holds an exhibition of Spanish Art from the Eighties and Nineties featuring the work of forty-seven artists. All of the works selected belong to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection, which opens and consolidates its activity throughout the Eighties.
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.
The retrospective by Basque artist Txomin Badiola (Bilbao, 1957), housed in the Palacio de Velázquez, presents a broad selection of his output – photographic works, drawings, sculptures and multimedia installations – spanning from the 1980s to the present day.